Archive for July, 2012

Summer may only have just begun, but we are planning ahead. Christmas cards are now on sale at the Tithe Barn with scenes from St Mary’s Priory.

There are two styles of cards one shows a Christmas scene from on of our stained glass windows and the other our Christmas Crib.

One of the card designs

The cards are being sold at £1.75 per pack of 5.

Proceeds from the sale will be divided between the Church and The Hospice of the Valleys

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Next Sunday (July 29) marks the 30th anniversary of the return of the Welsh Guards to RAF Brize Norton after the Falkalands Conflict, this will be marked with a service at 3pm at St Mary’s Priory.

During the servicE a list role of the names of this killed in the conflict will be placed on the Nave Altar. Many Guardsman died after the RFA Sir Galahad was bombed former RSM Major Malcom Evans will read a poem about that atrocity and the widow of the Capatain of Sir Glahad’ sister wI’ll be in attendance.


The sermon will be preached by former Chaplain General of HM’s Land Forces, and one time Chaplain of the Welsh Guards, Ven John Blackburn CB QHC. amonG others taking part will be Lt Gen Sir Robert Hayman-Joyce.


All are welcome to the service.

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Harvest Festival will be celebrated at St Mary’s on the weekend of October 12th -14th.

October 12th 6.30pm: Festal Evensong

Preacher:Can Dorrien Davies, Canon Residential of St Davids Cathedral

October 12th 7.30pm: Harvest Supper

Please book your ticket in advance : vicar@stmarys-priory.org

Sunday, October 14th

8am Holy Eucharist

9.30 All Age Eucharist

11am Sung Eucharist

6pm Evensong

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The Bishop has acceded to Asst Priest Fr John’s request to to be attached to another parish, so he will move toLlantillio Pertholey on October 1st.

 Fr Mark said:
“We wish him all the best for his future Ministry. There will be an opportunity to say goodbye to Fr John after evensong at St Mary’s on September 16th”.

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Speaking at the Town Mayor’s Civic Service her Chaplain Fr Mark Soady reflects on the Biblical definition of Leadership, as the Country comes terms with various stories of abuse of power.

“It was the father in law of Moses, one of the greatest Old Testament leaders, who had to warn him to delegate. As we heard in today’s lesson from Exodus (18) Jethro was horrified to see Moses working from dawn to dusk adjudicating  on hundreds of petty disputes. Jethro points out it was neither good for Moses who grew tired or for those waiting for judgements as they grew impatient.

It is often forgotten that our councillors, especially at Town Council, have an occupation which demands their time and energy

Fr Mark with the Mayor receiving the Olympic Torch

in addition to these council duties. This is true of our new Mayor, who also has to find time to be a mother. So to Sam I say, yes fulfill your duties, but do delegate what you can-if for no other reason than because you have a very experienced Deputy Mayor to whom you can delegate.

Our local government structure is one of delegation of course. I don’t know if the drafters of the 1974 and 1992(is it) Local Government Act had read today’s passage from Exodus, but Moses took his father in laws advice and developed a leadership structure based on groups of 100s and 1000s.So as a Council do only what you are called to do and leave the others bits of government to our County Councillors, AMs ,MPs and peers.

When God created women he did so that we would not be alone, the second time it was said that it would not be ‘good for a man to be alone’ is here when Jethro said to Moses it was not good for him to be alone in this leadership role. While the Mayor is the figured head, the whole Town Council is in it together. Political affiliations apart, you need to support each other in your work, affirm each other in your work so that you and the Town Council may grow, and this Town of Abergavenny continue to improve.

Today’s Gospel shows us how Jesus,the greatest Leader of all time fulfilled his role as Leader. The very first thing he did on coming out of the wilderness to start his public ministry was to appoint fellow leaders-people who could share his ministry with him, and carry it forward here on earth after his death, resurrection and ascension.

