St Mary's, Sturminster Marshall

St Mary's church dates back to the 13th-century.  Sturminster means 'large church on the river Stour'.

The word 'Marshall' was added when the village was gifted to William Marshall, Prince Regent of England and a principal signatory of the Magna Carta, an important document which declared that nobody is above the law, not even the King.


Please do come and visit our beautiful church, it is open every day.  On Saturday and Sunday afternoons between Easter and the end of September you can sample some Dorset cream teas and other goodies in the Old School across the road (thereby helping local charities).  And of course you will find a warm welcome in the Red Lion pub, opposite the church, all year round!

The End of the Bridge Benefice

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.

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.

Coronavirus update

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


The communities of Sturminster Marshall, Kingston Lacy and Shapwick produce a monthly magazine, The Bridge, which is delivered to over a thousand households in the area.  You can read the April 2021 edition here.

March's edition is still available here.

Services in our Parishes

1st Sunday


Parish Communion


2nd Sunday


Parish Communion


3rd Sunday


Parish Communion


4th Sunday


Parish Communion


5th Sunday





At St Mary'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,

Mrs Anne Tillin.

St Mary's PCC Members' Page

If you are a member of St Mary's PCC, you can access the information you require by visiting the password-protected PCC page here.


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