Hiring the Abbey for a Conference or Meeting

Thank you for your interest in booking for your meeting.  We have regular bookings for conferences, using the flexible spaces within the Abbey to provide areas for concurrent presentations, breakout groups or workshop sessions.  For smaller meetings or simple presentations we have the more intimate space of the Abbey Guest House Upper Room.

Venue Spaces

Here is a to scale floor plan of the Abbey, which you can use to plan an event in the West End of the Abbey.

The West End

est endAn open area without pews, the West End of the Abbey can easily be set up as a presentation area with projection to the plain North wall surrounded by chairs.  The Abbey has 170 chairs available to hirers which can be flexibly arranged.

The Shrine Chapel

The Shrine Chapel is used as an area for conferences and workshops

It can seat approximately 70, depending on the amount of space required by the presentation.  This space has no pews, so the Abbey chairs, of which we have 170 available to hirers, can be flexibly arranged.

The Guest House Upper Room

GuestHouse9This upstairs space is extremely versatile and has a beautiful high vaulted and beamed ceiling. The room dimensions are: 5m wide, 10m length, 3.2m height to the first roof beam (roof void is above this). The capacity is around 50 seated in rows or up to 35 around tables.  Hirers have use of five 6’x 2’ tables and 40 chairs, there is also a piano and a large serving table. There is heating, a kitchen and toilets on the floor below.

Facilities and Support

Concert & Event Managers

Gail-ThomasThe Abbey provides a volunteer Concert Manager to assist all hirers during the period of their event at the Abbey. The Concert Manager meets the hirer on arrival to ensure that organisers have access to all they need for the set-up period, then remains on call during the rehearsal period, and looks after the venue at the concert/event.

Sound system

The Abbey has a state-of-the art sound system, including lapel, hand-held and lectern microphones, all included in the hire. With notice we can also set up an additional 12 microphones but these may require the hirer to pay for set up and sound management for the event.  CDs may also be played over the system.


There is a small kitchen at the back of the Abbey behind the West End of the Nave. This area is suitable for serving but is not a fully equipped kitchen and does not have an oven just a warming cupboard.
The Guest House Kitchen is next to the Upper Room in the Guest House and has a cooker, sink and fridge and 40 covers of crockery.


Responsibility for marketing hire events in the Abbey lies with the hirer. If full details of programme, prices and box office details are supplied, the Abbey can support hirers in marketing their concert/event in the following ways:

  • Listing in the Concerts and Events page of this website
  • Listing in the monthly Abbey events e-newsletter (250 subscribers as at January 2015)
  • Submission to the listing section of the Dorchester News parish magazine (copy required by the Editor by 10th of month prior to your booking)
  • Display of A4 poster on the Events noticeboard in the Abbey
  • Display of flyers in the leaflet rack at the entrance of the Abbey.  Posters and other literature must not be put in the Abbey or on noticeboards without permission from the Events Hire Manager.


The Abbey has recently finished a complete refurbishment of its lighting system, providing us with modern, controllable and efficient lighting which enhances the building.  Replacing the old sodium lights in the building with over 200 modern LED lights has transformed the way that the Abbey looks at all times of day and the new lights are much more controllable, through simple one button settings on a wall pad and also through an iPhone app, providing us with the capability to switch on and dim any light for an event or service.