The Benefice of Stour Vale

From a bridge over the River Stour flowing through pastures in the Stour Vale benefice

The eponymous River Stour running between parishes in the Benefice of Stour Vale

The Benefice of Stour Vale is now a group of seven Church of England (Anglican) parishes, which was originally formed out of two groups of four in 2002.  (Stour Row church was closed for worship on 1st November 2015 and is now joined with Stour Provost).  Situated in a rural part of north Dorset, in the Blackmore Vale, near Gillingham and Shaftesbury, we are in the Blackmore Vale Deanery, part of Salisbury Diocese – you can see where we are on this map.

The parishes have kept their individual status, but are in the charge of one priest and come together on feast-days and at other times when there is one service only (e.g. Good Friday), and, sometimes in the past, Rogation Sunday.

For services across the Benefice see the diary or services rota.

Many services are lay-led, either by a “Licensed Lay Minister” (LLM or Reader) or by Lay Worship Leaders who are commissioned to conduct a “Service of the Word” (including Morning or Evening prayer, otherwise known as Matins and Evensong – but not Communion services).

see the menu in the sidebar on the right for more information about our joint worship and activities