RSP Member - Sherborne Deanery Rural Chaplaincy

Sherborne Deanery Rural Chaplaincy based in Dorset and Wiltshire

The Chaplaincy, like a lot of organisations, came into being probably by accident!  Geographically it is in two parts, not particularly sitting easily together.  To begin with, the Chaplaincy is not contained just in one county – we cover Salisbury in Wiltshire and part of Dorset.  In addition, there is a void, thirty-five miles wide between the two! 

It comprises of a Chaplaincy being undertaken at Salisbury Livestock Market and a Deanery, (a grouping of 41 parishes and an Abbey), spreading from Sherborne in the north, to the outskirts of Dorchester in the south.

The Chaplaincy at the market came first in the summer of 2015.  It became clear very shortly after that, that the Chaplaincy was going to grow, as many farmers travelled from the Sherborne/Dorchester areas to the market.  We have a simple strapline, which applies very much to what we do, on a daily basis.  It is:

“Being with, listening to and supporting

farming and rural people in their daily lives”.

 As the reader may know, farming and rural areas have their own special issues.  Farming has the highest rate of male suicides in the UK.  There can be many reasons for this, beginning with isolation; poverty and financial issues; the increasing prevalence of TB; and stress caused by withheld payments to name but a few.  In villages we have issues with transport, rural housing and its cost; lack of shops, banks etc.

Whilst we are a Christian organisation based on a Deanery, we are ecumenical and work with rural folk with other religions or none. 

This work is ongoing and increasing.  We only receive funding from donations from organisations and individuals.

 We can be contacted at:

Revd Richard Kirlew

Lead Chaplain
Sherborne Deanery Rural Chaplaincy
The Rectory
Tel:  01963 23570
Mobile:  07966 754110
E Mail:


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