Archive for January, 2012

Outreach developed


Following the successful concert last Friday evening which raised around £1,000 for the Benoni Clinic. Fr Mark this morning met with Anne Parr (Highveld Link Coordinator) and Margaret Banks ( the concert organiser) to discuss other ways in which we can help the church in South Africa in its  social justice work.

Schools work

Later Fr Mark will meet with John Bartlett (Learning Services Coordinator) to discuss developing the work of the Learning Services. In addition to the round of school visits a Carnival band –  young people’s musical activity (May 11th) and a Medieval Fayre ( June 16th) are in the diary for this year already.

School visits

Having visited Henry VIII Comprehensive School in the Autumn Term, Fr Mark will start his visits of the Town’s Primary Schools tomorrow.

Refugee Hostel

The St Mary’s Mothers’ Union Branch are today delivering their latest stock of food, woolen clothes and toys to the Newport Hostel for Refugees

Read Full Post »

The Hymns at the Service next Sunday evening (February 5th at 6pm) on the Eve of HM The Queen’s 60th Anniversary of Accession are:

Immortal, invisible God only wise. Including a verse writen by the former Dean of Monmouth, Bishop Richard Fenwick for HM Queen Elizabeth,  The Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. It was used by the Queen in her Christmas Message to the Commonwealth that year.

The Lords my Shepherd. The hymn Crimond was unknown south of the border until The Queen chose it for her Wedding to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. This hymn is believed to be HM favourite.

All people that on earth do dwell. The Offertory Hymn at the Queen’s Coronation in 1953


Read Full Post »

Sixty years ago on February 6th HM The Queen, then in southern Africa,  heard that she had become our Queen following the death of her father, King George.

The Anniversary will be remembered on its eve February 5th with a Special Service at St Mary’s Priory Church at 6pm. The lessons  at the service will be read by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Gwent and HM’s High Sheriff of the county. The Priory Church Choir will sing Handel’s  ‘Zadok the Priest’ the anthem sung at the Queen’s Coronation.
The Vicar, Fr Mark said , “I hope all the townspeople of Abergavenny will come out to give thanks to God for Her Majesty’s sixty year reign – we have much to be thankful for in her example of leadership and service”.

Read Full Post »

Holocaust Remembered

A candle is light at St Mary's Priory

 Along with the rest of the World the people of Abergavenny ( along with their Chair & V Chair of the County Council, AM & MP) remembered the victims of the Holacaust this morning by lighting a candle for those slaughtered in genocide.

Having remembered with the help of students and staff from Henry VIII School, those present pledge to ensure it would not happen again.

Read Full Post »

People interested in church history can now view and research more than 2,000 stained glass windows from hundreds of churches in Wales online, including 3 windows from St Mary’s Priory Church..

From medieval to modern, the windows have been photographed and catalogued in a project by the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. The website allows all the windows to be searched thematically by date, artist or location.

The project was initiated by the artist and photographer Martin Crampin. He says, “Stained glass is part of the visual vocabulary of many of our churches, and a pictorial manifestation of the church’s faith and tradition. Yet often little is known of the artists or studios that made them, and sometimes the meaning of the windows is unclear to those that worship in their midst today.”


Visit the site

Read Full Post »

A Man of Words

Caroline Woollard’s tribute to Dean Jeremy Winston at the Memorial Service in St Mary’s Priory on Saturday 21st January 2012. Tributes from Bishop David Thomas and the Lord Rowe-Beddoe can also be found on the blog.

Father Jeremy was a man of words – which may seem an odd thing to say given that he was a priest and words are priest’s stock in trade. But there are wordsmiths and then there are wordsmiths. And Father Jeremy knew the power of words – the power to comfort, to bring joy, to teach, to make you laugh, to inspire, to change your life for the better, to heal …. and to do exactly the opposite. Above all, he knew their power in the sacraments, to bring the Word of God to the people of God.

