Sherborne Catholic Church
Community Resources ... Places of Worship
The Sacred Heart and Saint Aldhelm
Sherborne Catholic Church
T:01935 812021
E:[email protected] ...


Please click on this link to email us:  [email protected]



Synod in Sherborne 

The next stage of the Synod Pathway will be diocesan meetings to prepare a submission from the diocese to the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales. Our parish had lay representation at the meeting in Poole on February 26th, notes from that meeting may be read by clicking here

The diocesan journey can be read in this recent newsletter


Following our parish submission and contribution to the diocesan synod a synthesis was forwarded to the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW). The CBCEW and diocesan representatives having prayerfully discerned all the diocesan submissions have now published the document to be forwarded to Rome on our behalf. You can read it here: 

In order to respond to this encouraging sign, we are launching a straightforward and simple initiative entitled “Dipping into the Catechism”  The edition for this week may be read here and will continue weekly.



Mgr Canon Robert Draper 

Deacon Jonathan Simon

Mass Times

Saturday Vigil    6.00pm

Sunday              10.30 am

For Masses during the week please see the newsletter.

New Covid guidelines for Mass

Seating We are no longer limiting the numbers who may sit on the benches in the Main Church.

In the side chapel we will continue with social distancing to restrict the number to 1 or 2 on each bench, for those who feel the extra space is important to them.

Those who do not feel concerned about continuing to be more distanced from others, should sit in the main church, and leave the side chapel for those who are less comfortable with sitting closer to others around them.

Anyone who wishes may, of course, sit in the hall for mass.

Face coverings are still being encouraged by the National guidelines, especially where singing occurs but are optional in the main church. They should be always worn in the side chapel, which is designated for the more vulnerable at all masses.

Hand Sanitisation Please sanitise your hands before entering the church, before and after use of the toilets, and prior to preparing or serving refreshments.

Sign of Peace If people wish to return to shaking hands with those close to them, they may do so, but of course it is strictly optional.

Holy Communion Please be guided by the stewards. The Communion procession (as the missal calls it) is a procession (not a queue) and so should be orderly and dignified: the ordering of people processing from the back, one side after another also helps avoid people colliding in our congested aisles.

Ventilation We have such a high ceiling and windows that are opened to ensure good ventilation.

Live Streaming of Mass

Please note that at the moment due to implications of the General Data Protection Regulation we have been advised that we are not able to live stream until we have written permission from anyone who might appear on screen; while we are checking this, we are looking at how to improve the quality and consistency of live-streaming which has not been totally satisfactory.

Mass are streamed daily at 11.00am from Plymouth Cathedral 

Other venues can be found at:

Natonal Catholic website 

The Church Office staff are mostly working from home now, but phone messages can be accessed  Telephone: 01935 812021. 

Offertory Collections

If you would like to make your donations by Standing Order please complete the attached form and send back to the office.

Standing Order/Gift Aid Form


A weekly newsletter is prepared by the Church Office. It includes forthcoming events in the Parish. Any notices should be given to the Parish Office before noon on Wednesdays.

Click here to read our newsletter for week commencing 19th March 2023


Choir - Nick Bathurst:- 01935 812840
Gift Aid - Please contact the Office
Church Hall Bookings - Please contact the Office
RCIA - Deacon Jonathan:- 01935 873100
Safeguarding - Kristine Mountain - 01935 873427; Jennie Haynes 
Sick & Housebound
- Fr Robert Draper 01935 816420                                            

St Antony’s Convent: - 01935 816591 to request Mass intentions.

For Information regarding Baptism, Weddings, Funerals or Becoming a Catholic; please click for the relevant leaflet below:

Information for Baptism

Information for Marriage

Information for Funerals

Information on Becoming a Catholic

Car Parking

When attending church services cars may be parked

  • In the car park at the rear of the church, but only in the enclosed area. It is helpful if cars are parked nose into the church or the wall opposite i.e. not long-ways.  Ideally for those less able (blue badge holders) only.
  • Against the hedge only (parallel to the road) at the front of St Antony's School House

Also on Saturdays and Sundays - In the road on the South side of Westbury i.e. opposite the church. Bill Butters in the SW Business Park also kindly allows use of his spaces there; access is near the railway station, with the parking itself but a moment’s walk from the church.

Please be considerate, when parking not to block driveways in Westbury.


The story begins with the arrival in Sherborne in 1891, via Bridport and the railway station, of The Religious of Christian Instruction from Ghent. Prior to that, Mass had been celebrated in Cliffe House at the junction of Marston Road; this house, set back into the rock face, still exists. The Mass was celebrated by a priest from Marnhull, where the church dates from 1830. Marnhull’s post Reformation Catholic presence goes back long before these Sisters came to Sherborne.

In 1891, the Sisters acquired a large property in Westbury through the agency of a Catholic doctor, Doctor William McEnery. The building was a Sherborne Boy’s School boarding house, though independently owned. Sherborne School was not thriving at the time, so the owner of the house sold it without informing the Headmaster. Details can be found in the official history of Sherborne School. The Sisters also have photographs from this time, and some of the stone tablets in the Church also give details.

Immediately on arrival, the Sisters began to build a church that was completed in 1894. The architect was a priest, Canon Scholes, who built many churches in the South of England, including the Holy Ghost Church in Yeovil. Thus the Sisters created a new parish that, for many years, would remain dependent on them. They carried out most of the work associated with the church; cleaning, preparation for services, flowers, music, preparation of children for the Sacraments and moreover paid all the bills! The church was constructed in two parts, the nave for the parishioners and a side chapel for the Sisters. The organ loft was built to be open to both spaces. Originally the church was physically joined to the Convent.

The Sisters then set up a school which proved very successful. At the time there was not a lot of competition in providing education for girls in Sherborne. As numbers grew, provision was made for both day and boarding pupils, and annexes were added to the Convent.  Part of the Convent itself was also used for boarding pupils.  In 1948, Leweston Manor was purchased from Mrs. Rose who kindly offered it at a very reasonable price, and the senior pupils were moved there. In 1991 the Parish and School celebrated the Centenary of the arrival in Sherborne of the Religious of Christian Instruction. The Sisters then generously gave both the church and the priest’s house to the Diocese.  St. Antony’s Preparatory School in Sherborne was closed in 1993 and a new Preparatory School was opened at Leweston.

Subsequently, the convent and the school buildings were sold to the Diocese, and the Sisters moved into terraced houses in West Terrace, Westbury. Other Sisters later moved from Effingham in Surrey, joining them in 2010. The Diocese resold properties in the 1990s to enable the Parish to build a much-needed hall (1998) and to re-order the church (2000).

The early members of the Community who died in Sherborne are buried in the Catholic area of Sherborne cemetery, where there is a monument to their memory. In 1956, a burial ground was provided at Leweston.

Headstone for Fr Michael Downey

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Entrance porch