Services and Church Opening

During the current emergency and in line with Church of England policy the Church has been kept closed and no services held.  However since 16th June the church has been open for individual prayer and the following statement from the vicar explains how this works.  In addition plans are currently been drawn up to recommence weekly services on 19th July.  These interim arrangements include major covid related restrictions and details are not yet available.

Statement from Vicar

“We are delighted to announce that following recent relaxation of the restrictions placed upon us during this crisis, we are now able to open our churches again for individual prayer.  Thanks to the hard work of the Churchwardens and a small band of volunteers, it will be possible once again to enjoy the peace of these holy places  where, as TS Eliot wrote, “prayer has been valid.”  Although we will continue to worship on Sundays from our homes for the time being, St Peter’s will be open daily, except on Sunday mornings.

Please help us to keep you safe by following the guidelines posted on the doors.  You may also find that, following funerals or maintenance work, we need to close them for 72 hours to allow any potential contamination to disperse naturally.  Please bear with us if this becomes necessary – we will post notices on the doors to inform you if this is necessary.

We continue to endeavour to keep our community functioning in different ways through this time.  If you are a regular member of one of our worshipping congregations, you will be receiving regular phone calls from one of a number of kind volunteers who are acting as community hubs.  If you need any practical, emotional or spiritual support, they will be your first port of call.  But please, if your need is urgent and you can’t get hold of them, do call the Vicar – the answerphone will always be on, even if she is out and about.

We give thanks to God, who has been walking beside us through this painful and testing time, giving thanks for His mercy and goodness to us and to our community.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.”

Other advice and information from our vicar Rev. Philippa Sargent is available on the St Mary’s website.  It also contains links giving access to a wealth of otherinformation.

In the section called “While we are apart” you will find Sunday Services including readings, prayers and sermons including some by our Vicar.


All queries relating to support and services at St Peter’s should in the first instance be directed to either of the Church Wardens,

Mr. Robin Gibbs
7 School Lane,
Hinton St. Mary
Mr. Kevin Peto-Bostick
Vale View,
Bath Road
Sturminster Newton



The Rev Philippa Sargent, The Vicarage, Sturminster Newton
Tel No. 01258 473905

Appointment of Kevin Peto-Bostick as Lay Worship Reader

Following the retirement of Col Alastair de Bretton-Gordon after 30 years in the role, in May 2019 Kevin Peto-Bostick took his place as Church Warden and on 7th January 2020 at a service at Hazelbury Brian, he was formally appointed a Registered Lay Worship Reader. (See photograph below.)  The service was led by Rt. Rev. Karen Gorham Bishop of Sherborne.  Kevin will now be taking the Family Service each month.


L-R  Sarah Peto-Bostick, Robin Gibbs ,Janet Bolton,  Bishop Karen, Kevin, Rev Philippa Sargent, Ann Garfit

Festivals are very important times in the life of the Church and village. All major festivals are marked with a special church service: Christmas, Mothering Sunday, Easter, Harvest and Remembrance Day.

At Christmas time we go carol singing round the village to raise money for charities and now have the singing led by an accordianist John Harding..

On Mothering Sunday children give flowers to their mothers and special people in their lives.

At Easter, there are special services in Holy Week with a Maundy Eucharist on the Thursday and a service of devotion on Good Friday. The church is always beautifully decorated for the Easter Day service.

At Harvest time the Church and village come together after the Morning Service for a shared lunch in the Tithe Barn.

On Remembrance Day the Church holds a special service including The Act of Remembrance..

About Us

The People:

Churchwardens – Mr Robin Gibbs, Mr Kevin Peto-Bostick

Treasurer – Mr David Johnstone.

PCC Secretary
– Mrs Shane Johnstone.

Organist – Mr Gren Fraser

Getting Involved

Villagers are involved in the Church in flower arranging, brass cleaning, Church locking and Churchyard mowing and more volunteers are always needed.


Church of England:
Diocese of Salisbury:
St Mary’s Sturminster Newton:
Christian Aid:
Homestart North Dorset:
Dorset Historic Churches: April/