Fifehead Magdalen

Looking past the font near the door in the south wall, to the small, low chancel and sanctuary

From the West end

Welcome to the webpages for Fifehead Magdalen Church, Dorset. Local or visitor, we hope you find the infomation you seek here. You will be welcome at any of our services and other events, whether or not you are a regular church goer, and irrespective of whether you are a committed Christian or enquirer. (Although St. Mary Magdalene’s is a Church of England Church, you don’t have to be a member of the CofE to worship with us).

Life events

The 15th century font near the ancient door, looking west to some Easter lilies

The font (dating from the 15th century, with an 18th century base)

The Parish Church of Fifehead Magdalen is here for all who live in the parish and may be able to help others with connections to the village too.  If you are looking to arrange a baptism or wedding, or if you are interested in being confirmed, you can find more information in this section. Funerals are usually arranged by the Funeral Director but we do have more information about church funerals here to help you think about what you would like.

Visiting us

Christ depicted as a shepherd, holding a lamb as he cares for His sheep

The Good Shepherd Window

The “where we are” page shows the location of Fifehead Magdalen Church on a map, and also information for use with maps / GPS. There is some parking alongside the churchyard. Our church is usually open during the day, for those seeking a quiet space to prayer and reflect, or to look around the building.

The altar with a gold coloured frontal used at major festivals in the churches calendar, and the reredos behind, showing 3 Biblical screnes traditionally associated with the life of St. Mary Magdalene: kissing Jesus' feet when she also bathed and anointed them; standing at the cross and greeting the Risen Christ

Altar and reredos, the latter

St. Mary Magdalene’s Church and Churchyard

Two large monuments, one finely executed with 3 cameo figures and 2 sculptured busts

Newman family monuments

Our church is small but full of character. We are lucky that it was restored and reordered early in the twentieth century rather than the nineteenth, by which time more sensitivity was shown to retaining as much as possible of the structure and character of the old building as well as monuments, features and fittings. Thus we have a building largely dating from the fourteenth century, with artifacts to remind us of those who have worshipped here in the intervening centuries.

a picture of the churchyard along with a lichem, a bee, some wild flowers and the certificate for winning the Bishop's Prize for Nature in Churchyards

The churchyard and its wildlife

The churchyard is also of interest – not just for the gravestones and “cross”, but also for it’s being a smal haven for wildlife. We have in the past been awarded the Bishop’s Prize in the Dorset Nature in Churchyards competition.

You can read more about the building on our history page. If your ancestors came from here this page may help you (nb we don’t hold old parish registers in the church – they are in the County Record Office)

However, an old building also results in maintenance requirements greater than a modern building; if you have an interest in the preservation of this church and would like to make a contribution please contact a church official.