St George’s Church

This two hundred year old church was built to commemorate The Golden Jubilee of King George III in 1810. It is one of four churches in the Parish of Upper Stour. Almost unique, the living is invested in the care of 12 local trustees who are responsible for the welfare of the Church and the appointment of the Incumbent.

The mainstay of worship is the 10 am Parish Communion, which is held in one of the Churches in rotation. The service in Bourton is usually on the 1st Sunday of the month but the pattern can change due to festivals so please check the Parish magazine or see the link below.

A core of worshippers moves from church to church, while others choose to attend the services in their own village. A variety of other styles of Worship such as Taize, Healing Services and Songs of Praise happen at other times. We welcome people of all ages.

For further information on services, local places of worship, events, history and general information please refer to the latest Parish of Upper Stour monthly magazine or the Parish of Upper Stour website

Worshipping with Children

Children’s Ambassadors
Children are welcome at all of our services. At each church there is a volunteer to help families with children to share in the worship. Depending on demand child centred activities are available.

Sunday Club
Formerly a Sunday Club (School) ran alongside the main service, this may be restarted so please let us know if this would appeal to your family.

Holiday Workshops
Children’s workshops are held in school holidays on a weekday when the Christian story behind the festivals is expanded and the children’s creativity is encouraged to enhance the worship at our all age celebrations. E.g. Mothering Sunday, Easter.


There are close links with the “Outstanding” Village School, which is adjacent to the Church. The school worships in Church at the beginning and end of each term and as a Foundation School has a strong Christian ethos. The Rector and other approved members of the Church lead the School Assembly on a regular basis. There are areas for prayer and reflection in each classroom.

St. George’s 100 Club

The St George’s 100 Club is a Small Societies Lottery as defined by the Gambling Commission and registered with North Dorset District Council.  It’s objective is to raise funds for the St George’s Church in Bourton.  Originally set up by Mrs Sibley back in 1997, it has helped to raise over £10,000 towards maintenance of the structure and fabric of the Church building.  In 2015, £1000 was transferred towards the Diocese annual contribution as the Church was in severe financial difficulties. 

The subscription year runs from 1 April to 31 March and costs £1 per month, payable in a lump sum of £12. It is possible to join at any time with a reduced fee.   Members will be reminded that their annual subscription is due for renewal.  Numbers will be allocated as subscriptions are received and all members will be notified of their numbers before their first draw.  Of the total monies collected, 50% will be given to the Church and 50% is used for cash prizes.  There are two prizes each month and 60% is used as 1st Prize and the remaining 40% as 2nd Prize.  For example, if 100 members join, then the total revenue collected would be £1200.  £600 of this would be given to the Church and the other £600 would be given as prizes, giving a monthly prize fund of £50 so the 1st prize would be £30 and the 2nd Prize would be £20. 

The draw will usually take place on the last Saturday of each month, in the Forge Garage shop at Bourton.  Notices giving the names of the prize winners will be placed on the noticeboard by the Post Office at Forge Garage and in the entrance to St George’s church within 5 days of the draw taking place.  A notice will also be entered into the “About Upper Stour” Magazine as well as shown on this webpage. 

The current volunteer organiser is Mrs Ruth Burrows who took over in March 2015, after the quite sudden and untimely death of Mrs Pat Lawes.  Each year the accounts are audited by Mr Tony Moorby, Treasurer of the St George’s LCC.  Anyone wishing to view them can of course do so.  If you would like to subscribe, Ruth can be contacted on 01747 840371.

Music and Church

A small choir contributes to our weekly worship and it is always keen to welcome enthusiasts . The regular choir is swollen for the Festivals to make an impressive contribution.

Although our worship is usually traditional, we are keen to try other styles and would value any offers from other musicians in the hope that a music group could be formed to be used on occasions.

St George’s Church Flower Team

The team was officially established in 2012 following the Queen’s Diamond Jublilee Celebrations. A group of enthusiastic ladies (men are not excluded but as yet none have come forward) got together to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee with a spectacular flower festival at St Georges Church. This was very much a team approach of mixed abilities, from novice to expert; everyone prepared to support and share their experiences working with a ‘buddy’ thereby promoting confidence and a learning experience plus hard work!

We had developed into a ‘team’ and the enthusiasm was such that it was decided to continue in this manner. We work on a paired rota system for flower arrangement and maintenance. We are financially independent through fund-raising initiatives, such as coffee mornings, Church decoration for weddings, funerals including a specifically designated pedestal to commemorate, anniversaries of bereavement, special occasions; to commemorate All Souls Tide a rose pedestal was introduced which includes an ‘in memory book’.

The team is very much a community approach and we welcome anyone who would like to support us in any way, clearing –up at festivals, making that welcome cup of coffee or offering positive feedback. Experience is not essential, we are not sexist a DIY man is often essential for props, advertising at festivals offer enthusiasm or just want to get the feel of how we operate please contact:
Barbara Borwell01747 840141 or

Church History

At a dinner to Commemorate the Golden jubilee of King George III, on 25th October 1809, it was decided to build a Chapel for the population of Bourton. This Village was industrial, involved in the growing and processing of Flax, with a population of around 1000 at that time. A Committee of twelve men was chosen and money was raised by public subscription. The land was bought for the village by John Jeans the Publican of the Red Lion for a sum of £5, held in trust for the villagers .

On April 23rd 1810 – St George’s Day – the foundation stone was laid . Two years later the Chapel was built and was open for divine service, finally being consecrated in August 1813.

Initially the Church was run as a Chapel of Ease, attached to the Church in the nearby town of Gillingham. It later became a parish in its own right.

In the 1870s, George Glover became the incumbent and found a building in a sorry state of repair and a village without School or Vicarage. He appealed to the Church Commissioners and raised funds to improve the Church, to build a school and a Vicarage. His ‘improvements’ followed the fashion of the day, turning the church into a more acceptable ‘Gothic –like’ structure with arched windows, a high roof and an octagonal chancel. The tower at that time only reached roof level. It was during the incumbency of the Rev J.C. Sparrow that the church was finally completed, in 1905, with the addition of a handsome pinnacled tower, designed by Ponting and a set of six bells.

Contact & Update Information

Priest in charge  

Church Wardens:

Harry Allen 01747 840948
Margaret Martin 01747 840433

Location of Church: Church Track, Bourton, Gillingham  Dorset, SP8 5BW