Lorna Johnson is ordained priest at St Mary’s

The Revd Lorna Johnson was ordained priest at St Mary’s Church on Tuesday 2 February.

The service was conducted by the Rt Revd Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne. It was a small gathering to comply with Covid restrictions, and was not open to the public, although it was shown live on Zoom and Facebook.

The ordination had been due to take place last year but this plan was derailed by the pandemic and because Lorna was unwell. She is delighted, however, that the service could finally go ahead – particularly because it was at Candlemas.

“It’s a time halfway between midwinter and the spring equinox, when we look for early signs of spring, the signs of hope that we all need in these hard times,” she says. “My ordination was a very special night and although we were physically distant, I felt very much we did it together. My journey as a minister has had a few extra steps because of the pandemic and my ill health, but I am now fit and well and excited about this next stage. I’m also very grateful for all the teaching, practical support, wonderful company, love, and prayers that have supported me along the way, as well as for the flowers, cards and presents from my generous friends and colleagues.”

To mark the occasion Lorna will be given a very special earthenware paten and chalice (the plate and goblet that hold the bread and wine for the Eucharist service) which potter Jill Pryke is making. Lorna also received a set of small pieces made by Jill, who lives in Bothenhampton.

Pictured above are (from left): The Revd Deb Smith, Team Rector; the Revd Lorna Johnson; the Rt Revd Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne; the Revd Helen Croud, Team Curate; and the Revd Pete Stone, Team Vicar.


Public Worship HALTED during Lockdown

Adhering to current lockdown regulations means it is not quite ‘business as usual’ and our churches will ONLY be open on a set weekday & time for individual private prayer, as outlined below. It is possible that a clergy-only Sunday service will be livestreamed (or available on demand) via Facebook, YouTube, and here on this website.

During Lockdown, Individual Private Prayer is available as follows 10-12 noon:

Tuesday St Mary’s, Bridport
Wednesday Holy Trinity, Bradpole
Thursday St Swithun’s, Allington & St Mary’s, Walditch
Friday Holy Trinity Bothenhampton (open till 3pm)

When NOT in Lockdown, Services on weekdays are as follows: 

Monday-10am-St John’s, West Bay
Tuesday-2.30pm-St Mary’s, Bridport
Wednesday-10am-Holy Trinity, Bradpole
Thursday-10am-St Swithun’s, Allington
Thursday-10am-St Mary’s, Walditch
Friday-10am-HT Bothenhampton

When NOT in Lockdown, Services on Sundays are as follows:

Sunday-9.30am-St Swithun’s, Allington
Sunday-11.15am-Holy Trinity, Bradpole
Sunday-11.15am-St Mary’s, Bridport

Any plan relies on all our churches being ‘COVID safe’ which involves keeping ‘track and trace’ records/scan QR code, as well as stewarding (to manage social distancing) and thorough cleaning after each service.

Going forward… worshippers will be offered a choice of three churches on Sunday mornings, plus a range of midweek services. All the BTM churches will hold at least one weekly service, offering a choice of worship for those in our Parish. “I am looking forward to us being a worshipping community again in the wider sense, so it will be wonderful that more of us can be together,” says Revd Deb Smith.

Face masks are mandatory in places of worship

Anyone entering a church, whether for private prayer, an organised service or other reason, must wear a face covering. 

The Church of England has updated its coronavirus guidance to reflect the new law. It states that there are a few exemptions: anyone leading a service, or helping the service leader by reading, preaching or leading prayer, can remove their mask, although they must replace it at times when it’s impossible to maintain social distancing – particularly when distributing holy communion.

Singing by members of the congregation is still prohibited in church.