About Us

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 specimen of 16th century oak roof though no longer paneled. 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.

The most recent addition is the original stone covering Thomas Hardy's ashes in poet's corner. Westminster Abbey wished to renew the stone so it was brought back to Stinsford and placed in the floor below his memorial window.

We will have a new Incumbent, the Rev'd Leila Mather, who will be licensed, on 5th September 2023,  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. 

 She is ably assisted by a number of  Associate Ministers, the Rev'd Dr. Rob van der Hart, the Rev'd Dr. Hugh Willis, the Rev's. Richard Luther and the Rev's Bruce Dixon.


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'.