Archive for March, 2016

As Easter is  so early this Year Lady Day has been transferred to April 4th.


A panel of the window in our North Transept 

We will have a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 11am, & 6pm  and a ‘Thank you lunch’ for the retired clergy who help maintain services in the Priory Church.

The PCC will have its last meeting of the Year at 7pm.

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We will host the Abergavenny Council of Churches Hustings on Tuesday, April 5th at 7pm.


Taking part will be Nick Ramsay (Con), Veronica German (Lib Dem), Catherine Fookes (Lab) and Jonathan T Clark (Plaid). Audience members will be able to ask questions and each candidate will also give a short introduction to themselves and their policies at the beginning of the evening

The evening’s Chair is Newquest Production Editor, Caroline Woollard.

Election for the National Assembly for Wales: Since its establishment in 1999, the National Assembly for Wales has developed significantly, now holding law-making powers in a variety of fields—including Health, Education, the Environment and Housing. Sixty members are elected to the Assembly, through a mixed member proportional representation electoral system. Forty constituency members are elected through a first-past-the-post system, and 20 regional members are elected through the Additional Member electoral system. Voters will therefore receive two ballot papers for the Assembly elections on polling day.

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We will celebrate Easter on the eve of  Saturday, March 26th and on Sunday 27th.


Easter Eve ( March 26th)

7pm Pascahl Vigil, followed by the Procession of the Easter Light to Holy Trinity where it will be received at the Office of Compline.

Easter Day (March 27th)

8am Holy Eucharist

9.30am All Age Eucharist

11am Choral Eucharist

6pm Evensong & Sermon




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Details of some of the events in the Priory next month.


April 4th 11am & 6pm Holy Eucharist to mark the Feast of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary


Wednesday, April 20th in the Priory Centre at 8.30pm

The Davide Logiri Quartet featuring Ben Thomas – an evening of jazz and original composition

Saturday, April 23rd in the Priory Church at 7pm

The Priory Choir & Abergavenny Borough Band perform  a patriotic programme of music in honour of HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday


On April 5th at 7pm we will host the Abergavenny Council of Churches Hustings, when the various Party Candidates will be available to answer your questions.

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Trustees of the Winston Memorial Fund today traveled to Yorkshire to see at first hand the work on the Jesse Window being undertaken at Barley Studios by Helen Whitaker and her Team.


Commenting after the visit Canon Mark Soady said:

I hope you will all be as bold over when you see the window as I was. Helen has done an amazing job in the way she is using the different colours and shades of glass. Of course the job of painting on the glass is yet to start, so it will look even better when finished .

At the centre of the window is the Christ child, he whose Crucifixion and Resurrection we will shortly celebrate, held by our Patron the Blessed Virgin Mary- she who needed to say yes so our Saviour could be born in order to die and rise again.

The tree window reminds us how God has always intervened in the world he created: to give Moses the law, to feed Ruth, through the Wisdom of Solomon and in our land through the calling of the Celtic Saints.



The Trustees looking very pleased

Helen Whittaker explains that central to the window is an understating of Christ as God and Man:

The dual aspects of Christ are explored through images and relationships connected with the five principal themes: Christ, Kingship,Prophecy,the Church and the Sacrament.


Fr Mark , Project Director Sir Robert Hayman-Joyce and the designer Helen Whittaker

The window is rooted in its location in a Welsh Priory Church by the depiction of the life of seven Celtic saints: Gildas, Beuno, Winifred, Padarn, Non, Teilo and David.

Work in the studio will continue a pace until Mid-May with the installation of the window at St Mary’s expected sometime in June.


Glass painting in the studio




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Revd Canon Aled Edwards OBE, CYTUN General Secretary spoke in our series of Sermons on the 5 Anglican Mark of Mission tonight .


Speaking about the 4th mark: To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation. Canon Edwards, Chair of Displaced People in Action,  told us of his visit to the Greek/Macedonia border where he saw first hand the work of the church in dealing with Syrian Refugees. He also reflected that nearer to home the Government asked the church to help them deal with the effects of the Foot and Mouth Crisis in 2001- for while they had the money and the resources, the church had the bodies on the ground.

He reminded us that the church is called to be prophetic, to “say it as it is’, remembering that sometimes to do so has consequences. Some time those consequences can be fatal, he reminded us , as they were for Bonhoeffer & Romero.

(The full text of the Sermon will be published here shortly)

This week the Holywell Community have been putting the words in to action as they lead a Mission to Merthyr Tydfil.


The Merthyr Mission began with a service at St David’s Church on Sunday led by the Dean of Llandaff, Fr Gerwyn Capon. It ended with a service of thanksgiving led by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, in Abercanaid Community School today.

During the week the Holywell Community have been holding regular prayer sessions throughout the day, from morning prayer to compline, for anyone to join in. They have also been running a range of activities such as pray walks, dramatized Gospel readings, Bingo and natter, cafe church, film night and talks at the parish’s four churches – St David’s, St Tydfil’s, the Quar and SS Peter and Paul, Abercanaid.

You can read previous Sermons in the series here:

Mark 1 : Bishop of Monmouth

Mark 2: Canon Carol Wardman

Mark 3: Deacon Sarah Gillard- Faulkner

Next week Huw Thomas, Head of Christian Aid Wales will address the 4th Mark: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth

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Deacon Sarah Gillard Faulkner looked at the 3rd Anglican Mark of Mission on Sunday evening.


