The Church, Team and Services

Flying the Saint George's flag
Welcome to the St. Peter and St. Paul Church
A view of the beautiful Baptistry
A clear example of damage to the Lady Chapel walls caused by the damp
The dramatic rotten state of the Lady Chapel floor
The external wall of the Lady Chapel, showing the cement render

We are pleased that our church is open for quiet meditation, prayer and services. Due to the Covid-19 virus, anyone entering is asked to use the sanitising product by the door and face masks MUST be worn at all times.  Any books touched (bibles ect) must be placed in the box by the door for quarantine,  The church continues to host the Food Bank.  


To comply with Covid regulations and make the Food Bank much safer than we think it currently is, we are changing the way we manage things. 
For donations that means you can still leave things on the back pew in the church.  We will then move items into storage for a couple of days quarantine.  If you would rather donate money which we then use to buy perishables, please leave in the letter box of 1, Rectory Gardens (behind the church down South Drive).
For receiving food or general provisions (pet food, personal hygiene or cleaning products etc), there will still be a few things left on the pew (for the very shy), but for a proper box of provisions please contact one of the names below and we will make up a supply to meet your needs (as often as needed).  We are committed to confidentiality but do use a fictional name if you would prefer.  We will arrange with you a suitable collection time (or can deliver if that is required).
Times are, as is so frequently said, unprecedented.  Any of us could find ourselves in financial difficulties.  Please, please do not get into debt to put food on the table.  Use the food Bank if you are finding it difficult, and it doesn’t matter how small or large your family is. 
Cathy: 07471 193229
Vicky: 07484 787532



The Lady Chapel (Childrens’ area) The Church of St Peter & St Paul

The Church Repairs to the Lady Chapel.

Those who regularly attend services or, in passing, pop in to admire the interior of this fine neo-gothic masterpiece cannot but have noticed the sorry state of the Lady Chapel.

The chapel, which dates from the early 1630’s, is showing its age but not in a manner one can admire. For some time now the paint on the walls has been slowly peeling off, the render has blown in places and the wooden panels are coming loose from their fixings. But after the collapse of the suspended wooden floor repairs could no longer be delayed.

In February the PCC instructed the Church surveyor, Philip Hughes Associates, PHA, to draw up a specification for the repair work while a Faculty was applied for from the Archdeacon at Sherborne for permission to carry out the repairs. We were hoping to begin the work in June or July but with the arrival of the COVID pandemic and lockdown plans came to a halt.

When the lockdown was lifted in July Sam Wheeler, PHA, brought to my attention an opportunity to apply for a grant to help fund the work; the grant being from the COVID-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund. The monies in the fund are from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund and administered by Historic England. The grants were not intended just for places of worship, owners of any listed building in England could apply so competition would be intense.

The first hurdle to clear was to convince HE that our proposed work met their criteria. Having successfully done so a full application would need to be submitted by late August which left us five weeks. The application required a detailed specification of the proposed works, returned bids from not less than three suitable builders, one of whom had been chosen to carry out the work, a Faculty for the work, confirmation that the church insurers had agreed to cover the risk and last, but certainly not least, eight high quality photographs to illustrate the dilapidation in the chapel. The photographs were very important as they needed to simply and clearly illustrated the issues; Peter Farmer very kindly offered his photographic services to take a series of very high definition photographs for which the PCC is very grateful. Sam Wheeler, PHA, prepared the specification and obtained the quotations from three builders who PHA had experience of working with. The completed application was submitted by PHA on our behalf at the end of September 2020.

The good news to start 2021 is that we were successful and HE awarded £10,000 match funding towards the costs of the work. The builder, Nigel Jagger from Bridport,  will be starting on  the 5th January and anticipates completing the work towards the end of February.

Sean Lavan


A message from Sean Lavan:

The flagpole, which is about 20ft high and put up in 1982, lost the finial and halyard last June in a very high wind. To replace the finial the pole fixing bolts had to be dowsed in WD40 for a couple of weeks and then loosened off. 
A replacement finial with a large gold sphere and halyard is on order for about £100.
Without the help of the lads the church, if it wanted to have a flagpole on the top of the tower, would have had to employ a flagpole contractor two of whom estimated a price of around £3k to remove the existing and replace with a new one! Well done lads!!



St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church of England is part of the world wide Anglican church and welcomes people of all beliefs and none. The Church is open every day to visit for quiet contemplation – or just be inspired by its interior. We have at least 2 services each month (10am if a morning service or 6pm if an evening one) – please see either the centre pages of The Chimes or click here for details.  The services are generally led by a member of the Melbury team (again the web link explains further detail); occasionally by ministers of other traditions within the Church; or Lay persons. The congregation is always very friendly and welcoming, indeed we invite all to stay on for coffee and biscuits after each morning Service. Currently the heating system is not terribly efficient – so wrap up warm when you join us!

The Church is available for special services, such as christenings, baptisms and weddings. Indeed it is a wonderful wedding venue, due to its size and magnificence, note you do need some connection to the Cattistock Parish – click here for the relevant C of E regulations.

Now for the boring administrative detail: St Peter and St Paul’s Church is run by the Parochial Church Council (PCC). The PCC is an executive committee of a Church of England Parish and consists of clergy, churchwardens and representatives of the laity. It is responsible for the financial affairs of the Church and its assets, as well as promoting the mission of the church. We are led by Rev Linda Wilcock, alongside 2 Church Wardens, Charlie Bladon and Mary Duff (contact details in The Chimes or on the web link). The remainder of the PCC are:- Ian Anderson, Meredith James; Marie Walmsley, Ruth Lale, Merrily Harpur, Sean Lavan and Cathy Evans and the PCC meets about 6 times a year.

We hold an Annual Parish meeting to which all parishioners are warmly invited, to have a say in key issues facing the Church as well as elect people to formal posts. You do not have to be a regular Church attendee to have a say!

The Chancel of St Peter & St Paul
A service, led by Linda Wilcock, Associate Priest, plus Ann Smith playing the church organ of 1869
The Choir
Bell Ringers
Matt Somerville preparing to raise the bee-kind log hive
The final stages, as Matt perpares to position and secure the hive
The bee-kind log hive in place in the Church yard. The hive was funded by the Church and the CCF
Diana raising the hive on a pulley system, watched by Sophie, Penny and Merrily
 Sean, Merrily, Mary, Sophie, Peter and Julia watching Matt preparing to raise the hive
Peter and Sean take the strain, watched by Ian and Mary
Exciting evidence that bees are using the bee-kind log hive
Bees entering and leaving their nest in the Church building
Gardens Open Day 2019 Flower arrangements 1
Gardens Open Day 2019 Flower arrangements 2
Gardens Open Day 2019 Flower arrangements 3
Gardens Open Day 2019 Flower arrangements 4
Ox-eye daisies growing in the churchyard