Our small village church is on the site that has had a Christian place of worship since the days of the Anglo-Saxons.
The shape and dimensions of our church changed in the 13C and 14C with the addition of the aisles. As a pre-reformation church a rood screen once stood in front of the fine chancel arch, and a still-extant hagioscope on its south side housed a circular staircase which led to the rood loft.
The chancel roof is a good speciman of 16th century oak roof though no longer panelled. The nave roof was raised as part of the church's extensive 19th century restorations and our box pews removed in the early 20th century albeit against Thomas Hardy's wish. He thought they should be repaired and saved. In 1843 the major part of the west gallery was removed but following a public appeal in 1984 to restore the gallery, and an endowment in 1990 by the American scholar Richard Little Purdy in memory of the life and work of Florence Emily Hardy, a new West Gallery was built. A new 'Chair Organ' was built and placed in the gallery in 1996. This now sings out to remind us of the former musicians "choir".
Thomas Hardy's heart is buried here, and his tombstone also contains the mortal remains of his two wives, together with other family tombstones are on the left of the path leading to the Church. The Church is the 'Mellstock Church' so lovingly described in 'Under the Greenwood Tree'. The tombstone of the former Poet Laureate, Cecil Day Lewis stands in the same line.
We have a new Incumbent, the Rev'd Mark Phillips was licensed, with effect from 3rd October 2016, as the Rector of the benefice of Charminster, Stinsford and the Chalk Stream Parishes which include those of Bradford Peverell, Stratton, Frampton and Sydling St. Nicholas. The Benefices of Charminster and Stinsford merged with the Chalk Stream on 11th July 2017. He is joined by his wife Clare and Spaniel, Hector.
He is now joined by a new curate, Leila Mather, who has recently completed her theological studies at Cambridge. Her ordination as a Deacon will take place on Saturday 26th September 2020 by her first Service at which she will take the lead, it being our Patronal and Harvest Festival Service.
He is ably assisted by House for Duty Priest (the Chalk Stream) the Rev'd Pene Kennedy and has the assistance of Associate Ministers, the Rev'd Dr. Rob van der Hart and the Rev'd Dr. Hugh Willis.
St. Michael's Church, Stinsford, takes its responsibilities surrounding the safeguarding of children, young people, and adults who may be at risk very seriously, and works in partnership with the Diocese of Salisbury to ensure that we work in accordance with best practice at all times.
If you have any Safeguarding questions or concerns you can contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, on 07500 664800
For more information about Safeguarding, please scroll down to bottom of page and click on 'Safeguarding'.