St Andrew's Church, Donhead St Andrew

donheadstandrewDonhead St Andrew is a parish of steep hills, streams, woodland, pasture and high chalk downs with sudden wonderful views. There is no real village centre so the foci for the community are the church and the pub. The houses and farms are scattered along the winding lanes with cottages, some enlarged and modernised, and residences dating from the middle ages to the present.

The Parish Church, dedicated to St Andrew, is situated in the valley beside the river Nadder. There has been a church on this site serving as a centre for Christian worship for at least a thousand years. It is believed that the first church may have been built soon after the founding of Shaftesbury Abbey in about 875. The tall narrow arch leading from the chancel to the vestry is Saxon work from about the 9th or 10th century. The present church is 13th century though much altered in the 19th century and is built of the local green sandstone. Read more about the history of the church here.

Sunday Services

The normal monthly pattern of Sunday services in the Church is as follows:

  • First Sunday of the month: BCP Communion at 8.30 am
  • Second Sunday of the month: Sung Eucharist at 9.30 am
  • Third Sunday of the month: BCP Matins at 11.00 am
  • Fourth Sunday of the month: Family Service at 9.30 am

The dates and times of forthcoming services in the Church can be found in the right-hand margin of this page, and on the Calendar page of this web site.

How to Find the Church

For information on how the find the Church, click here.

Quiz Supper, Donhead St Andrew - 23rd November 2019


Quiz Supper

Quizmaster: Michael York


Saturday 23rd November 2019


St Andrew's Church, Donhead St Andrew, SP7 9EB

6.30 pm

Licensed Bar - Fine Wine Raffle

Make up a team of four to six - individual places also available

 Tickets - in advance only: £10.00 and £5.00 for those in full-time education - includes supper
- from Elizabeth (telephone: 01747 828201) or Jane (telephone: 01747 828279).

In aid of the St Andrew's Church Development appeal


St. Andrew's Church Development Appeal - October 2019 Update

Update on the Development Project

The main contractor has finished work in the church itself. The new underfloor heating, lighting and sound systems are operational. The new radiators have been fitted with child-safe covers. A new platform has been made for the organ. The new limestone floor has had four coats of protective sealant. The new oak screen at the junction of the Tower and Chancel has been fitted.

Members of the congregation have twice given the church a good clean, waxed the furniture and polished up the brass.

The next step is for the main contractor to finish work on the new extension. We will then have a disabled wc with baby-changing facilities, a well-equipped kitchen, large storage cupboards and the spacious Parish Room-cum-Vestry. All of the new furnishings and almost all of the furniture will be delivered and installed by 12th October.

Work on the graveyard will be starting as soon as possible. The PCC’s plan for the churchyard as a place of rural peace and quiet will take two years or more to come to fruition. In addition to grassed areas, a wild flower meadow with cut paths and a couple of benches are planned.

Update on the Development Appeal

Thanks to a generous grant from a charitable trust, the PCC now has the funding to be able to complete the Development Project. There are a small number of items which still require funding so the Friends will continue to run fundraising activities for the time being.

The Village Produce Stall will remain open until the end of October.

The next event will be the annual Quiz Supper, held for the first time in St Andrew’s Church. For details about this popular occasion, please see the separate advertisement on the SACDA website.

Update on the Chair Appeal

So far, 50 of the 70 additional chairs have been funded by villagers, former villagers and other supporters. Each of the beautiful oak chairs will have a plaque on it which explains the purpose of the gift of the chair. This may be In Memoriam, to mark a birth or anniversary or simply a recognition of being part of the church and village community.

If anyone would like to fund one of the remaining chairs, please contact the Friends’ Honorary Treasurer, Danuta Tagg, on 828106 for more details about how to do this and how Gift Aid may be applicable.

Some bad news

In early September thieves stole the lead off the roof of the south aisle of the church. This is the aisle closest to St Bartholomew’s Street. With thanks to Natalie Massenet, her building contractors at Donhead House immediately covered up the wooden roof timbers; so far rain has not penetrated into the re-furbished church.

The PCC took immediate steps to get the roof re-surfaced with zinc and contacted the Diocesan Advisory Committee and the church’s insurance company.

The Re-opening of St Andrew’s Church

Because of the number of villagers and former villagers who have been involved in the Development Project and the Appeal and the number of other guests who should be invited (representatives of the Trusts and Foundations which have supported us, the craftspeople and professional advisers involved, Diocesan officials and clergy and many others who have helped in so many ways) the PCC has decided to hold two services. One will be on Saturday 12th October and one on Sunday 13th October.

Because of the capacity of the church and in order to plan the catering effectively, invitations with an RSVP for both services have already gone out, including one to every member of the Donhead St Andrew village community.

The old noticeboard alongside St Bartholomew’s Street fell apart during the winter months. A new noticeboard has been commissioned.

Forthcoming Services at St Andrew’s Church

From Monday 14th October, there will be services in the church on Sundays and during the week.

Remembrance Sunday – 10th November – 10.45 am

The Service begins in the Cemetery in Lower Street and continues in church
A collection will be taken to support our Armed Forces

Carol Service – 22nd December – 4.30 pm

The Festival of Nine Lessons with Carols with choir and organ
For all members of the family
A collection will be taken to support a local hospice
Followed by mulled wine and mince pies


Report on St Andrew’s Church Fete - Monday 26th August 2019

We were extraordinarily lucky, given the mixed weather of the preceding weeks, that the run up to the Fete was increasingly sunny. The set-up from the Thursday to the Saturday beforehand was completed without a drop of rain. At 8.00 am on the Bank Holiday Monday a mist hung over the Chase; it looked so beautiful. That soon cleared and the sun shone as the helpers’ cars poured onto Stoney Hills Field.

