Archive for June, 2017


After the success of the Easter craft morning at Holy Trinity Church, the Abergavenny Anglican Churches have organised another event, to run the week after school breaks up. The theme will be creation, as a springboard to the Bible Study exhibition on Creation to be staged at St Mary’s  Priory at the Food Festival. The Easter craft day featured glass painting, card-making, stencilpainting and even jewellery making. There were refreshments for both children and parents. This next event will be on Tuesday, July 25, from 10am to 11.30am, to coincide with the usual Little Footprints session. Youngsters must be accompanied by their parents/grandparents or guardian throughout the event, which will be held at Holy Trinity.


The Bible Society exhibition of Creation art will be the centre of St Mary’s offering over the Food Festival weekend.


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For a number of years, Fr Mark and Tim Pratt have been talking about the possibility of running a week-long festival of Liturgical music. The original ideas involved a very full schedule of three services a day with recitals and concerts throughout the week, and as nice as the idea was, it became clear it just wasn’t realistic. However, rather than just abandon the concept, we’ve developed a smaller scale, but hopefully just as effective programme to celebrate the rich variety of liturgical music.

icosa choir.jpg

Each day of the week will feature a lunchtime recital of liturgical music, and then different choirs will sing Evensong; each day’s service will feature music from a different century. The full programme is printed below. It will be great to welcome visiting choirs to the festival, we are particularly excited to be able to host “Icosa” Choir who are from Manchester and comprise a large number of former members of the National Youth Choir. We hope the festival will provoke interest and support both from our local community, but also the wider Anglican church.

The week will kick off with two Pre-reformation Services – Vespers and Compline – which our own choir sing each month through the year, with a Festival Launch reception in between. It promises to be a fascinating and intriguing week – please come along and support the festival!




Day 1 – Monday 28th August (Pre-reformation)

St Mary’s Priory Choir

6.00 pm           Choral Vespers (Treble voices)

6.30 pm                       Festival Launch Reception

7.30 pm                       Choral Compline (Men’s voices)


Day 2 – Tuesday 29th August (16th Century)

Ethelbert Consort

1.15 pm                       Lunchtime Recital – Organ

5.30 pm                       Choral Evensong


Day 3 – Wednesday 30th August (17th Century)

Academia Musica

1.15 pm                       Lunchtime Recital – Voice

5.30 pm                       Choral Evensong


Day 4 – Thursday 31st August (18th Century)

Ethelbert Consort

1.15 pm                       Lunchtime Recital – Voice

5.30 pm                       Choral Evensong



Day 5 – Friday 1st September (19th Century)

St Mary’s Priory Choir

1.15 pm                       Lunchtime Recital – Organ

5.30 pm                       Choral Evensong



Day 6 – Saturday 2nd September (20th Century)

St Mary’s Priory Chamber Choir

1.15 pm                       Lunchtime Recital – Voice

5.30 pm                       Choral Evensong



Day 7 – Sunday 3rd September (21st Century)

Icosa Choir

6.00 pm                       Choral Evensong followed by choral recital

8.00 pm                       Closing Buffet Supper





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“Sometimes we need to take risks” was the message delivered by the Canon Mark Soady at the Monmouthshire County Council Civic Service at St Mary’s Priory Church on Sunday, June 25th.


Using the Parable of the Good Samaritan as the basis of his address he drew a distinction between the religious officials , bound up by their desire to keep to, not just the letter, but the minutia of the law: and the Samaritan, whose driving influence was Love. Fr Mark said, ” I am certainly  not saying we should bin all Health & Safety rules, but we need to approach them wisely. As last week’s disaster at Kensington shows we need rules to protect people, but leadership is about knowing where the line is drawn with regard to rules and regulations. We need to think more about our heart than saving our backsides. We need a balance as in all things.


Jesus Christ the Saviour, who I believe, in allowed himself to hang on a cross so that he, in love, could wipe away my sins, he  didn’t first go and do a risk assessment – and it is He who following the parable of the Good Samaritan orders me/us to ‘Go and do likewise’.

Making mention of the Council Chairman’s Charities he said, “In naming Wales Air Ambulance as one of her charities Cllr Maureen Powell is hoping to support a group who are sometimes called to  take ‘risks in love’ to receive the sick as did the Samaritan in todays Gospel”.

As Refugee week draws to a close Fr Mark pointed out that the other message of this parable is that all humans are our neighbours – even if they look different or behave differently from us. “This Town and County has  a good record of welcoming ‘the alien’ in to their community, I commend this County for its programe of welcome for refugees – long may it continue”.


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Our NSM Curate Revd Jeffrey Pearse was today Ordained Priest  at Newport Cathedral by the Bishop of Monmouth.


Fr Jeff with the Bishop of Monmouth

He will Celebrate his first Eucharist tomorrow at 10.30am at St Peter’s Church, