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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

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