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.

** Important **  the last service in the church is on Sunday 10th December 2017 in order to allow time to prepare the building for the planned re-ordering works which begin in early 2018. The work is expected to take eight months to complete.

How to Find the Church

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

St Andrew's Church Development Appeal - December 2017 Update

The Development Appeal

2017 has been a very successful year for fundraising; in fact, the best year since the Appeal was launched in 2012. As at 11th November 2017, over £170,000 has been raised so far this year.

Funds have come from generous villagers and former villagers. from events and activities run by the Friends, from members of the Friends‘ subscriptions and from Trusts and Foundations. The PCC has also made a second contribution from its Fabric Reserves.

The total raised now stands at £450,000, which, with approximately £100,000 of VAT to be recovered under the Chancellor of the Exchequers scheme, takes the total available to £550,000.

The Development Project

Together. the cost of the urgent repairs to St Andrew’s Church and the cost of the original project for improvements in the existing church building and the addition of a new extension to add much-needed resources is estimated at £640,000 including VAT.

So there is still some way to go in terms of raising the remaining sum. Applications have gone out to a number of Trusts and Foundations over the months since the PCC received the Faculty.

St Andrews PCC has made the decision to go ahead with as much of the Project as is affordable at the time of signing the contract, in order to avoid any further increases in building and materials costs. Even if all the work is not done because sufficient funds are not raised, the church building itself will still be returned complete and fully usable at the end of the Project.

St Andrew's Church will be closed from Monday 11th December 2017 in preparation for building work beginning early in 2018. It is expected that the Development Project will take eight months to complete.

The Final Service Before Closing

Everyone is invited to attend the final service before St Andrew‘s closes which will be a Parish Communion at 9.30 am on Sunday 10th December 2017. It‘s a service for the whole community, including young people.

It will be an occasion for thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for the successful outcome of six years of the Appeal and also an opportunity to wish John Jeffery a happy 90th birthday. As everyone will know, John has had a life-long involvement in St Andrews Church, following in the footsteps of other members of the Jeffery Family for over a century and a half.

The service will be followed by refreshments and a celebration cake.

The Festival Of Nine Lessons With Carols

The traditional family carol service by candlelight will take place on Sunday 17th December 2017 at 4.30 pm with choir and organ. As St Andrew’s Church will be closed, the service will be held at St Mary’s Church, Donhead St Mary.


George Lisle
St Andrew's Church Development Committee
Michael Hockney
The Friends of St Andrew's Church

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.