November is the month of remembrance and we shall be doing just that here at the Priory.


We will remember our departed loved ones at a special service on Saturday November 2nd at 5.30pm. All those whose funerals we have conducted over the past year will be remembered at the Requiem Mass.



We will remember those who have died in the many conflicts of the last Century with a Service here at 10.50am on November 10th.

Our VIcar Canon Mark Soady will lead the Town’s Act of Remembrance from 10.30am in the Town Centre that day and at 11am on November 11th he will lead the County’s Act of Remembrance at County Hall, Usk.



Also we will join people across the world on Sunday November 17th at 3pm as we remember all those who have died in Road Traffic accidents. This service is organised in conjunction with Gwent Police.




The Rt Hon & Rt Revd Lord Williams of Oystermouth (who as Dr Rowan Williams was the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury) will be preach at St Mary’s Priory Church at 11am on Sunday October 13th during a service at which he will be welcomed as Visitor of the Holywell Community.


As the Holywell new monastic Community celebrates its Fifth Anniversary Dr Williams, former Bishop of Monmouth & Archbishop of Wales, will take on the role held by another former Bishop of Monmouth, Bishop Richard Pain.

Although Bishop Rowan became Visitor in April of this year this is his first official visit to The Community. During the service the Prior will present Bishop Rowan with the  Visitor’s Pectoral Cross.

At the time of his appointment as Visitor  the Prior Canon Mark Soady said:

 The Community is honoured to have such a spiritual and learned person as its Visitor. Since the inception of the Community, Bishop Rowan has taken a great deal of interest in us – we are grateful for that.


IT being the  Canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman that day, the Communion Motet contains words of a poem of his They are at rest , set to music by Edward Elgar. The Canonisation Ceremony will be at St Peter’s in Rome, in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.

Dai Gwatkin a Borderlands Rural Chaplain will be our Harvest Guest Preacher this year, and our offerings will go to support the chaplaincy’s work.

UnknownDai is the seventh generation of Gwatkin to farm in the Welsh Marches. His background and his personal experience make him all too aware of the often overwhelming pressures farmers, their families and communities can face.

This year the incumbency is supporting rural chaplaincy through its collections at Harvest services. Borderlands is a genuinely ecumenical venture involving financial commitments from both the Anglican and Methodist churches, with chaplains drawn from both denominations, and a joint governance structure established to support our work.

Borderlands Rural Chaplains work in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Eastern Powys.

They are a confidential, listening ear offering pastoral support to farmers, farming families and agricultural communities.


Services & Lunch

8am Holy Eucharist

9.30am All Age Eucharist

11am Sung Eucharist  Preacher:Dai Gwatkn, Boarderlands  Rural Chaplain

1pm Harvest Lunch in the Priory Centre (Tickets available for the Tithe Barn)



A replica of the Turin Shroud will be on display at St Mary’s Priory Church in time for the Food Festival this year.


The replica of the Shroud on its last visit to Wales at Nazareth House, Cardiff 

The Turin Shroud is one of the most famous, and controversial, images associated with the Christian faith and it will be fascinating to see this replica close up.

The Shroud itself is kept in the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, which is located within a complex of buildings which includes the Turin Cathedral, the Royal Palace of Turin, and the Palazzo Chiablese in Turin, Piedmont, northern Italy.

The replica Shroud  will be on display daily from Thursday, September 19th – Thursday, October 3rd. During this period there will be a programme of devotional activities using the replica.

The origins of the shroud – and how the faint, full-length image of a man could have appeared on it – are still the subject of intense debate around the world.

The many unproven theories include that the image was somehow left by Christ before his resurrection, that it is the work of a skilled forger, or that it could have been generated by chemical residue, scorching or radiation.

In 1988 a radiocarbon dating test was performed on small samples of the shroud, which concluded the samples were dated from medieval times – far too recent for the linen sheet to have been used in Christ’s burial. Those findings have since been questioned by scholars who contend that the sample tested was from a repair made hundreds of year after the shroud was created


On Wednesday, September 4th St Mary’s Priory Church will play host to the leader of the 4 Millions Members of the Anglican Church’s Mothers Union at a service to Install the new President of the Mothers Union for Monmouthshire.