I’d like to share with you two pieces of writing – the first by Father Jeremy and the second by the 17th century poet whose writing Jeremy called ‘tantamount to the best in the English language’.

The poem Dust was written by Jeremy after the death of Private Richard Hunt, a Welsh Warrior who grew up just outside Abergavenny, and who was the 200th soldier to die in the current campaign in the heat and dust of Afghanistan. He died of wounds sustained while on vehicle patrol inHelmandProvince as a result of an improvised explosive device.

The second is Peace by Henry Vaughan, the last line of which has particular resonance for this church.



by Jeremy Winston

Dust that is grey is always grey – grey when heated and scorched,

when damp and sepulchral – grey, grey, grey.

Wretched and mean, lifeless and vague

harbouring deceit, distortion and misery.

Lay it here – no one will see, no one will know,

until the happening.

And then, as if by miracle, everyone will know of unheard tracks

cross unknown abyss – told out to every nation.

Whirl, whisk, went, womb, weep – and dust…

And dust in eyes of those whose hands scooped out the graceless grave;

whose vacuous ideologies stoop to nothingness – no purpose.

And dust in eyes of shoulderers – no task fulfilled, their young hearts shaken.

And dust in minds, in pockets, and in palaces – e’en the mighty shall fall!

And dust that sweeps across the valley floor,

that grits both eyes of lovers and the loved.

That grey, grey dust, that knows no barrier, no border.

The dust scooped out once more – across a river, where roots find life.

No longer graceless, or grave.

The dust in eyes and hearts giving way, dimness no longer.

Laid heroically, heroically laid.

And the dust is shaken off – and he lives.


© Jeremy H Winston




by Henry Vaughan


My soul, there is a country
Far beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry
All skilful in the wars:
There, above noise and danger,
Sweet Peace sits crown’d with smiles,
And One born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files.
He is thy gracious Friend,
And—O my soul, awake!—
Did in pure love descend
To die here for thy sake.
If thou canst get but thither,
There grows the flower of Peace,
The Rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress, and thy ease.
Leave then thy foolish ranges;
For none can thee secure
But One who never changes—
Thy God, thy life, thy cure.

Read Full Post »

Lord Rowe-Beddoe has agreed to act as Chair of the Dean Jeremy Winston Memorial Fund.

Lord Rowe-Beddoe at the Dean's Service of Thanksgiving

The fund has been set up to create a permanent memorial in the Lewis Chapel of St Mary’s Priory Church, where Fr Jeremy served as Vicar for 18 years.

Donations to the fund should be made out to St Mary’s Church, Aberagvenny and sent to the fund at St Mary’s Vicarage, Abergavenny NP7 5ND.

Lord Rowe-Beddoe of Kilgetty  is Chair of the Representative Body of the Church in Wales and was the Chair of the Wales Millennium Centre.

He also serves as Pro-Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan and President of the  Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

Read Full Post »

Shortly we will celebrate the Feast of Candlemas when we remember the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple – the occasion when the old Priest Simeon uttered the words of the Nunc Dimittis.


It is right and proper that as we remember our Lord’s visit to the Temple we think of all who work in different ways in our worshipping community. We think if of our clergy, Wardens, Readers, Lay Eucharistic Assistants, musicians, cleaners and all who serve in this place.

It is also an opportunity to remember with thanksgiving those who have served this church, community and nation throughout the centuries. We think particularly of all the faithfully Priests and Priors who have served here. We remember Dr David Lewis, First Principle of Jesus College, Oxford; the Herbert family and their influence on Tudor Britain; and all  who are buried or commemorated with in the precincts of this ancient Priory Church.

This Sunday evening at 6pm we will pilgrim to various points in the church and remember our Lord’s earthly journey and the journey of St Mary’s Priory Church down the centuries.

This is our first of many 2012 Pilgrim Year events – do join us!

Read Full Post »

A Fund to create a permanent Memorial to Dean Jeremy was launched today at his Service of Thanksgiving.

