The Church of St Mary the Virgin is a large medieval Church, built on a cruciform plan with an additional South Aisle. It has been heavily restored over the centuries, particularly by the Victorians, but it remains a beautiful building which is well maintained and cared for. It stands, within its churchyard, at the Eastern end of the village of Burton Bradstock. To one side of St Mary’s is the Church school with which the Church has enjoyed long and close links, and on the other stands the fine Rectory with its large garden.
The Summer months see a change in the life of the Church reflecting the change that the tourist season brings to the village as a whole. We have many visitors to the church, and we make efforts to make them welcome - not least by making sure that the Church is open daily so that people may visit and enjoy it.
No record of the life of the Parish of Burton Bradstock would be complete without mention of the Church fete, which takes place every year at the beginning of August. It is held in the Rectory garden, with teas being served in the Village Hall across the road. It is a huge attraction locally and to the many visitors who attend. Some, indeed, plan their annual holidays so as to include the Burton Bradstock Church fete.
We struggle with youth work, and this is one of the concerns of the people of the Church. Despite having the church school next door, we have no Sunday school at present, and there is no youth group. There is however a popular Tiny Tots / pram service which is held on the second Friday of each month.
We have an active team of ringers who ring the six bells for our Sunday services, on practice nights (Thursdays) and on special occasions such as weddings. In 2012 there were two extra special ocassions when the bells were rung, namely the Queens Jubilee and the passing through of the Village of the Olympic Torch...for further information regarding bell ring you can contact( Basil Dent (Tower Captain): 01308 897125 or Howard Bongers: 01308 898029.
The Parish of Burton Bradstock also looks after the tiny Church of Chilcombe, nestled high up amongst the trees on the northern slopes of the valley. It is a charming place, seating no more than 36, where Evening Prayer is sung in the Summer months.
The whole of the Bride valley forms a Team of Parishes, seven in all, which run along by the river from almost up by the Hardy monument (Trafalgar again) in the East, to Freshwater in the West, where the river Bride tumbles out into the sea. The current Clergy of the Valley are Rector: Canon Stephen Batty, Associate Priest: Revd. Sue Linford, and Readers: Mike Read, James Webster and Yvonne Buckland. For listing go to: Church Officers