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

It is with great sadness that, due to the Covid-19 virus, we have been advised to temporarily only open the church for Food Bank (see notice board for further details)  purposes, and then on a restricted basis.  Consequently the church will only be open 10.00-12.00 each day (and at specified food collection times as arranged).  

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

What you are looking at is an object lesson in the effect of poor ventilation and damp penetration.

The Floor.

About 8 years ago a fitted carpet, with a rubber underlay, was laid on the chapel floor which in part is formed by a suspended wooden floor.

It is essential if the wood in a suspended floor is not to attract the spores of dry/wet rot that the void under the floor is well ventilated. Unfortunately in this case only a small vent was provided which, with the carpet and underlay acting as a moisture barrier, was insufficient for the air to flow to keep the humidity and hence moisture content of the timber below 20%.

The Walls

The render on the walls of the chapel has also been affected by moisture only in this case it is, we are told, due to the penetration of damp through the walls where external pointing has failed. The render is believed to be cement rather than lime based and cannot ‘breath’ trapping the moisture in the wall and blowing the render.


The repairs will include a new suspended floor, temporary removal of the panelling, stripping and rendering of the walls and patch pointing the external side of the walls. Our Church Fabric Surveyors: Philip Hughes Associates have so far acted on our behalf and will manage the project. It is planned to start the work in January 2021.


The estimates received plus professional fees indicate a project cost in the region of £17,000. A grant towards the cost has been sought from Historic England the rest will still have to be found by the Church. If you would like to leave a contribution in the collection box by the entrance towards these costs it would be truly appreciated.

Sean Lavan


Why :  local Food Bank started in response to the economic hardships caused by the Covid-19 virus.

Who can use it : It is open to anyone in need, with no qualifying restrictions, and will be run on a trust basis. 

What & where :There is a box of produce in the church from which you take what you need (refilled every day) between the hours of 10.00-12.00.  However we have a much larger range of goods and can buy perishables or specific items to meet your needs if you will use the contact numbers below. 

How : We understand that this is a really difficult time, so please feel free to use a fictional name if you wish when you ring.  Once we have gathered together goods for you, we will either arrange a half hour collection slot in the church (which can be outside the specific church opening times – but only you will know this and your goods will be left unattended with your name on them for collection); or we can deliver.

This is not a short term plan; we will continue whilst there is a demand.

We have had a magnificent amount of produce and funds from the community.  Thank you all so much.  As the current goods deplete we will make further calls on your goodwill – in the meantime, the church remains open for any ad hoc donations.


Ariane: 01300 321200

Marie: 01300 320550

Cathy: 01300 320703


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