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

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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


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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”.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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