Christchurch News

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The Orlando Singers at Christchurch Priory


The Orlando Singers, Wessex Brass and Organist Graham Scott will perform Venetian music together on Saturday 21 November.

‘The Glories of Venice’ includes Monteverdi’s popular ‘Beatus vir’, in which the choir will be joined by brass and organ, and his beautiful Mass ‘In illo tempore’ for unaccompanied choir. There will also be music by Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, Willaert and other Baroque composers. In addition to works involving the choir there will be solo items by Wessex Brass and solos on the Priory organ played by Graham Scott – head of keyboards at Bryanston School.

Tickets, priced £16 (reserved), £9 (unreserved) and £2 (under 18) can be bought from Christchurch Information Centre,, the choir box office – 01202 528 348 and on the door.

November 2, 2015 |

Christchurch Home Watch Crime Prevention Event


People living in and around Christchurch are invited to a crime prevention awareness event organised by Christchurch Home Watch on Saturday 14 November in Saxon Square from 10am to 1pm.

Agencies present on the day will include Dorset Fire & Rescue, Dorset Police and Christchurch Borough Council, offering crime prevention and home safety advice.

Information will also be available about how people can become an active member of Home Watch.

October 27, 2015 |

RSPB Dorset Christchurch harbour boat cruises


RSPB Dorset will be holding boat cruises from November to March 2016 in Christchurch.

Cruises last for about two hours and run from 10am every fortnight, start from Sunday November 1.

Booking is essential. For more information call Paul Derham at Mudeford Ferries on 07968 334441.

September 16, 2015 |

Food Hygiene Rating System improvements in Christchurch and East Dorset


An application by Christchurch and East Dorset Councils to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for a ‘Business Display Grant’ has been successful. Funds of approximately £1800 have been allocated to the councils for a project which will involve auditing the display of the FHRS stickers in food businesses and identifying the businesses who are not displaying stickers prominently.

The stickers, which should be displayed at the front of the business, show the hygiene rating from 0 to 5, with 5 meaning that the business has achieved excellent hygiene standards.

The Food Hygiene Rating System (FHRS) which tells people how seriously a business takes its food hygiene standards.

September 14, 2015 |

Christchurch beach recycling scheme completed


The scheme to replenish beaches in Christchurch affected by the succession of storms during the winter of 2013/14 has involved pumping sand and shingle from the large off-shore sandbar (known as an ebb-tide delta) which lies at the entrance to Christchurch Harbour.
However before dredging operations could commence, the council’s contractor Earlcoate Construction excavated a new navigation channel to allow uninterrupted access to Christchurch Harbour.
Approximately 3,500m³ of sand and shingle was removed during this operation and placed on the tip of Mudeford Sandbank. Christchurch Harbour Association (CHA) then repositioned the green and red navigation buoys to identify the new channel.
Dredging operations produced over 25,000m³ of sand and shingle. Around half of this was transported to Friars Cliff beach, just under a third to Gundimore beach and the remainder levelled out on Avon Beach.
The bulk of the project cost will be met from the Environment Agency/Defra Recovery and Repair Grant in Aid funding.

July 2, 2015 |

Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership publish holiday activity list


Youngsters who enjoy sport and adventure can find swimming timetables and sporting courses at local Leisure Centres: QE Leisure Centre, Ferndown Leisure Centre, Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre, Verwood Hub and Potterne Park.

Lovers of arts, crafts and historical activities will be interested in finding out about events at Walford Mill Crafts, Highcliffe Castle and Priest’s House Museum.

For those wishing to explore other attractions, the Moors Valley Railway, Go-Ape and Wimborne Model Town have programmes of activities to enhance your visits.

The Sting in the Tale Festival of Stories will be once again be bringing a programme of storytelling at venues in and around East Dorset and Christchurch. This year a special storytelling premier will be taking place on Wimborne Square involving aliens, rockets and town trails so look out for ‘Welcomes Alien Visitors to Earth ’ (WAVE).

Summer Blast 2015 can be downloaded from or picked up for free from any of the participating venues.

June 30, 2015 |

Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership Civil Enforcement Officers get electric cars


The Christchurch & East Dorset Partnership has launched two electric cars thanks to funding from Dorset County Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
The two Nissan Leaf vehicles will be used by the Partnership’s Civil Enforcement Officers as they travel between locations across Christchurch and East Dorset.
A grant of £21,000 was given by the County Council as part of the Three Towns Travel project. This was supplemented by a government Plug-In Car Grant of £5000 for each vehicle. The full life cost of the two vehicles over five years will be £36,000 less than two diesel-powered vans.
The electric cars are ideal for the Civil Enforcement officers as their car park duties involve short journeys during the day. The cars can then be recharged overnight.

