The Quintet Group of Parishes

Cranborne with Boveridge, Edmondsham, Wimborne St. Giles and Woodlands Parishes


Woodlands Church

Woodlands Church was dedicated in 1892. It is the only “Church of the Ascension in the Diocese of Salisbury. It was given to the village by Harriet, Countess of Shaftesbury in memory of her husband Anthony, the 8th Earl of Shaftesbury and designed by the prolific church architect GF Bodlley.

The exterior is plain, even humble but the interior is striking. Three central columns form arcading down the middle of the nave; as far as is known the only other church built thus is the fourteenth century church in Hannington, Northamptonshire. The Reverend Charles Frederick Cooper Knapp was parish priest for most of the church’s first fifty years; he painted some murals and is responsible for much of the furnishing and ornamentation of the church.

There is a massive Saxon/Norman font which, according to tradition, was used at Knowlton church (a henge church two miles to the west) and moreover was said to have been used for baptisms by Saint Adhelm.

The church of the Ascension hosts its share of the Quintet Sunday and festival services including: -

Ascension Day, forty days after Easter Sunday when the Quintet parishes gather here to celebrate. The service begins with a procession, includes a visiting preacher, and is followed by a social gathering with cheese and wine.

Stations of the Cross. Our parish church has a series of the Stations of the Cross. These fourteen pictures illustrate the way of the Cross, from Christ’s condemnation to death to his burial. A simple service of prayer and meditation following the story is held on Friday evenings in Lent.

An outdoor service in the remains of Knowlton church in the summer. All are invited to bring a picnic to eat on the grass together before the service. We are joined by the Methodists for this service.