Canon Mark Soady vicar said,

” I am very much looking forward to welcoming to the Priory the first non British person to be the World Wide President of the Mothers Union. She will be the third World wide President to honour the Priory with a visit”


MU World Wide President; Sheran Harper

Mrs Sheran Harper, from Guyana will attend the service on Wednesday morning before being entertained to lunch in Abergavenny. The last world wide President admitted Fr. Mark as an MU member during her visit a few years ago.

Presiding over the service will be The Most Revd John Davies, Archbishop of Wales, making his second visit tot he Priory in under a month.

The new President of MU in the Diocese of Monmouth being installed at the service is   Pat Jarrett from Llanddewi Rhyderch.

Monday 26th August (Pre-reformation) 

St Mary’s Priory Choir 

6.00 pm Choral Vespers (Treble voices) 

Magnificat: Plainsong 

Anthem: O Lux Beata Trinitas – Fayrfax 

7.30 pm Choral Compline (Men’s voices) 

Anthem:: O Quam Pulchra Es—Dunstable 

Tuesday 27th August (16th Century) 

12.15 pm Lunchtime Recital – Pippa Goss (Soprano) 

5.30 pm Choral Evensong Thomas Hardye Chapel Choir Alumni 

Introit: O come ye servants—Tye Responses: Morley 

Psalm: 74 Canticles: Short Service – Farrant Anthem: Ave verum corpus—Byrd 

Wednesday 28th August (17th Century) 

12.15 pm Lunchtime Recital 

Simon Pratt (Baritone) 

5.30 pm Choral Evensong PGS Choir, Cardiff 

Introit: Thou knowest Lord—Purcell Responses: Tomkins Psalm: 119 vv.89-104 Canticles: Purcell in G minor Anthem: Man that is born of woman—Purcell 

Thursday 29th August (18th Century) 

12.15 pm Lunchtime Recital 

Emma Gibbins (Organ) 

5.30 pm Choral Evensong St Mary’s Priory Choir 

Introit: Teach me, O Lord—Attwood Responses: Ebdon Psalm: 78 vv.40-55 

Canticles: Arnold in A Anthem: Ave Maria—Haydn 

Friday 30th August (19th Century) 

12.15 pm Lunchtime Recital William Reynolds (Organ) 

5.30 pm Choral Evensong Festival Trebles’ Choir 

Responses: Goss Psalm: 69 vv.14-23 Canticles: Macpherson in D Anthem: Thou art fairer than the children of men—Barnby 

Saturday 31st August (20th Century) 

1.15 pm Lunchtime Recital 

Kathy Batchelor (Flute) 

5.30 pm Choral Evensong Academia Musica 

Introit: Jesu, the very thought—Bairstow Responses: Rose Psalms: 81, 84 Canticles: Stanford in C Anthem: Greater Love—Ireland 

Sunday 1st September (21st Century) 

6.00 pm Choral Evensong Ethelbert Consort 

Introit: He made the stars above—MacDonald 

Responses: McDowall Psalm: 119 vv.161-176 

Canticles: Truro Service—Stopford Anthem: Now that the daylight dies away – Tim Pratt 

August 26 (Pre-Reformation):

St Mary’s Priory Choir sing Choral Vespers at 6pm (Treble voices)

St Marys Priory Choir sing Choral Compline at 7.30pm (Men’s voices)

August 27 (16th Century):

12.15pm Pippa Goss (Soprano)

5.30pm Evensong with the Thomas Hardye Chapel Choir Alumni

August 28 (17th Century):

12.15pm Simon Pratt (Baritone)

5.30pm Evensong with PGS Choir, Cardiff

August 29 (18th Century):

12.15pm Emma Gibbins (Organ)

5.30pm Evensong with St Mary’s Priory Choir

August 30 (19th Century):

12.15pm William Reynolds (Organ)

5.30pm with the Festival Trebles Choir

August 31 (20th Century):

12.15pm Kathy Batchelor (Flute)

5.30pm with Academia Musica

Sunday, September 1 (21st Century):

5.30pm with Ethelbert Consort

trebles group

Festival Trebles Choir at the Festival Last Year

Entrance to all recitals and services is free