May 22, 2014 |

Christchurch and East Dorset half-term activities


As part of the Activate Coast & Countryside project, there are a number of taster sessions for people to try their hand at sports they may not have experienced before.
Courses include kayaking at Wimborne riverside, surfing at Highcliffe beach, golfing and mountain biking at Moors Valley and mountain biking at Badbury Rings. Full details by clicking on the Activate link or call 01425 470721.
Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre in Christchurch has activities for children aged 5 to 13 running from 9am to 4pm during the week as follows:
Tuesday 27 and Friday 30 May – Multi Sports days
Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 May – Bounce, Bend & Boogie days
Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 May – Soccer Academy
Details at or call 01202 477987.
QE Leisure Centre in Wimborne is running a Fun First Club on Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 May for over 8s. This offers a daily programme of sporting activities as well as creative arts and crafts. Activities run from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
There is also an Arsenal Soccer School for 5 to 12 year olds from 28 to 30 May and a Mini-Gunners Course for 4 to 6 year olds on Wednesday 28 May.
In addition QE Leisure Centre is offering a number of other sporting courses, including swimming, soccer, free running, trampolining, indoor climbing and tennis as well as dance workshops. Full details at or call 01202 888208.
Children can find a whole host of activities at Verwood Hub – everything from arts and crafts activities to bouncy inflatables, a DJ school, roller disco and children’s cinema.
Emmanuel Sports Hall in Verwood has a trampolining and gym session, a multi-sports session and football coaching. More details of activities at Verwood Hub and Emmanuel Sports Hall can be found at or call 01202 828740.
For kids who like the rugged outdoors Moors Valley Country Park has a number of activities including a family self-led trail based on the popular Percy the Park Keeper story books. Kids can also Go Nuts about Nature from 26 to 29 May between 11am and 3pm. Join the Rangers and volunteers from Butterfly Conservation to take a closer look at bugs, butterflies, and more. Full details at or call 01425 470721.
Christchurch Countryside Service has events at nature reserves in the borough including a Woodland Wildlife Walk at Steamer Point on 27 May, a Digital Camera Workshop for Children at Steamer Point on 28 May, a Minibeast Safari at Purewell Meadows on 29 May, a Priory Marsh Wildflower Walk at Stanpit Marsh on 31 May and a Wildflower Walk at Nea Meadows on 31 May. Bookings and further information from 01425 272479.
Anyone with an interest in Mr Selfridge should visit Highcliffe Castle where the Selfridge Exhibition covers the six years he spent at the Castle from 1916 to 1922. This exhibition records the remarkable rise and fall of the Showman of Shopping and the extravagant spending on pretty women and gambling which eventually led to his downfall. He is buried in St Mark’s churchyard in Highcliffe. Details of the exhibition at or call 01425 278807.

May 16, 2014 |

Christchurch gets new mayor


Cllr Denise Jones has been sworn in as Mayor of Christchurch at the annual meeting of Christchurch Borough Council.

Denise was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire but moved to Lancashire with her parents when she was five. From a very early age Denise wanted to teach and, having gained a BA with honours in History at Liverpool University, she went on to achieve her Teacher’s Certificate.

At the age of 24, she became one of the youngest Heads of History in the country when she was appointed at Elmslie Girls’ School in Blackpool.
In 1981 she married David, also a History teacher, but unfortunately she developed multiple sclerosis and had to take medical retirement. In time she became involved in local issues, becoming Secretary of the local Conservative Ward Committee, and led the fight for a new hospital in the area.

When David’s job brought them south in 1990 she kept her interest in politics and fought Grange Ward in 1999 and again in 2003. In 2007 she was elected Councillor, and was re-elected in 2011. She is well-known as an active campaigner and has inspired the community to work together and with partners such as Sovereign to prevent unacceptable development, provide much-needed but well-designed housing, and to establish a new Community Centre which is due to open in June 2014.

Denise has always been passionate about heritage and from her time at Liverpool University saw the merits and great potential of conserving the country’s industrial heritage. Other causes she has championed include the problems faced by the disabled and the elderly.
Her consort will be her husband, Cllr David Jones.

May 12, 2014 |

Care for Christchurch Campaign


The Care for Christchurch campaign is being launched by Christchurch Borough Council, Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce and Christchurch Police. There are five main parts to the campaign: take your litter home; pick up after your dog; report graffiti; report fly-tipping; and shop locally.

Statistics show that it costs £175,000 of council tax payers’ money to deal with litter in Christchurch every year. That’s money that could be used for other services if nobody dropped litter. Much of this cost is down to dealing with litter on major roads where expensive traffic management measures need to be put in place to collect it.

Further details about the campaign can be found at

April 30, 2014 |
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