Sherborne Deanery

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with His people


The Benefice of Sherborne Abbey with Castleton, Saint Paul's, Sherborne, Lillington, Longburton and the Gryphon School.

" To know God and to make Him known in wonder, love and praise."

Team Rector: 

Rev'd Martin Lee
The Vicarage, Abbey Close, Sherborne, DT9 3LQ
01935 713777
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Team Vicar: 

Rev'd Jane Craw
Jubilee Cottage, Lower Kingsbury, Milborne Port,
Sherborne, DT9 5ED
01963 251527

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Team Vicar: 
Rev'd Lesley McCreadie
5 Kings Close, Lonngburton,
Sherborne, DT9 5PW

01963 210548 

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Chaplain to The Abbey: 
Canon Rev'd Charles Mitchell-Innes

01935 812656

Associate Priest - Chaplain to St Martin of Tours, Lillington: 
Rev'd Hugh Bonsey
67 Acreman Street,
Sherborne, DT9 3PH

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Chaplain to the Gryphon School: 

SHERBORNE - The Abbey Church of St Mary

A warm welcome
awaits you at the Abbey. 
Founded by St. Aldhelm in AD 705, the Abbey has developed from Saxon cathedral into the worshipping heart of a monastic community, and finally, to one of the most beautiful of England's parish churches. For many it is still the 'cathedral of Dorset', and our Benedictine heritage lives on in the daily offering of prayer and praise.

If you have never visited the Abbey, we hope that you can do so soon. Marvelling at this glorious building, may you also catch a glimpse of the Glory of God - so that, having arrived as our welcome guest, you will leave renewed, as a pilgrim.


CASTLETON - St Mary Magdelene

Since Norman times, a church has stood where St Mary Magdelene's stands today in Castleton.  Sir Walter Raleigh demolished the original and built a very inferior alternative.  The current building was finished in 1714 thanks to the 5th Lord Digby.

Outside the curtain wall of his 12th century castle, Bishop Roger of Salisbury built a Norman church to be used by his tenants and retainers.

The little Norman building was still standing in its tiny churchyard when Sir Walter Raleigh first came to Sherborne in 1592. Raleigh demolished the old church and he built a new one where the present church of Castleton now stands. The new building, finished in 1601, appears to have been structurally a very poor substitute for the 450 year old church he destroyed, since it was described as very ruinous a mere hundred years later (a lesson to PCCs everywhere today).
It is possible that the new church may have suffered damage in the two sieges of Sherborne Castle during the Civil War. Whatever the cause the 5th Lord Digby built the present church in 1714.

The layout of the new church showed a break with earlier tradition. Now the object was of emphasis is the Bible and preaching. Chancels at this period disappeared or became, as at Castleton, mere recesses. To begin with the new church had an east window, but soon after this was blocked; its outline is still visible on the outside. The church is remarkable in that, while it was planned as a preaching church, it continued the Gothic tradition in its arcades and window arrangement; it must have been one of the last to be built like this. More than a hundred years were to elapse before Gothic was revived as a church style in this part of the country.
The church is full of character, and was justly admired by Alexander Pope who wrote: ‘The next pretty thing that catched my eye was a neat chapel for the use of the town’s people (who are too numerous for the cathedral). My Lord modestly told me he was glad I liked it, because it was of his own architecture’.

Castleton Historic Church Building

 St.Paul's at the Gryphon

St Paul's is a lively and growing evangelical, Anglican church for all ages.  Since 2006 the main Sunday service takes place in the Gryphon School but there is also a wide range for both young and old, many of which happen in the church building in St Paul's Close.  We believe that faith isn't just for Sundays and that God is interested in - and wants to be involved in, the whole of our lives.

St Paul's is a group of people who have discovered that God loves them with no strings attached, has a purpose for their lives, and is a faithful friend trhough all the ups and downs of life.  

Saint Paul's Historic Church Building



St.Pauls at The Mermaid



Men's Ministry


at The Mermaid



Contact: Tim Bagwell. 07980 660912 or 01963 250375 


St Paul's is a lively and growing Evangelical All-Age church that represents the community in which we live, work and worship. 
As a community we are committed to becoming increasingly God honouring, Christ centred and Spirit led in every aspect of our discipleship.

      We believe that this is possible through:
                                Studying God's Word
                                Intimate worship
                                Growing disciples
                                Engaging in mission
                                Openess to the Holy Spirit

We operate from two venues


We meet to WORSHIP on Sundays, 10.30am

A fairly informal service with worship led by a band, relevant bible teaching, opportunity for prayer and a full Children/Young People's programme

George. On drums at St.Pauls at the Gryphon.    1st Sunday     Morning Worship
    2nd Sunday     Holy Communion
    3rd Sunday     Morning Worship
    4th Sunday     All-age Worship
    5th Sunday     Holy Communion

The Conference Centre at the Gryphon School, Bristol Road, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 4EQ.  


4th Sunday of the month 9am

A more traditional spoken service of Holy Communion

St Paul's-in-the-Close is also home to a number of activities running during the week which aim to support the local community -  find out more.  

Sherborne Food Bank 

To contact Food Bank 

Co-Ordinator on 

07854 163 869. 


St James The Great. Longburton

Chaplain to Longburton.

Reverend Lesley McCreadie.

5 Kings Close, Longburton, Sherborne, DT9 5PW.

T: 01963 210548.

Church Services



Community Activities 



Lillington Church

Lillington Church



For info on any of these church building go to

 Sherborne's Churches

For further information on church buildings of Dorset go to 

The Abbey, Castleton and St.Paul's share the same Church Council and are thus grouped together below. Lillington and Longburton are separate parishes.


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  • Rev Tony Gilbert
  • The Rectory, Church Road
  • Thornford
  • Dorset
  • DT9 6QE

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