The Rector writes…

  1. The Snowdrop Memorial Service will be held in Sherborne Abbey on Friday 2 February at 11.00 am. An invitation is warmly extended to all those who have lost a loved one in the last year or in the last few years. The service gives us a chance to remember and to give thanks for a much-loved life. The Weldmar Book of Remembrance will also be on display. Refreshments will be available after the service. This service is organised by Sherborne Churches Together, alongside Weldmar Hospicecare, Marie Curie, The Yeatman Hospital and Cruse.


  1. Lent will soon be upon us. By tradition, we have a Shrove Lunch on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, so this year’s will take place on Sunday 11 February. Our Mission Partner, Helen Burningham, will be visiting Sherborne from 9 to 11 February. She will preach at the Abbey and at Castleton on the Sunday morning before attending the Shrove Lunch at which the Lent Project will be launched. Helen will speak about the overseas project which is linked to CRANE (the organisation to which she is seconded). The Lunch will be held in the Digby Memorial Church Hall at 12.30 pm for 1.00 pm. Tickets are available from the Parish Office at £8.00 each or £4.00 for those under 16. As our Mission Partner will be the guest speaker you are encouraged to buy tickets early before they sell out. The menu is cottage pie (vegetarian option) and trifle or fresh fruit. Prizes for the raffle may be left in the Parish Office, money raised will go to the two Lent projects.


  1. A Pre-Lent Quiet Day will be held in Cheap Street Church Hall on Monday 12 February from 10.00 am to 3.30 pm, led by The Reverend Canon Charles Mitchell-Innes. Please take a Bible, notebook and pen and a picnic lunch. Tea, coffee and soup will be provided. To book a place contact the Parish Office on 01935 812452 during office hours only, please.


  1. The Parish Eucharist for Ash Wednesday is in the Abbey on 14 February at 7.00 pm. Now is the time to bring last year’s Palm Crosses to the Parish Office. They will then be turned into ash for use at the service.


The old Anglican adage All may, none must, some should applies to the receiving of ashes (‘ashing’) on the forehead. Properly understood it is simply an outward and visible sign of an inward and penitent heart – and it should be rubbed off on leaving church! The morning celebration of the Holy Communion on Ash Wednesday, in the Lady Chapel at 10.30 am, will not include ashing.


  1. Compline for Lent, sung by the Gentleman of the Choir, begins on Monday 19 February, and for many people Lent would be incomplete without it. The service is held in the Abbey at 8.00 pm up to and including Monday 19 March. The addresses given at the service will seek to mirror the themes being explored by the Lent Study Groups.


  1. Sherborne Churches Together Lent Study Groups begin the week commencing Monday 19 February and run for five weeks. Every year people from all our churches come together to learn more from God’s Word and from each other. This year they will be studying the Letter of St Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians. Here is an opportunity for some profitable Bible study. You will be most welcome at any of the groups. There will be about eight groups, each with an experienced leader and host at the various venues. They are using material prepared by Mark Greenstock and similar to 2017 in its presentation. To help with planning please sign up for the time and place that suits you best on the lists displayed in your church. For further information please contact Peter Grosvenor on 01935 813841 or email


7. Lent is also a time for some spiritual reading and after my return from my Cruise Chaplaincy I will be recommending some books for you to read this year.