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

And that's the end of the Bridge Benefice.  After 35 years of friendship and fruitful collaboration our three churches have been made to go their separate ways, due to the Milton and Blandford Deanery's plans for reorganisation.  St Mary's, Sturminster Marshall is now part of the Benefice of Red Post; St Stephen's, Kingston Lacy and St Bartholomew's, Shapwick have joined the Wimborne Villages Benefice over the border in the Deanery of Wimborne.  But you can still express any objections you may have to these plans - see the notice below. 

Sadly, as a result, the Bridge Benefice Choir is no more.  But the music won't stop - we have a cunning plan!  Visit our Music page to find out more.

This website will now highlight what's going on in our three separate churches, so do continue to visit.

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.

Sturminster Marshall Church

A public consultation to dissolve the Bridge Parishes Benefice and move the parishes into the benefices of Red Post (Sturminster Marshall) and Wimborne Minster and Wimborne Villages (Kingston Lacy and Shapwick) has begun.

A notice giving the objects of proposed pastoral reorganisation affecting this parish has been displayed near the main door and on the Church of England website here.  The Notice includes the last date by which representations regarding the proposed reorganisation may be made to the Church Commissioners (midnight on Monday 5th July 2021).

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:

Tel: 01929 459244

Rev Justin Pottinger

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 June 2021 edition here.

May'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,

Kate Brice.