A WEYMOUTH church will be celebrating its 200th anniversary with a sermon preached by the Bishop of Salisbury.

St Mary’s Church, on St Mary Street, will be marking two centuries since its dedication by Dr England, the Archdeacon of Dorset, on Sunday, March 26.

The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam will be joining the congregation, and the wider community, to mark to occasion from 10.30am.

Church warden Dr Jeremy Parkinson said "Anyone who has had any past connection with St Mary’s, such as regular attendance, a marriage, baptism, or attended St Mary’s School will be most welcome to attend. We want to fill the church with memories."

The current Georgian building was designed by James Hamilton, the same local architect who designed the King’s Statue, replacing an earlier building commissioned by King George III.

After the original church fell into disrepair a number of well-known figures, including Princess Charlotte and Reverend George Chamberlaine, donated money for the rebuild which totalled £5000.

Since then, the church has undergone a number of renovations with major alterations taking place in 1922 and 1974.

More recently the church has had a new kitchen and refurbished toilets thanks to a £15,000 grant courtesy of the Dorset Historic Churches Trust.

Within the community, the church supported St Mary's School up until its closure in 1983 and today serves as a base for Weymouth Street Pastors, an outreach service for vulnerable people.

Jeremy, who has been a church warden for 16 years, said: "For many years we had a small congregation but it seems to be growing a bit now and we have seen an increase in recent years. It is quite an old fashioned service with traditional hymns and people seem to like that."

To mark its 200th year, the church team have organised a number of activities including a flower festival to take place on the last weekend in June and a Christmas outreach event organised by Canon John.