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Archive for December, 2014

2015 sees us  marking the 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, in which Welsh bowmen from this area played such a big part. Among those at the Battle was William ap Thomas, who with his wife Gladys are buried in St Mary’s Priory Church.

Bowmen at Agincourt

Bowmen at Agincourt

As part of a  series of activities throughout June at Brecon, Tretower Court and Raglan Castle we will hold our Medieval Family Day on Saturday, June 6th at the Castle. 

On Sunday, October 25th (the actual anniversary day) a wreath will be blessed at a Service at Brecon Cathedral at 3pm and transported to Abergavenny for Evensong at the Priory Church at 6pm, when it will be laid on William ap Thomas’ Tomb.

The Tomb of William ap Thomas and his wife Gladys

The Tomb of William ap Thomas and his wife Gladys

We are excited  to be hosting the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies  Regional Arrangers Competition on June 17th & 18th.

A floral display under construction for our last Festival of Flowers

A floral display under construction for our last Festival of Flowers

Arrangers, in different categories will do arrangements under the overall title of Ancient & Modern.

Spring Half Tern week will see us hosting different Choirs on different days, singing music from different centuries.

In addition to these events we will also mark the great Christian Festivals of the year with relevant liturgies. Our Lent Preaching Series this year will look at the Celtic Saints and preachers will include the Prior of Caldey and Bishop of St Asaph. We are the last stop on the Diocesan Walk with Mary on July 1st before the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham in late August. The Holywell Community are introducing some new church gatherings : Cafe Church at Christchurch on Sunday at 3pm(starting January 11th)  and on Tuesday evening  every month at Hoy Trinity Creative Pray Space (starting January 13th).

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Having toured 5 of the 6 Welsh Cathedrals – and on its way to the National Assembly of Wales- the Glass Quilt will spend January in the Lewis Chapel of St Mary’s Priory Church.

The Glass Quilt at St Asaph Cathedral

The Glass Quilt at St Asaph Cathedral

Created by Anna Bassinet as a space for meditation, it is also hoped to welcome schools and other groups. Commenting on the project she said,:

“The Glass Quilt is above all about light. Light is a powerful symbol which can speak to us beyond thought and beyond our conscious understanding.”

The project is designed in and around a Mongolian Yurt .

Find out more

Canon Mark Soady, Vicar of St Mary’s Priory welcoming the arrival of the Yurt said, “Our Lord is often spoken of as the Light of the World, so as we welcoming this symbol of light we also welcome Christ – and this who follow him in pilgrimage. It is very appropriate that it will be with us for the Season of The Epiphany”.

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There will be some slight changes to times of services (including Monastic Prayer hours) during the Christmas period

St Stephen’s Day (26th)

9am Lauds/Morning Prayer 9.30am Holy Eucharist

St John the Evangelist (27th)

8.15 Lauds/Morning Prayer 9.00am Holy Eucharist

Holy Innocents, Sunday 28th

8am Holy Eucharist

11am Holy Eucharist (Benefice Service)

6pm Evensong

St Thomas Beckett (29th)

No services

Tuesday 30th

8.15 Lauds/Morning Prayer 8.30am Holy Eucharist

New Year’s Eve

10am Holy Eucharist

New Year’s Day 2015

8.15 Lauds/Morning Prayer 8.30am Holy Eucharist

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There will be some slight changes to times of services (including Monastic Prayer hours) during the Christmas period

St Stephen’s Day (26th)

9am Lauds/Morning Prayer 9.30am Holy Eucharist

St John the Evangelist (27th)

8.15 Lauds/Morning Prayer 9.00am Holy Eucharist

Holy Innocents, Sunday 28th

8am Holy Eucharist

11am Holy Eucharist (Benefice Service)

6pm Evensong

St Thomas Beckett (29th)

No services

Tuesday 30th

8.15 Lauds/Morning Prayer 8.30am Holy Eucharist

New Year’s Eve

10am Holy Eucharist

New Year’s Day 2015

8.15 Lauds/Morning Prayer 8.30am Holy Eucharist

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The highlight of the year, this year for us at St Mary’s Priory has been the re-introduction of Monastic life to the Priory. In September we inaugurated the Holywell Community, who follow the spirit of the Rule of St Benedict.

At the heart of the Rule is ‘hospitality’ ..

What as this got to do with Christmas? Well in the Incarnation – in God taking on a human body, as he did that first Christmas – he was welcoming us in to his world as he entered ours.

Flower Festival 2013 design by Janet DAVIES

Flower Festival 2013
design by Janet DAVIES

The Christ child was born in a stable ‘because there was no room for him in the Inn’. We, us humans, could not find a place for God when he toke our form and came to earth; not surprising then, perhaps, we can not find room for our fellow human beings:

– that we can not find room in this country for those who come here as refugees;

– we can not find room in our busy lives for  those who need a little help in their lives

My prayer is we will find room for these people in our lives as we enter 2015.

Blessed Christmas

Hear also the Archbishop’s on refugees

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Let us sing out….

The tradition of carol singing door to door is a result of carols being banned in churches in during the Puritan times, today ahead of a Candlelight Carol Service at Christchurch we sang carols out and about in the Old Peoples Homes of the Town. The Priory Choir also sang Carols in the Angel Hotel.

LLM Jeff and Lay Holywell Community Members lead singing in Cantref Home

LLM Jeff and Lay Holywell Community Members lead singing in Cantref Home

The Residents at Rozelle Nursing home have a sing

The Residents at Rozelle Nursing home have a sing

..and so to Avenue Road home...

..and so to Avenue Road home…

Ami leads the singing at Belmont Home

Ami leads the singing at Belmont Home

Carols by candlelight at Christchurch,North Street

Carols by candlelight at Christchurch,North Street

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Speaking at St Mary’s Priory Church this morning Fr Mark Soady called on the congregation not to be fearful but to step out in faith.

“We have been priveliged to host four school Christmas events here in recent days- many of them portrayed the Nativity with sweet primary school girls  as Angels. For most of us that is what we think of when we think angels, yet the Bible tells us that Mary, Zechariah and the shepherds were all frightened when Gabriel came and spoke to them. For Gabriel is no young person, but to those who met her, he was an alien being. Nothing like they had previously encountered.

-Mary, even though she was probably no older than 12yrs old.

-Mary even though she knew what a big deal the coming of the Messiaih would be.

-Mary even though she was frightened by the Archangel Gabriel coming to her.

said YES! In her saying yes things changed. What would happen if we here and know said YES to God, said yes to whatever God was asking us:

-however frightened we are of the consequences

-however out on the edge it is putting us.

CHristmas13

In the Church in Wales’ 2020 Vision Review we are being asked to think the previously unthinkable, to do the things that may frighten us, so that the Church can continue to grow.

I pray the Holy Spirit will give us the strength and will to do just that – and who knows what might happen then!”

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