The Fund will enable a permanent memorial to Dean Jeremy to be erected in the Lewis Chapel at St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny where he served as Vicar for 18 years. The sum of over three thousand pound collected at the Service of Thanksgiving will kick off the fund.

Dr George Nash the Priory Church’s Honorary Archaeologist-in-Residence will publish a book of essays  in Memory of Dean Jeremy and the proceeds from this sale will go to the fund.


Donations to the fund should be sent to the Dean Jeremy Winston Memorial Fund, St Mary’s Vicarage, Monk Street, Abergavenny NP7 5ND. Cheques should be made payable to St Mary’s Church, Abergavenny.


Read Full Post »

Jeremy Winston was a student at St Stephen’s House while I was on the staff. Since he occupied a room directly above Rosemary’s and my bedroom, I couldn’t help knowing that, although alcohol was strictly forbidden in student rooms, Jeremy often had some of his pals in for a night-cap at weekends! I decided it might be wise to take no notice – but there came a night when the party was still in full swing at 2 a.m. and the noise unbelievable. I put on my dressing gown, climbed the back stairs, stormed into Jeremy’s room and read the riot act to the youthful revellers within. Jeremy took his revenge by planting a rumour that, when he broke up Jeremy Winston’s birthday party, the Vice-Principal had been wearing matching Rupert Bear slippers and pyjamas!

Jeremy left Oxford for a title at Bassaleg in 1979, and I finally returned to Wales eight years later. By then, Jeremy was Vicar of St Arvans where he had beautified the church almost beyond recognition. I wasn’t surprised in view of his musical and aesthetic gifts and his skill with words that he had been appointed to membership of the Church in Wales Liturgical Commission. As things turned out, we were to work together on that Commission for more than twenty years and shortly before he died Jeremy became its chairman. His chief contribution to liturgical revision was his work on the baptism and confirmation services in the late 1980s. THhe experimental forms for which Jeremy was largely responsible were models of pastoral sensitivity and structural tidiness; they commended themselves quickly throughout Wales and paved the way very effectively for the definitive forms of 2006.

Rosemary and I moved to Abergavenny in May 1997, a few months after my ordination as bishop. Our decision to come here was dictated by the need to live somewhere with reasonable access to every corner of Wales. The fact that the vicar was a friend of more than twenty years’ standing was certainly a bonus but not a deciding factor, while the fact that Jeremy and I thought similarly about controversial questions had absolutely no bearing on the matter. It would have made no difference, after all, if our views had differed radically, for Jeremy never allowed such things to get in the way of his human relationships. He always recognized that, while we must never abandon our quest for the truth, a fundamental question for us Christians concerns the way we handle our disputes and disagreements. He set us a fine example in this as in other ways as well: I for one shall never forget his courage in proposing and championing the so-called ‘Kirk-Winston amendment’ to the draft legislation on women in the episcopate in 2008 and the way he travelled all over Wales during the following winter promoting an important series of booklets in whose production and publication he had been instrumental.

As I remember Jeremy today in this great church where his name and memory will always be honoured, I think of the ordinations and other special services we held here. He had the rare gift (essential on such occasions) of being able to keep both the broad sweep and the tiny details in view. He understood how to handle huge congregations (1200 at one ordination); he understood that liturgical dignity requires careful attention to ceremonial detail; he understood the special place that good music occupies in Anglican worship. Had he lived, Dean Jeremy’s contribution to the worshipping life of St Woolos’ Cathedral would have been enormous.

But let’s not end up dreaming about what might have been. That would be futile. Instead, let us rejoice that the song our priest and friend sang in this life is now the music of his very being; it is the new song of the redeemed, that Spirit-filled psalmody that St Augustine said delights the ear of God because it is ‘not sound but love, non clamor sed amor…’  May Father Jeremy rest in the peace of God’s love and may Christ the conqueror of death raise him up in glory. Amen.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »