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St Swithun’s Church



2 June 2021


In 2027 the current St Swithun’s church in Bridport will be 200 years old, and the church community – now part of the Bridport Team Ministry – is planning to celebrate this important birthday by finding new ways for the church to fulfil its mission in the town.

Groups of parishioners have been discussing various ideas involving building works, interior design and stewardship of the churchyard. They are also considering plans for the St Swithun’s church hall, which is attached to the main building and is already used by many community groups from exercise classes to bridge clubs. The church itself is often used for concerts and recitals. It has a fine Conacher organ and is an open space with no arches or pillars

The Rector of Bridport, the Revd Deb Smith, says: “The guiding principle is to be a lighthouse rather than a clubhouse. I believe we must be outward looking, seek to serve local people and take time to find out what the community needs from us. We have to work to build relationships and break down the barriers that make people wary about coming through the door. This could be the place where people encounter space for silence, explore the mystical and get a taste for inclusive church, as well as a space for community action and where the arts and faith can come together.”

The team behind this project would like as many people as possible to be part of the process. They have some initial ideas but would love to involve others in taking things forward. On Saturday 3 July between 10.30am and 12.30pm there will be an open meeting at the church led by the Revd Keith Elford, who teaches at Sarum College in Salisbury.  Everyone is welcome to come along and help the church plan its next 200 years.

For further information please contact:

The Rector of Bridport, the Revd Deb Smith  07870 560354

Project Leader: Philip Sturrock 07802 895785


Notes for editors:

The old medieval church of Allington stood a quarter of a mile north of its current site, but population shifts led to the building of a new church nearer the main road. The new building, completed in 1827, is a gem of Georgian architecture. When first consecrated it was a tribute to the evangelical revival in the Church of England, and in the 20th century it became part of the Anglo-Catholic movement and continues in that tradition today.

St Swithun’s is a member church of the Bridport team of six Anglican (Church of England) churches.




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