Joining in

Serving your church

There are lots of ways to get involved in church life whether directly with worship or indirectly through volunteering time and talents.


Four of our churches have rings of bells and three of them are usually rung for Sunday services. New ringers are always welcome and training is given for every level of experience.

Location Practice night Contact
Child Okeford Friday Rose Shaw 01258 268934
Manston Monday Judith Hussey 01258 474673
Okeford Fitzpaine Monday Christine Parsons 01258 860048
Shillingstone Wednesday Bob Yorath 01258 861489


Our three bigger churches have flower arranging rotas and a very friendly lot of flower arranging ladies.

Location Contact
Child Okeford Susan Clayton
Okeford Fitzpaine Zoe Goddard 01258 561046
Shillingstone Carolyn Wilson 01258 861966


All our churches have beautiful churchyards around them and tending our churchyards keeps our churches looking loved and cared for. Some of our churchyards having areas set aside for wildlife, or are managed with conservation in mind, but there is still quite a bit of mowing and strimming to do!

Location Contact
Child Okeford Keith Allen 01258 860068
Okeford Fitzpaine Jeremy Gartside 01258 860157
Shillingstone Sylvia Stokes 01258 860802


As historic buildings our churches need quite a bit of TLC.

Location Contact
Child Okeford Susan Clayton
Okeford Fitzpaine Zoe Goddard 01258 561046


All our churches rely solely on donations to stay open and active. There is no money given to churches from a “central fund”. You can target how your money is spent by specifying what it is to be used for, for example: “for the ministry of the church”, or “for work with young people” or for “maintaining the church bells”.

If you would like to know more about the ways you can give to the church either by donation or by legacy please speak to Anne Powell 01258 861397.


We welcome new people to read the Bible lessons in services and to lead our intercessions and to act as sidesmen (welcomers) at our churches.

Location Contact
Child Okeford Keith Allen 01258 860068
Hammoon Georgina Vestbirk 01258 860910
Manston Andrew Hussey 01258 474673
Okeford Fitzpaine Sue le Riche 01258 861830
Shillingstone Lesley Gasson 01258 861690


If you have been on the electoral roll of a parish for over six months you can apply to join a church council at the annual general meeting (usually held in April). The Church Council elects the officers of the church (the wardens, secretary, treasurer, safeguarding officer and synod representatives) and is responsible for the management of the church along with the Rector. Church councils meet regularly, but not more than necessary, through the year.


Each one of us at our churches would describe ourselves as learning Christians. Being in a relationship with God is a lifelong journey of learning, exploration and self-discovery. We have two house groups that meet during the week in term time, Bible study groups and Lent courses. We have run an Alpha course in the past and are always open to and interested in inquiries about the Christian faith.

As our journey with God continues many people feel a desire to serve the church and God in a variety of ways. Often the first step in the process is a discussion with the Rector about the options available and what might be the best route forward.

There are a variety of lay roles in the church either commissioned or licenced. Commissioned ministries (lay pastoral assistant and lay worship leader) have shorter training times and less responsibility than licenced lay ministry (but all require DBS checking and safeguarding training).

Sometimes people have a sense of vocation to ordained ministry in the church either as a deacon or as a priest. The discussions about this ministry are usually taken further by Diocesan advisors.

God chooses all sorts of people to be ministers in his church. Never think “He couldn’t possibly be choosing me” because you might be just the person he needs…