Building » Beaminster – St John

Beaminster – St John

Shortmoor, Beaminster, Dorset

An unexceptional exterior and an attractive interior, fit for purpose and with some good contemporary fittings.

The church was built in 1966-7. The aisles appear have been added slightly later. Reordered by architect Graham Saunders, with sanctuary furnishings by David John.


The altar faces northeast but for the purposes of this description all references to compass points will assume a conventional due east orientation.

A low stone and reconstituted stone church with shallow roofs largely hidden behind parapets. Nave with shallow pitched roof, canted apse with hipped concrete tiled roof and stepped parapet at either end of the nave. Lean-to north aisle, deeper flat-roofed south aisle. Small polygonal projection at the west end of the south aisle. The fenestration comprises single, two and three-light domestic style mullioned windows, some with square drip moulds. Those without decorative glass have plain square-paned leaded lights. The main entrance is at the west end of the south aisle, with a slightly projecting ashlar surround, gabled and with an encircled cross and period light fittings.

The interior has no division between nave, aisles and sanctuary, apart from a section of wall separating the sanctuary from the north chapel. At the west end an enclosed arch with a screen below separates the nave from a small ancillary room. To the south a screen divides off the porch, whilst in the northwest corner there is a kitchen, toilet and sacristy. The sanctuary is defined by a raised step and projects forward of the apse. Octagonal stone font at the west end. The seating is a mix of 1960s open benches and more recent upholstered chairs. The Blessed Sacrament chapel is furnished with a small stone altar surmounted by a comparatively large tabernacle with raised embossed panels with the Paschal lamb on the main face. One stained glass window in the porch appears to be late nineteenth or early twentieth century and depicts St John the Evangelist. At the west end are two engraved glass windows of St John and the martyr John Munden.

Entry amended by AHP 02.09.2023

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1967

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed