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Archive for June, 2013

SERVICES JULY 1-5

We regret that there will be no Holy Eucharists celebrated between July 1-5

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"In the light" Bishop Dominic arrives

“In the light” Bishop Dominic arrives

The Reception

The Reception

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580172_549401641784302_1163597180_nOn the day he is to host the Diocesan Farewell Service for the Bishop, Fr Mark Soady, Vicar of Abergavenny said “I wish to place on record my thanks to Bishop Dominic for his leadership. He has been a great preacher and teacher, not least in his Lenten Bible Studies. He has been a good Pastor to us pastors, and a living example of servant leadership and monastic hospitality”.

Preparations for Service seating in place

Preparations for Service seating in place

The service will include a special setting of the office hymn for the feast “Hail, harbinger of morn”, written by the Priory’s Director of Music Tim Pratt.  The service opens with the Introit ‘Jesu the ver though of thee’, followed by a Hymn of Thanksgiving “Thy hand o God has guided’ and closes with another hymn of thanks “Now thank we all our God”. During administration of the Holy Communion the Choir wills ing the motet ” Beati quorum via” – Stanford.

Around 200 invited guests will attend a reception in the Priory Centre after the service at which a presentation will be

Food being prepared for the Reception

Food being prepared for the Reception

made to the Bishop.

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The Bishop of Monmouth’s Leaving Service and ‘Do’ will be at St Mary’s Priory, Abergavenny on Monday, June 24th. Each benefice in the diocese will send one lay representative and all licensed clerics in the diocese have been invited.

Among the music to be sung at the service by St Mary’s Priory Choir is:

Introit:             Jesu, the very thought – Palestrina

Motet:             Beati quorum via – Stanford

The Readings for the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist will be used, and the Priory’s Director of Music will write a special setting of the office hymn for the feast “Hail, harbinger of morn”.

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Speaking at the Mayor of Abergavenny, Cllr Sheila Woodhouses’ s Civic Service  at Christchurch, North Street , the Vicar, Fr Mark Soady reflected on the role of the Mayor in the Council’s decision making.

One of the Mayor’s important roles is to chair meetings of the Town Council. Those  who have observed a political  gathering such as this will know that chairing such an event involves a great deal of skill.

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles tells us of a row that developed in the early church (Acts 15.1-35). In order to resolve this row the church leaders called the First Council of Jerusalem  -they created a forum in which all parties could be heard. It is Mayor’s role to ensure that the full meetings of the Town Council are such a forum. Not just a gathering of Councillors, but

Cllr Sam Dodd robes Cllr Sheila Woodhouse as Mayor

Cllr Sam Dodd robes Cllr Sheila Woodhouse as Mayor

a place were all Councillors (our elected representatives) voices can be heard and, therefore the different arguments can be aired. Time must be given for all views to be heard before the meeting move s to make a decision.  In Acts we  read ” After there had been much debate, Peter stood up…”.

As a devout Christian herself I am sure the Mayor will be  herself seeking the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit as  she leads the discussions on these issues. On this day 60 years ago HM The Queen did just that at her Coronation.  Indeed this service exists so that we, the citizens of Abergavenny,  may pray for our new first citizen to be blessed with these gifts.

Also in the account from Acts we read that the leaders- the seniors were listen to with respect and order . In Mark’s Gospel (10.32-45) we are told that as Christian leaders we are called to be servants and not to lord it over others, so we must use this status given to us wisely and not in an overbearing way, but as  a parent may talk to his or her child.

In steering the debate the Apostles tried to tease out a common view – a way forward, that was not the lowest common denominator, but a way that would be acceptable and beneficial to all. Our Mayor is called to do likewise as she chairs meetings of the Town Council. I know from my experience in the field of politics that is easier said and done – but that is why it is necessary to lean on the power of the Holy Spirit. Decisions made in this way are more likely to pass the test of time. In the 1960s and 1970s depending on wether Labour or Conservative were in power our steel industry was in private or public hands. Neither side of that argument I am sure would think it a good thin for the industry to be boomeranged in that way. The lack of stability that constant  change brought would not have helped its economic viability. Proof positive that a consensus can often be more long lasting and more beneficial.

In Mark’s Gospel (Chapter 10) we read how Jesus called little children to come unto him. We need some how to reagin the innocence of childhood and strip off our clock of cynicism. That innocence  will enable us to reagin our openness to other people and their ideas, as well as to God and what he plans for us.

I pray God will Bless our Mayor during her year of office and the Town Council over whom she presides.

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