All was ready by 12 o’clock for the village team photograph around the flagpole. There was just time to eat a burger and grab a coffee. At 1.00 pm we had a fly past of five aircraft from Compton Abbas airfield, the Bell Street Jazz Band struck up and the large queue of visitors that had been building up since soon after 12 o’clock sped towards their favourite attractions.

The villagers had excelled themselves. The food stalls were groaning with good things – cakes, biscuits, preserves and chutneys. The ever-popular Bric a Brac, Clothes & Shoes, Toys & Games, Plants, Books and Picture stalls did a roaring trade.

The catering area had queues throughout the Fete. The BBQ, selling Buttlings delicious burgers and hotdogs, sold out as did the Tea Tent in spite of a huge supply of homemade cakes, cream teas and savouries. The Beer Tent was even more popular than usual given the temperature, selling two Ringwood beers, Donhead Apple cider and Cobra Beer. The Soft Drinks Stall did very well too.

The usual amusements were kept very busy. The Bottle Tombola did a brisk trade as did the energetic team of young Raffle Ticket sellers. The Silent Auction had some fabulous lots and the Live Auction of four lots of logs, donated by the Jeffery Family, was as popular as usual.

This year, the Classic Car and Bike Show had more vehicles than ever before. The Dog Show, watched by a large crowd, concluded the afternoon with much hilarity.

We raised about £18,000 in total which meant that, after deducting expenses, there was about £15,000 to be distributed. This year the Church Fete is supporting Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Semley School’s project for a new sports surface, Tisbus and the Happy Gathering Club in addition to the work and mission of St Andrew’s Church.

Our particular thanks to the Jeffery Family for allowing us to use Stoney Hills Field once again. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful or suitable spot for a fete.

The Fete Committee has so many people and companies to thank for their support.

Village sponsors: David and Jenny Hammersley, Tim and Linda Reeve, Michael Jodrell, John and Sarah Reynolds, Michael and Vashti Noel-Clarke, Peter and Elizabeth Dawson, Robert and Rebecca Johnston, Dame Natalie Massenet and Michael and Elizabeth Hockney.
Commercial Sponsors: Natural Woodflooring, Natural High Safaris, Sans Farm Kennels, Proctor Watts Cole Rutter, Compton Smith, Ludwell Village Stores, Richmond Bell, Shean & Hare, David Peacock, Buttlings, Farnfields, Andrews & Palmer, Wren Classics, Hawes Arborists, The Great Big Tree Climbing Company, Rob Beale, Carol Buttling, Middle England Estates, Walton House Antiques, Ringwood Brewery, Donhead Apple Cider and Rural View.

Donors of prizes: Ringwood Brewery, Shaftesbury Co-operative Funeral Care, Hall & Woodhouse, Ted Martin Flowers, Graham Waterton, the Jeffery Family, Rising Sun Coffee Tavern, Gerald and Danuta Tagg, Grove Arms, Michael and Elizabeth Hockney.

Valley News and The Blackmore Vale Magazine gave the Fete excellent editorial coverage.

The Committee’s final thanks is to the members of the village community who put in so much effort and contributed so much to make the St Andrew’s Church Fete such a happy community occasion.

The Church Patronal Festival – Sunday 25th August 2019

Because St Andrew’s Church was closed, the service took place once again in one of the big marquees on the Fete field. The celebrant was the Rector and the Assistant Curate, Kevin Martin, preached. An electronic keyboard was used, hooked up to the generator supplied for the Fete.

From next year onwards, we will be back in St Andrew’s Church for this important service.

St Andrew's Church Development Appeal

The Parochial Church Council, after consultations with the congregation, those on the Electoral Roll and the members of the Friends of St Andrew's Church, are proposing to make St Andrew's Church a major centre of village life for all villagers, as a place of worship and the place where the community can gather for a wide variety of village activities in a building which is inspiring, welcoming, accessible and well-resourced.

To achieve this, the following improvements to the church are planned:

  • Facilities – extending the current vestry building in stone to provide a disabled WC, a kitchen with appropriate facilities for holding functions in church, storage cupboards, a new Parish room large enough to be used for children's activities during services, at other times for small meetings and removing the existing unsightly boiler house.
  • Flooring – getting rid of the various floor levels in the main body of the church and having one level floor throughout.
  • Heating – installing a new heating system throughout the building which combines efficiency, flexibility, unobtrusiveness and economy.
  • Lighting – installing a new lighting system which is flexible, adjustable and unobtrusive and highlights the architectural features of the building.
  • Sound System – providing an effective system for those with hearing difficulties.
  • Seating – the replacement of the pews with fine quality oak chairs which interlock and have space for kneelers and books. The chairs have been designed for comfort, appearance and flexibility. The normal layout day by day will be five rows of chairs on either side of the central aisle, with two rows of chairs for the Choir along the west wall to the north of the tower. The rest of the chairs, which are stackable, will be stored in the base of the tower behind the oak screen which will be located at the west end of the Nave at the entrance to the tower.
  • Internal Decoration – addressing any issues involving damp and redecorating the walls in a warmer hue.

In order to provide the finances for this project, the St Andrew's Church Development Appeal (SACDA) has been launched. For full details of the Appeal, visit the SACDA web site at this link:


Donhead St Andrew PCC - Registered Charity

With effect from February 2013, Donhead St Andrew PCC is a registered charity. The registered charity number is 1150714, and the full title of the charity is The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Donhead St Andrew.