St Mary Magdalene's Re-opens!

We did it – thanks to the efforts of, literally, hundreds of donors, volunteers, and faithful worshippers, St Mary Magdalene’s was re-opened in a wonderful service in November. Now we begin a new phase of ministry, reaching out to our community, and growing in faith together. There is much to do, and much to pray for – for now, be thankful, and do return your forms about ministry as soon as possible. You, and your gifts, are exactly what we need!

The rector

The Bishop of Dorchester at the official re-opening and re-dedication of St Mary Magdalene's

St Mary Magdalene, Woodstock:
Fundraising and Re-ordering


St Mary Magdalene's Woodstock is a grade 2* listed building. 
Our aim is to preserve the rich and varied history of this church and to increase its function.
Essential work has been needed even to maintain the fabric of the building. 

Building work began May 2017 and will complete by the end of October 2017.
The re-opening and re-dedication service took place on November 9th at 8pm.

Funding is still required. We must invest now to keep the building open to all.


Funding is still required, even now the building has reopened.
To make a contribution:


Account Name: Woodstock Parish Church Redevelopment Account
Sort Code: 20-98-48
Account Number: 40964077

Adrian's letter for embarking on the journey - May 2017

After years of praying, talking, planning, consulting, fund-raising, and seemingly endless legalities, we are there. Our beautiful church is going to be reordered and restored to make it even more beautiful. The tiles will be polished. The stained-glass cleaned. The chancel restored. The broken and battered has been dispensed with, our cherished fixtures and fittings will be cleaned and cared for, and new seating, lighting, heating, electrics, toilets, and facilities, are going to transform our worship, our mission, and our service of our community. It is an exciting moment. We thank God for it all.

It is also a moment of fear and trembling. And rightly so. This is a massive undertaking, and a work of faith and trust. The reason that this kind of project takes years of praying, talking, planning, consulting, fund-raising, and seemingly endless legalities is that it is so important. We are custodians and stewards of a building that will not only serve our own generation, but generations to come. We have sought to make good decisions, decisions that will stand the test of time. Now we watch, and wait, and pray, while the work is done.

As a church, we will not stand still. The first Christians did not have church buildings, and the Gospel was preached, the Lord was worshipped, and the people of God served. So it will be here. This leaflet explains how we will continue to worship together, and how we will organize our life over the coming months.

In my annual review, I wrote about the time we would spend out of the building, and what would happen. I continue to stand by those words: ‘The time we spend outside our building will be a time of pilgrimage, and learning. We shall discover many new things about who we are as the Body of Christ, and I hope and pray that it will be a time of growth, in numbers, and in depth of faith. Someone asked me if I thought numbers would go down while we were away from the building. NO is my answer to that – our ministry will go on, a ministry of witness and worship that is not dependent on bricks and mortar, but on heart and soul, totally dependent on the grace of God.’ 

And finally . . .

The church we get back will be an Easter experience: the same, but different. Just as our patron, Mary Magdalene, encountered the mystery of the strange and familiar combined on the first Easter day, so will we. We pray that her experience will be ours – and that, in our new building, the reality of our Risen Lord will lead us afresh to witness, to wonder, and to worship.

May God bless us in the pilgrimage that lies ahead.

Canon Adrian Daffern, Rector

Make a contribution


Account Name: Woodstock Parish Church Redevelopment Account
Sort Code: 20-98-48
Account Number: 40964077

General project overview

In 2017 we will complete the re-ordering of the interior of St Mary Magdalene’s, with new heating, new lighting and electrics (our present ones are on their last legs), a new servery for food and drinks – and two new loos! We are replacing our pews with beautiful bespoke chairs. (See below for more chair information or click here for a sponsorship form). Funding has been secured to begin the works, but we continue in our fundraising to ensure the full scale of works can be undertaken.

You can explore some of the details of these plans below.


The Sponsor a Chair scheme is only one way to contribute
financially to the future of St Mary Magdalene's church. We are asking for people to set up monthly donations of any size
This kind of giving helps enormously with our planning. 
Alternatively you can download and print the form to give a
one-off donation.


As well as normal services and private prayer, we have visitors, concerts, schools, meetings, craft fairs and more. By updating and developing the building we can make it a more flexible space, accessible to all and suitable for use by the whole community. This invests in the church for years to come.



We are working to make St Mary Magdalene church more accessible and available for use by the whole community. It is time for our pews to be replaced. We have worked with experts to design beautiful bespoke chairs for the space, which will both honour the tradition of the church and allow for greater flexibility to bring more people into our church. 

We are inviting you to sponsor a chair, which can be inscribed with your name or the name of someone you love. Sponsoring a chair is a lovely way of helping the church, and is also a chance to remember an individual or an organisation that is important to you. We need every member of St Mary Magdalene’s, as well as our friends in the community and other churches, to help us do this. You can either sponsor one or more chairs in entirety, or there are options to donate towards a chair, or to join together with others for an inscription on a chair. Please fill in the form on the leaflet (also available below), or if you would like more information on the options do get in touch. For bank transfers, see our details at the foot of the page.