Revd Sarah Gillard-Faulkner

On this Mothering Sunday she noted the role her mother had in nurturing here in the faith, and probably our Mothers had in nurturing us in faith and values.

She said:

Of course this mark of mission comes directly from Jesus’s own lips. In Saint Matthew’s gospel we read:

And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.


Now there is part of me that wants to say “Need I say anymore?” But I’m not sure I’d get away with that.

So I want to ask you: Where were you taught about the faith?

For me it was in built in my upbringing. Like many children of a Christian parents I was taken along to church with them and was put through my paces in Sunday School. . . which was slightly funny for me as my mother, was the Sunday School teacher for a while. And through server training and sitting through endless sermons whilst a chorister by hook or by crook something sank in! And I’m guessing that for some of you this holds a similar truth.

But what about those of you who have come to faith later in life? What is it that has taught you the faith?

But to all of you I ask: Do you feel you know enough about the it? As a teacher I found the need to have a bit of knowledge in able to impart it! And by that I don’t mean a theological degree! I don’t think the 12 disciples were sent to a theological college to be downloaded with academia beyond! No indeed they sat at the masters feet and listened and watched and that is how they learnt.

Now not for a moment am I suggesting that I or any other cleric are the master, but, what I am suggesting is that all of us need constant educating in the faith so that we can go and teach those who have yet to hear the good news, that is the gospel message.

Yes you are asked by Christ as much as I or anyone else who wears the collar to go out and teach! It’s a direct order from Jesus that us to are already are baptised, who claim to be the followers do it. Now don’t be afraid I’m not about to suggest any of you are called through your baptism to get up here and teach from this perspective but I wonder if we all have the opportunity in our daily lives but just haven’t quite seen them.

Just before the start of Lent I took a retreat at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham designed for Clergy. Its over all title this year was Abiding Friendship. It was indeed a good time for those who attended and we were given talks by 3 senior clerics two of whom I am sure you know: Bishop Dominic Walker, Bishop Rowan Williams and the Dean of Worcester Peter Atkinson.

I was struck by how they spoke of the power of friendship, and how when we establish friendship with others we form relationships that are safe places to explore who we are in Christ. Our friendships are places where we have opportunities to learn and grow. I suppose this is the basis behind such concepts as discussion and home groups places where we can learn from each other, in love and support.

Are you friendships not places where you have the power to share what you have learnt from the Master’s feet? Places where you can have conversations with people and share what it is that engages you to be inspired by the Good News of Jesus Christ?

Christ needs this of each of you so that we can move to the next action in my title to baptise. In Baptism we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to be followers of the faith. Of course Baptism is not just for infants! Baptism is offered to anyone who claims Jesus Christ as Lord!

But this is dependant upon us who are already baptised doing our  bit in the spreading of the faith! So here we are in a bit of a catch 22. . . we don’t tell people and teach what we know. . . new believers don’t come forward. . . and what happens to the faith. . . it dies.

But how do we nurture those who seek? Well through abiding friendships! Through the love and nurture of each other we grow. In recent weeks I have heard someone suggest that communities that grow are ones that not only are friendly but are places where friendships can be established. Because in them we learn to grow and be strengthen.

Are our communities places where we can truly say that of them? I’m sure we would like to say they were. . . but are they really?

Ultimately for me this mark of mission for so long has been seen as the work of the cleric, but the gospel account shows us that Christ didn’t just ask this of the clergy but of those who are baptised in his name. The body of Christ,  the church is the vehicle if you like in which we do it. It’s the gathering of friends who can welcome strangers and engage with them nurturing them in Christ’s love.

So I leave you this evening with the question what are we doing both as as individuals and as the church to respond to Christ call to teach, baptise and nurture?


Next week: Canon Aled  Edwards CYTUN General Secretary on Mark 4 “To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation”.

You can read previous Sermons in the series here:

Mark 1 : Bishop of Monmouth

Mark 2: Canon Carol Wardman

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Concerts in March

There are a number of Concerts in the Priory Centre and in the Priory Church this month.

We welcome back Enigma Duo  in the Priory Centre at 11am on Saturday, March 5th for a Family Concert. Kathryn Thomas (Harp) & Laurence Kempton (Violin)

Katherine Thomas will return to  the Priory Centre with the Harp on Sunday, March 20th at 3pm for  concert.

Sunday, March 13th at 2pm in the Priory Church we welcome Pittsburg State University Choir in Concert.The other concert venues on the PSU tour are Bath Abbey, Gloucester Cathedral, the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral and Canterbury Cathedral.


On Good Friday the Priory Choir will perform  a Sacred Concert in the Priory Church at 7pm. Details

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On this the Feast of St David, when we pray for the Welsh Nation and its Government it has been announced that we will host a Husting for National Assembly of Wales Candidates here at the Priory at 7pm on April 5th.


Most of the political parties have accepted an invitation to send one of their candidates to the Hustings organised by Abergavenny Council of Churches and chaired By Caroline Wollard, Production Editor of the Newsquest Group. Encouraging the public to attend  Fr Mark said, “This will give the Candidates the opportunity to be questioned on policy areas of concern to Christians and under the remit of the Assembly including Education, Health, Welfare and social justice”.

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