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Our school is based around the core Christian values of Respect, Acceptance, Uniqueness, Equality, Justice and Forgiveness.

Welcome to St Mary's C.E. Middle School

Thank you for visiting the website for St. Mary's C.E. Middle School. We are a 9-13 middle school situated on the outskirts of Puddletown, a small village in the beautiful Dorset countryside. We are a church school with an ethos built on the core Christian values of respect, forgiveness, justice, uniqueness, equality and acceptance.

Our aim is to give every pupil the chance to achieve their God given potential in all areas of their life and we are proud to have been assessed as an outstanding church school in our last two Church of England inspections. We expect the highest standards in both academic work and behaviour and we place our children at the centre of everything we do.

The pupils, staff and governors are very proud of our school and we hope that this website will allow you to see why. We look forward to having the opportunity to meet you in person.

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Friends of Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust (TOCT) Newsletter - April 2017

Much has happened in the last 2 years since TOCT purchased the Grade II* listed former Methodist chapel in Tolpuddle.

The Trustees thank you for signing up as a ‘Friend of TOCT’ and welcome your support in our project to renovate this unique building as a ‘quiet place in the heart of an historic Dorset village’.

Heritage Lottery Fund round 1 success

Our great news is that our round 1 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) was successful. TOCT have received initial support for the renovation project with development funding of £63,700 awarded to help progress our plans. This initial funding together with in-principle support for the delivery stage of £329,300 allows the Trust to produce detailed plans for the renovation and repair of the former chapel, as well as creating interpretation and community engagement activities to tell the history of the building and its connection to the Dorsetshire Labourers, who later became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

The development phase has also been supported by grants from the Architectural Heritage Fund, Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council. We expect this development phase to take until Autumn 2017 when the round 2 HLF application will be submitted. Key to the development phase are securing planning and listed building consent, developing interpretation and activity plans and securing the £200,000 of match funding needed.

Project Team in place

With the confirmation of the development funding the TOCT Trustees have been able to recruit key members of the project team to take the project to completion. These team members are:

·         Architect – Paul Richold of Architecton

·         Project Manager – Martin Cooke of Heritage & Leisure

·         Activity & Interpretation Planner – Lucy Johnston

Communicating our vision

Following the HLF success we’ve secured some great press and media publicity.

·         A tremendous article in The Guardian published on Boxing Day and online.

·         Full page coverage in The Dorset Echo, The Blackmore Vale Magazine, The Methodist Recorder and Church Times.

·         Andrew McCarthy and Project Manager, Martin Cooke, have also been interviewed by Radio Solent with their Facebook post receiving over 2,000 hits.

The project to renovate the former chapel is attracting worldwide interest due to its importance in the development of Methodism in Dorset and its influence on the formation of the group of agricultural labourers, who later become known as The Tolpuddle Martyrs. George Loveless’ belief in social justice was formed here in Tolpuddle and within the one roomed chapel that they built, many years before their forming of a ‘Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers’ and their subsequent arrest in 1834.

In this development phase we will be working hard to communicate our vision of the project as wide and far as possible.

We will be updating our website and using Facebook to communicate regular project progress and news.


How to get involved

Being able to show to funders the great support we now have from over 120 ‘Friends of TOCT’ has really helped our funding applications. As the project moves forward there will be opportunities to get involved and help in a number of ways. To have an informal chat contact Andrew by email to


Next newsletter – June 2017 with project updates and what’s on at the Festival

Supported by:

Dorset Rotary Bike Ride 18th September 2016 - Good Luck Jacob!

Jacob Parnell (6M) is taking part in the Dorset Rotary Bike Ride on 18th September 2016 to raise money for Cancer Research. Jacob will be cycling 44 miles for this very worthy cause.


In order that Jacob can reach his target of £100 please visit his Just Giving page www.justgiving/fundraising/jacobparnell where any donation would be gratefully received.


St Mary's wish you the best of luck Jacob with your challenge!  



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