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Christmas church services

IMG_0871Come and join us at our Christmas services
Sunday 20 December 6.30pm: Carols by candlelight
Thursday 24 December 10.30pm: Christmas Eve Holy Communion
Friday 25 December 10.30am: Christmas Day Family service with nativity tableau. Children bring your favourite presents to show to us.

Photo courtesy of Shell Elson

Harvest Festival Service on the Farm

Sunday- 10 September at 10.30am. Come and join us at Dollens Farm (by kind permission of Chris and Suzanne Legg) to celebrate and give thanks for the harvest. There will be a collection for Send-a-Cow, and donations of fresh produce will be sold after the service.

About the Church

St Nicholas ChurchIn Sydling we are blessed with a beautiful and historic parish church.  It stands on the site of at least two previous buildings, ‘believed to date from the earliest Christian times in this part of our land’[1].  It carries on the tradition of extending a warm welcome to all who may wish to become involved with the life of the church in our village.

The building

A large part of the church dates from the fifteenth century, with the tower being the oldest part of the building.  It is remarkable for the fact that there is a fireplace in the porch, some beautiful memorials, many in memory of members of the Smith family who lived at Sydling Court, and an ancient font.  Unusually, there is very little stained glass in the church, probably because of the ravages of Cromwell’s soldiers, but what remains has been restored and mounted in a frame above the entrance to the tower.  We have been left with the most glorious view through the East window up to the hills above Sydling, a sight more glorious than any stained glass. One of the most interesting items in the church is the clock, which is faceless, and was built in the late sixteenth century, possibly by the local blacksmith.  It is the second oldest church clock in the diocese, only outdone by the clock in Salisbury Cathedral itself.

The people

Church Grounds

Our parish is part of the united benefice of Bradford Peverell, Frampton, Stratton and Sydling St Nicholas.   We are delighted to welcome newcomers to our services, which should appeal to all tastes, from Family Services which are especially focussed on the younger members of the congregation, Holy Communion which follows Common Worship, and Evensong which follows the Book of Common Prayer.

Our Vicar is the Rev Andrew Mackenzie, who can be contacted at Church House, 4 Meadow Bottom, Stratton, telephone 01305 257972, email

Our Benefice Secretary is Tracy Hughes, who can be contacted on 01305 257972, email

Below is a monthly timetable of services in our church:

First Sunday of the month is Morning Prayer at 10.30am

Second Sunday is the more informal Praise and Worship! service at 10:30am (children especially welcome)

Third Sunday is Evening Prayer at 6:30pm

Fourth Sunday is Holy Communion at 10.30am

In addition we hold special services for Mothering Sunday and Harvest Festival, and an Open Air Service on the first Sunday in July.  We extend a warm welcome to everyone, young and old, to all our services.

The Parochial Church Council is responsible for the day-to-day running of the church and meets every other month.

Members of the PCC are listed below:

  • Mrs Angela Shaw (Churchwarden), City Farmhouse, Sydling St Nicholas, 01300 341593
  • Mr Nigel Shaw (Churchwarden), City Farmhouse, Sydling St Nicholas, 01300 341593
  • Mr Charles Cordy
  • Mr Philip Hanson
  • Mr Charles Hodgson
  • Mrs Ros Hole
  • Mrs Suzanne Legg (Secretary)
  • Mrs Mary Penfold
  • Mrs Enid Pople
  • Mr Tim Stiles (Treasurer)

The Benefice publishes a magazine, the Chalk Stream, 10 times a year, which is delivered to all households in the village.  In it you will find details of forthcoming events, and many other interesting articles about our villages.


If you wish to find information on ancestors, please refer to the list of graves and gravestones compiled by the Dorset and Somerset Family History Society and held in the church.  For old parish registers of marriages and funerals, please apply to the Dorset History Centre (formerly the Dorset County Archives), Bridport Road, Dorchester, telephone 01305-250550. You may also find the Dorset OPC site useful.

The Church Organ

The Church Organ

Church Services

Christmas Services 2015

Sunday 20 December – 6.30pm Carol Service – carols by candlelight

Thursday 24 December – 10.30pm – Christmas Eve Holy Communion

Friday 25 December – 10.30am – Christmas Day Family Service – a very informal service with children especially in mind.  Children are invited to bring their favourite presents to show us all.  Followed by mulled wine.

Everyone will be very welcome at any or all of our special services.

The monthly schedule for services at St Nicholas church is:

1st Sunday  – 10:30 Morning Prayer – a lay-led service (Common Worship)

2nd Sunday – 10:30 Praise and Worship! (an informal service – children especially welcome)

3rd Sunday –  18:30 Evening Prayer  – a lay-led service (Book of Common Prayer – traditional language)

4th Sunday –  10:30 Holy Communion (Common Worship)

5th Sunday –  10:30 United Benefice Service – rotating around the four churches in the Benefice (Bradford Peverell, Frampton, Stratton and Sydling St Nicholas)

Adopt a Gargoyle

Several of our 11 gargoyles are coming up for re-adoption and need loving carers.

You choose a name for your charge we will provide you with:

  • A personalised adoption certificate
  • A colour photo of your charge
  • A fact sheet on gargoyles

In adopting a gargoyle you are giving both a truly unique gift and providing much needed support to raise the funds required to preserve our beautiful village church.  In return for a year’s adoption of a Sydling gargoyle we ask for a minimum donation of £30 to church funds.

For more information please call Sally Cunningham on 01300 341092.

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Gallery Photos

cartwright dec-jan-05-more-152 Snow goose? Bluetit checks out a new pad