One of Simon Jenkins’ “1,000 Best Churches” this 13th Century church dedicated to St. Laurence stands in an idyllic situation on the banks of the River Piddle in the Parish of Affpuddle and Turnerspuddle and lies in the West Purbeck Benefice (Wool and East Stoke, Bere Regis and Affpuddle with Turnerspuddle). It is justly renowned for the carving of its pew ends thought to have been done by a 16th century incumbent and for those on the pulpit done at a later date. Over the centuries there clearly have been numerous alterations and “modernisations”. The last major restoration was in the 19th century but quite extensive work was also carried out under the patronage of Sir Ernest Debenham in the nineteen twenties and thirties. Sir Ernest also presented a number of artefacts including screens and figures carved by the East Anglian craftsman Loughnan Pendred. The church can seat just on a hundred in the pews but this can be increased to a hundred and fifty with the use of occasional chairs.
Rotas of volunteers from the surrounding villages maintain the church and churchyard. More volunteers are always welcome and any resident willing to join in this work should contact one of the Churchwardens for further information.
Holy Trinity Church, Turnerspuddle, has been declared redundant and has passed into the care of members of the Debenham family. However Evensong and other services are still occasionally celebrated there. The font was moved to Affpuddle for safekeeping following bomb damage in WWII and was returned to Turnerspuddle in 2007. The communion silver has passed into the care of St. Laurence’s Affpuddle where it is still in use.