The most important lesson that Jesus taught us about Leadership, however, was the model of Servant Leadership. About being a Leader not for ones own gain, but to serve others,many of the recent scandals about the abuse power have been about Leaders using their position to their benefit not the greater benefit.It is good always to hold our Lord and Saviour before us as our model and example of a good leader.

The Bible teaches that good leadership is part of God provision for us.We are called to respect and pray for our Leaders, that is what we are here today to do as a new term of of office for Abergavenny Town Council begins and as Samanatha’s term of office gets under way.

May God bless our Mayor, our Council and our Town”

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Sea Sunday

Sea Sunday: We shall say  ‘thank you’ to seafarers at the 9.30am service 8th July

Seafarers transport more than 90% of the food and goods we use every day, and yet these 1.2 million hardworking men and women are often forgotten.

On Sea Sunday, the Church comes together to remember seafarers and to pray for them, their families and the ministry of The Mission to Seafarers to crews around the world.  As well as raising money to help those who work at sea, the day is sometimes celebrated with services, parades and ship blessings.

As a welfare agency with more than 150 years’ experience of caring for seafarers, the Mission is there to support mariners in need in 254 ports around the world. Away from family and friends for many months at a time, in multinational crews with others who may not speak the same language, seafaring can be a tough, lonely and hazardous career. A life at sea involves working long hours and navigating some of the world’s most dangerous waters. Many risk shipwreck, storms, injury, and pirate attack without a single friend on board with whom they can share their fears.

BBC Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes, who comes from a family of sailors, is supporting this year’s campaign. She recalls a prayer she heard as a child which describes the isolation and vulnerability of the seafarer as something we can all relate to:

“My favourite prayer is a very small one which seems to sum up so much – not just for seafarers, but for anyone who feels at sea in their own lives. It is this: ‘O God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.’

“I first heard this prayer when I was at school, and as I come from a naval family which travelled from one port to another, this prayer said in assembly had a very special meaning for all of us. To think that those we loved were out on the huge ocean in relatively tiny vessels was a frightening thought – unless you believed that God was with them, protecting and guiding, wherever they were. “

Today, Mission to Seafarers’ chaplains provide a global network of Christian welcome and support so that seafarers can unload their heavy cargo of worries. Our seafarers’ centres offer a ‘home away from home’, enabling mariners to contact their loved ones through telephone and email, seek counselling, spiritual support or a welcome break from the routine of life on board.  For those who are unable to come ashore due to port duties or short turnaround times, our ship visitors bring low cost phonecards and internet-linked laptops on board so that crews are not completely cut off.

The Mission is a friend in a foreign port to hundreds of thousands of seafarers every year, and in an emergency, we are often the only help on offer. No matter what problem a seafarer is facing, be it piracy, shipwreck, injury, non-payment of wages or abandonment in a foreign port, they know they can turn to the local Mission to Seafarers for help. Our chaplains and volunteers offer practical and financial support, advocacy services, and access to legal advice, family liaison or simply a space to talk.

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As part of the Diocesan Year of Pilgrimage this years Choir Singing Week starts with three days of pilgrimage of churches along the borders. The week ends with the Choir singing services at Bristol and Gloucester Cathedrals.


Monday 6th Aug                   

Eucharist        St Mary’s                                                 8.00 am

Pilgrims leave on Stage 1 of walk (7 miles)

Men sing Compline at St Issui, Patrishow               6.00 pm


Tuesday 7th                 

Pilgrims leave Patrishow on Stage 2 (6 miles)

Trebles sing Vespers at Llanthony Abbey                5.00 pm


Wednesday 8th         

Pilgrims leave Llanthony on Stage 3 (7 miles)           11.30 am

Full choir sing Evensong at Dore Abbey                   5.30 pm


Thursday 9th              

Evensong        Bristol Cathedral                              5.15 pm



Friday 10th                 

Evensong        Gloucester Cathedral                        5.30 pm



Saturday 11th            

Evensong        Gloucester Cathedral                        4.30 pm



Sunday 12th               

Eucharist        Gloucester Cathedral                        10.15 am

Evensong        Gloucester Cathedral                        3.00 pm


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