Summer Event 2018

A Day in Dorchester

Summer Event for Friends of the Congregational Library, 2 June 2018
at the invitation of the Dorchester United Church

Dorchester’s history precedes the Roman invasion, although it was they who laid out its streets. To highlight some of its religious and cultural history a fascinating programme has been put together for the day at the church in South Street.


11.15 welcome with refreshments.

11.30 Session I: William Benn and the Great Ejectment – David Cuckson,
retired URC minister, looks at the town’s Puritan past, when Benn and a colleague, John White, attempted to make Dorchester ‘godly’.

12.15 Session II: McClune Uffen, 1891–1911 - Peter Mann, educationist and former mayor, examines the career of a later minister of Dorchester Congregational Church.

1300–14.30 Lunch. Bring your own, (tea and coffee provided), or find a café close by. The Borough Gardens, laid out by the Director of Kew in 1896, are a short walk away. There may also be time to join a short guided tour of the town centre.

14.45 Session III: Thomas Hardy’s Congregational Schooling – Alan Argent, minister in the Congregational Federation/Research Fellow at Dr Williams’s Library, traces the early education of the novelist and poet at the British School, under a member of the congregation, Isaac Last.

15.25 Session IV: The Casterbridge Congregationalists - John Travell, retired minister, chaplain to the Society of Dorset Men (and the co-ordinator of the programme), describes the activities of the Hardy Players, the most celebrated amateur dramatic company in the Britain of its day.

16.05 A cup of tea and a bun.
16.30 Farewells

No charge will be made but there will be a retiring collection at the end of the day for The Congregational Library