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Dorset County Priory Group

The Priory of England and the Islands is one of eleven international Priories of the Order of St John, and our work of providing First Aid Training and Services is carried out on our behalf by our subsidiary St John Ambulance, England's premier first aid charity.

The County of Dorset is of average size (2.542 Sq. Km.) but one of the smallest in terms of population (414,900). There are two major factors however that magnifies the need for St. John Ambulance Volunteers.

First, the large rural area of the County means that it can take longer for the emergency services to attend critical incidents and second, Dorset attracts in excess of 11.4 million person/nights of tourists each year.

We as a Priory Group seek to help and support both our St John Ambulance Staff and Volunteers in the essential work of St. John.

Dorset CPG undertakes the important work of the Priory at a county level and has a wide range of important responsibilities including:

  • Being local ambassadors for St John
  • Working closely with Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant or their representatives
  • Developing strong positive relationships with key local community leaders
  • Overseeing nominations for Honours and Awards
  • Promoting faith aspects of the Order of St John through County Chaplains
  • Liaising with the St John Fellowship and former members who can provide support and help to local CPGs
  • Organising fundraising at a local level in conjunction with the Head of Priory and CPG Affairs and the Fundraising Department
  • Overseeing the maintenance of the St John county archives
  • Helping to support the work of the St John Eye Hospital Group in Jerusalem and St John Associations overseas
  • Arranging an annual Organ Donor Award Ceremony in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)
  • Supporting the work of St John Ambulance whenever possible

Major General Richard Keightley CB CStJ is the group’s Chair and writes:

Dorset CPG is fortunate to have Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant as President of the CPG who contributes readily to Priory activities and fund raising. There is also a close and supportive relationship between the group, the local St John Ambulance District Manager and uniformed volunteers. In summary, Priory affairs flourish in Dorset.’

Reverend Jonathan Still writes:

As County Chaplain I see myself as a link between the local Churches and St John. I am a reminder of the Christian aspect of the organisation, its origins and its tradition. I am available to support members and am involved in County wide religious observances such as the annual Carol Service.

Trevor Vaughan heads up our fund raising efforts and states:

My role with the group has been to organise various ways of raising money and recent activities have included joint funding applications with the Lions’ Clubs to Dorset County Council and the Freemasons for joint funding for a local St John Ambulance Unit. We are very hopeful that we will be successful in our joint venture.


The Chair and Deputy Chair of each CPG are appointed by the Priory Chancellor with other members of the CPG being appointed by the CPG Chair. Membership of the group is usually no more than twelve people and aims to include:

  • Deputy Chair
  • County Chaplain
  • County President
  • HM Lord-Lieutenant (or representative)
  • St John Fellowship representative
  • CPG Honorary Secretary
  • SJA District Manager
  • Members with interests and skills such as fundraising, public relations, archiving and marketing to enable the CPG to deliver its strategy and objectives


There are currently no vacancies.


For more information about the group or upcoming events please contact:

Stephen Frost – CPG Chair Dorset
Tel 01202-840225


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Prepared by GTS (UK) Ltd: DC / DJJ
14 August 2014
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2014