St Bartholomew's, Shapwick
People have been worshipping in this beautiful place for over a thousand years. The church dates back to the 13th-century. There is a real feeling of tranquility and spirituality here. In the beautiful village of Shapwick, with its thatched cottages and quiet lanes, and on the banks of the Stour, St Bartholomew's church is a gem. It is a great setting for weddings and concerts (best in the summer though!) Do visit and experience the peace and spiritual refreshment which St Bartholomew's church can bestow.
On the third Saturday morning of every month the local Russian community come here to worship.
The End of the Bridge Benefice
Sadly, as part of their plans for reorganisation the Milton and Blandford Deanery has decided that the Bridge Benefice should be dissolved, so from 1st May our three churches will be made to go their separate ways. St Mary's, Sturminster Marshall will be absorbed into the Benefice of Red Post; St Stephen's, Kingston Lacy and St Bartholomew's, Shapwick will cross the border into the Deanery of Wimborne, and become part of the Wimborne Villages Benefice.
This also spells the end of the Bridge Benefice Choir. But the music won't stop - we have a cunning plan! Visit our Music page to find out more.
Our three beautiful villages are situated between Wimborne Minster and Blandford Forum in the county of Dorset and in the Diocese of Salisbury. Each village has its own church and each church has lots going on. For 35 years we have been friends and colleagues and we have enjoyed getting together for joint services and social events. But now this fruitful collaboration is being forced to come to an end.
The photo at the top of the page shows White Mill Bridge, where the three parish boundaries meet. There has been a mill here on the River Stour for centuries. Now in the care of the National Trust, it is well worth a visit.
Service to mark the end of the Bridge Benefice
If you plan to attend the service on Sunday 25th April with Bishop Karen to mark the end of the Bridge Benefice, please tell Jan Standing as soon as possible so we know numbers. The deadline is 18th April.
As part of this service, which celebrates the 35 years of the Bridge Benefice, we would like to include a selection of memories, reminiscences and reflections from members of the community. It could be about a specific event; a sad or funny moment; a special person; or just a few words or a short poem to sum up your feelings about your time in the Benefice. We hope to make a spoken "collage" of memories and anecdotes that will be read during the service. Please contact Sarah Granados about this.
Our churches are now open for services,
following all Covid precautions.
We are active in the community and we are still praying.
If we can support you in any way, please do contact us:
or 01258 858353
May you know God's blessing and peace.
Rev. Carolyn Couzens
Services in our Parishes
At St Bartholomew's we take our responsibilities concerning the safeguarding of children, young people, and vulnerable adults very seriously, and we try to ensure that we always work in accordance with best practice. Our Safeguarding Policy can be downloaded here.
For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our Safeguarding Officer,