St Paul’s Church was originally a church plant from Sherborne Abbey. Since 1867 It has had no less than four different locations, which demonstrates that the people are more important than the buildings.
The original St Paul’s can still be seen at the junction of Marston Road and Coombe. It was a prefabricated building which was expected to last just 25 years. It is now the home of the Sherborne Amateur Players.
St Paul’s Coombe
The congregation grew and a brick building was put up in Coombe, which was dedicated on St Paul’s day 1930. However, in the 1950s the town’s northerly expansion took place mainly to the east of the Bristol Road. The church building was no longer in the centre of the growing community that it had been built to serve. A location change was needed. The old building is now used for other purposes
The ‘new’ St Paul’s was opened on 24 January 1957. It was designed as a church and hall for the area. The church has been a centre of much activity for many years, especially of the North End Social Club. However, towards the end of the last century the outlook was not promising, considerable structural work needed to be carried out on the building to avoid its closure. The Vicar at that time, the Revd Eric Woods, commissioned the curate, the Revd John Toogood, to prepare St Paul’s for lay leadership as there were no longer curates available from the Abbey. When John Toogood left the St Paul’s Chaplaincy was set up to run the church. The church is now home to many community groups, and hosts events over the year. The small building on the right is the church office.
St Pauls@the Gryphon
These moves were rewarded, and by 2004 numbers had increased and the buildings were too small for the congregation and Sunday School. A new Conference Hall at the Gryphon School had been built and was available for Church Services. This coincided with a desire by the School to forge closer links with the church and appoint their first ever School Chaplain. A dual role was created and St Paul’s moved its services up to the Gryphon School under the leadership of the Revd Jonathan Triffitt, who was appointed Associate Vicar or Sherborne and Chaplain to the Gryphon School. He was succeeded by the Revds Jono and Diane Tregale as Chaplain to St Paul’s and Chaplain to the Gryphon School respectively from 2011 – 2021.
In September 2022 the Revd Jim Edie became Vicar of St Paul’s and Chaplain to the Gryphon.