The parish of Dinton lies alongside the B3089 nine miles to the west of Salisbury within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. St. Mary’s Church, a Grade 1 Listed Building, is within the Dinton Conservation Area. The adult population of about 670 live in a range of housing types, including properties for the elderly, low-cost and social housing, many privately owned properties and several houses belonging to the National Trust: Philipps House and Dinton Park, Hyde’s House, Lawes House and Little Clarendon lie within the village (Only the Park is open to the public). It also has a broad mix of socio-economic groups and ages. There is some light industry and a publishing company on three small industrial estates, and rural employment on surrounding farms. Some of the residents work in local towns such as Andover, Amesbury, Salisbury, Shaftesbury, Wilton, and Warminster. See www.southwilts.com/site/dinton for more information on the village.
As well as the Church, the community has a thriving Church of England (Controlled) primary school, a nursery school, a garden centre, two pubs, a community-run village store, a builders’ merchant, a modern village hall and a recreation ground, all of which provide the basis for employment as well as social and community activities. Dinton has active cricket and rugby clubs, WI and an Historical Society. There is a small Roman Catholic chapel in the grounds of Little Clarendon, built by the Engleheart family of daffodil fame.
The twelfth-century church of St Mary, with major nineteenth century alterations undertaken by William Butterfield, has four Sunday services a month which include Holy Communion BCP, Order 1 Parish Communion, Morning Prayer (usually lay led), and Family Communion. The church itself is open every day. The school has regular services in the church, and enjoys frequent visits from the clergy. There is a well-established Messy Church held in the school on Saturday afternoon once a month. The Remembrance Sunday service alternates between St Mary’s Church and St Martin’s Church, Barford St. Martin. Dinton War Memorial is located in St. Mary’s churchyard.
The church is an important part of the community in this thriving, friendly village. It is supported by many people, including those who do not attend church. The churchyard continues to accept burials. The Friends of St. Mary’s, Dinton (Charity No. 1101125) is currently in the process of raising funds for roof repairs to match a substantial grant from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund. The money is raised from substantial legacies and activities such as Open Gardens and providing teas to visitors to the Park.
Our vision ranges from initiatives such as outreach to schoolchildren through Messy Church and seeking other ways of reaching out to the community, whilst maintaining our variety of worship, including the traditional.