Events at Dorchester Abbey

For generations people have brought their gifts and skills to enhance the life of Dorchester Abbey and this tradition continues as a huge variety of groups and organisations hire and use the Abbey each year as the venue for a wide and vibrant programme of concerts, theatre, visual arts and other events.

If you would like to hire the Abbey for your event then take a look at our information for hirers.

Orchestra of St John Music in the Abbey
Nov 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Orchestra of St John Music in the Abbey @ Dorchester Abbey

Mascagni Intermezzo Cavalleria Rusticana
Rachmaninov piano concerto no 2 soloist Maki Sekiya (see
Rosauro marimba concerto soloist Gregor Thomson
Verdi Prelude from Traviata
Bizet Suite from Carmen

Music in the Abbey 2019
Orchestra of St John’s
John Lubbock conductor

St John’s Ambulance Christmas Carol Service
Nov 24 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
St John's Ambulance Christmas Carol Service @ Dorchester Abbey

Christmas Carol service, followed by mulled wine or
soft drinks & mince pies.
All welcome – just turn up

Proceeds to the Order of St.John Eye Hospital, Jerusalem
and The Children’s Society

Christmas Craft Workshops
Nov 26 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Christmas Craft Workshops @ Abbey Guest House

Come and get in the mood for the festive season in the Abbey Guest House by creating something new for your Christmas decorations! We will be offering you the opportunity to make a textile Christmas Tree Wall Hanging on Monday morning, 18th November, and a freestanding ‘Book’ Angel and an Angel Garland on Tuesday afternoon 26 November. We will demonstrate the crafts but there is scope for your own creative interpretation, if you prefer!

Benson Choral Society Winter Concert
Nov 30 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Benson Choral Society Winter Concert @ Dorchester Abbey

The first concert of our new season focuses on those three masters of the Baroque period, Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.
Bach’s setting of the Magnificat is a splendid ceremonial piece with grand choral gestures and brilliant orchestration,
contrasted with a selection of solo arias and duets. Handel’s Chandos Anthem Let us praise the Lord is similarly
contrasted, one of the first works to display his inimitable choral style. Vivaldi is represented by two less well-known
works, Beatus Vir for choir and soloists, and one of his many concertos for Strings.

Make We Joy Now In This Fest by the York Waits
Dec 7 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Make We Joy Now In This Fest by the York Waits @ Dorchester Abbey

A musical journey through the seasonal celebrations of medieval and renaissance Europe. The programme starts at home with a selection from the rich source of 15th-century English carols, including works from Yorkshire manuscripts. We move to the uplifting chorales of Lutheran Germany, before travelling to the wonderfully simple and atmospheric noels, folk songs and dances from the Mediterranean. Performed on The Waits’ wide range of period instruments including shawms & sackbuts, curtals, recorders great and small, bagpipes, fiddles, harp, rebec, gittern, portative organ, hurdy-gurdy and percussion. Vocals from Deborah Catterall.

PACT Carol Concert
Dec 8 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
PACT Carol Concert @ Dorchester Abbey | Dorchester | England | United Kingdom

PACT’s annual Carol Concert will be held on Sunday 8th December 2019 at Dorchester Abbey at 5pm with light refreshments from 4pm. The Abbey Choir will be performing and Mill Lane Primary School Choir from Chinnor and soloist Alison Brucker.

It is free to attend but we welcome donations on the night towards PACT’s work. Places are limited so booking is essential.

OSJ Christmas Carols
Dec 14 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
OSJ Christmas Carols @ Dorchester Abbey

Christmas Carols
O magnum mysterium by Palestrina, Byrd, Poulenc, Laurisden
Lullabies Warlock, Leighton, Esenvaldes, Quilter (Jeremy Lubbock arrangements)

OSJ Ashmolean Voices
John Lubbock conductor

Concert in association with ClearSky. To support Clear Sky, buy the ‘Clear Sky’ ticket – all income from this ticket, which includes an extra £2 donation, goes to Clear Sky. Clear Sky will also hold a raffle at the concert.

HFT – The Coming of Christmas
Dec 18 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
HFT - The Coming of Christmas @ Dorchester Abbey | Dorchester | England | United Kingdom

Hft’s The Coming of Christmas has been a much-loved annual event for 25 years, and has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to ensure that people with learning disabilities can live the best lives possible. Join us this year for a magical silver jubilee celebration that is guaranteed to leave you feeling festive.The historic Abbey – beautifully decorated for Christmas – will be transformed by the light of more than 1,000 candles; a stunning and atmospheric setting for some truly spine-tingling choral music from The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford.

The choir, conducted by Mark Williams, will be joined by special guest readers Juliet Stevenson CBE and Michael Pennington. Juliet and Michael are stars of the screen and stage, and their moving and witty readings have made them firm audience favourites at The Coming of Christmas. We are delighted that they are able to join us on our 25th year.

General admission to the event is £25; or why not treat yourself to our brand new VIP package for just £35? Take your pick of – and prebook – the best seats in the house, enjoy VIP refreshments and take home a special commemorative gift.

OSJ Handel’s Messiah
Dec 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
OSJ Handel's Messiah @ Dorchester Abbey

Handel’s Messiah in its original scoring
OSJ Voices
Soloists Louise Wayman soprano, Charlie Tetley alto, Xavier Hetherington tenor, bass tba
Orchestra of St John’s
John Lubbock conductor

Carols by Candlelight
Dec 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Carols by Candlelight @ Dorchester Abbey | Dorchester | England | United Kingdom

One of the highlights of the musical year at Dorchester Abbey, this beautiful service takes place in a candlelit Abbey and is packed with all your favourite carols and some lovely new music led by our brilliant Abbey choir and our Music Director Jeremy Boughton.