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: 8.30 am- a quiet said service of Holy Communion using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, followed by coffee and biscuits.
  • Second Sunday of the month: 9.30 am - a Sung Eucharist with sermon using the modern rite (Common Worship), followed by coffee and biscuits.
  • Third Sunday of the month: 11.00 am - a Sung Matins with sermon using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, followed by sherry and savoury nibbles.
  • Fourth Sunday of the month: 9.30 am - a Family Service with talk, followed by squash, coffee and biscuits.

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.

St Andrew’s Churchyard - Snowdrop Appeal

snowdropsAs part of the development of the churchyard at St Andrew’s Church, we are going to do some simple planting to ensure that there is something of interest every month. We are going to start with snowdrops so if you have clumps of snowdrops in your garden, now is the time to be dividing them.

If you would like to contribute snowdrops or would like to help with planting, please contact Elizabeth, tel: 07952 563 318 or Ian, tel: 01747 828 611.

We hope you enjoy the results.

Monthly Coffee Mornings - Donhead St Andrew Church


This event Is cancelled until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak

coffeeFree monthly community coffee mornings in St Andrews Church, Donhead St Andrew, will be held on the 1st Wednesday of each month from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm starting on Wednesday 4th March 2020.  Everyone welcome - I hope to see you there.

For more information, contact Jane, tel 01747 828 914.

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:


St. Andrew's Church News - February 2020

The Development Project

As is always the case with a building project, whatever the scale, there is a list of snaggings to be dealt with. These are due to be completed by the end of April.

The PCC has commissioned new noticeboards to go outside the church. In the meantime, details about church services and community activities are to be found on the noticeboards in the church porch.

A new gate is being made for the side entrance to the graveyard and the existing gates onto St Bartholomew’s Street restored. A wooden enclosure will be constructed around the air source heat pump and oil tank.

The Churchyard

Villagers will have seen that work has begun on the churchyard. The PCC has developed a scheme for the churchyard to make it into an attractive, contemplative, wildlife-friendly space with mown paths leading to seating areas. Having obtained the approval of Wiltshire Council and the Diocese of Salisbury, the PCC has employed the services of professional arborists to work on the trees. The plant growth which overwhelmed the gravestones has been cut back and the brambles and weeds cleared.

Have You Seen The New Plaque On The East End Wall?

It may have escaped some villagers’ attention that a stone plaque has gone up on the external east wall of the church, just below the east window.

This plaque, designed and carved by Harry Jonas, commemorates the villagers buried close to the church whose remains were discovered during the building works. In particular, a family of two adults and two children from the 18th century.

Their remains were re-interred during a service held in July 2019 which incorporated prayers which would have been familiar to them during their lives.

Theft Of The Lead From The South Aisle Roof

The new zinc roof over the south aisle was completed just before Christmas. It is a huge relief, given the large number of thefts of lead from church roofs across the County and country, that St Andrew’s church roof will no longer be attractive to lead thieves.

The cost of the work, including scaffolding, is £20,000. A combination of the claim from the insurance company, a contribution from the Church Fabric Fund, a large and generous donation from a villager, another donation from someone who used to live in the village and the proceeds of the Quiz Supper have brought us close to meeting this unexpected additional financial burden.

However, we still face a shortfall of £1,659. Further contributions to defray this sum would be most welcome. Please contact the PCC Hon Treasurer, Alistair Stoker FCA on 828789 if you would like to help.

The Chair Appeal

There are now 53 chairs in St Andrew’s Church which have been donated by present and former members of the village community. Each has a plaque on it. They reveal a wide range of reasons for the gift: births, christenings, weddings, anniversaries, In Memoriam or just to mark an individual or family living here in Donhead St Andrew.

17 chairs remain to be funded.

If you are interested in funding one of these, please get in touch with the Hon. Treasurer of the Friends on 01747 828106 for further details.

Christmas Services In The Newly-Reopened Church

On Saturday afternoon 21st December, we began what we hope will become a new annual ‘tradition’ at St Andrew’s Church. Youngsters from the village, with their parents, turned up to decorate the Christmas tree and put the figures in the Crib. We enjoyed a tea and sang a couple of carols.

The traditional Festival of Nine Lessons with Carols took place in St Andrew’s Church on Sunday 22nd December at 4.30 pm. 135 adults and children attended the service.

The service began with a tribute played on the organ in memory of Sir Stephen Cleobury, the Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge, who had died three weeks previously. For 37 years, he had conducted the King’s Choir at the Service broadcast on TV and radio and had brought the finest English choral music in the context of worship to an highly-appreciative global audience.

The lessons were read by members of the village community, the twenty-strong choir was in very good voice and the newly-restored organ filled the church with its lovely sound. After the service refreshments were served.

A collection was taken to support the work of Julia’s House Children’s Hospice; a cheque for £629 has just gone to the charity.

On Christmas morning, a Festal Sung Eucharist was celebrated with a congregation of over 80.

The church looked beautiful and was warm and well-lit. Every aspect of the reordered and re-equipped building seemed to work well.

Our Next Community Event

On Saturday 29th February 2020, we will be holding a ‘Cabaret Evening’, given by the well-known group Instant Sunshine. This will be a light-hearted and very amusing evening of music, songs and words for ail ages.

Instant Sunshine is a comedy musical cabaret group who sing their own original satirical songs to acoustic guitar, mouth organ and........spoons! It was formed by three young doctors at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London and is still going strong after nearly forty years. The group has written many songs and has an extensive discography.

Their style has been compared to Flanders and Swann.They have performed in many places around the world and their songs have featured in the BBC’s Stop The Week. They are regulars at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The evening begins at 6.30 pm. Tickets are available in advance from Jane, tel: 01747 828 279, priced at £8.00 and £4.00 for those in full-time education. Additional tickets will be available at the door on the evening.

The ticket price includes interval nibbles.

There will be a licensed bar and a Fine Wine Raffle.

The proceeds from this event will help to fund the shortfall on the cost of the new roof on the south aisle.

Click here for more details.

The Friends Annual General Meeting

The Friends AGM, to report on the 2019 year, will take place on Saturday 14th March 2020 at 10.00 am in St Andrew’s Church. Refreshments will be served from 9-45 am.

At this meeting a full report will be given on the Appeal finances and on the Development Project.

On this occasion, as the Project and the Appeal have both been concluded, the meeting will be open to all villagers and not just members of the Friends.

Weekly Services At St Andrew’s Church

Now that St Andrew’s Church has reopened, we are continuing with the usual pattern of Sunday worship:

First Sunday of the month - 8.30 am - a quiet said service of Holy Communion using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, followed by coffee and biscuits.

Second Sunday of the month - 9.30 am - a Sung Eucharist with sermon using the modern rite, followed by coffee and biscuits.

Third Sunday of the month -11.00 am - a Sung Matins with sermon using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, followed by sherry and savoury nibbles.

Fourth Sunday of the month - 9.30 am - a Family Service with talk, followed by squash, coffee and biscuits.

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.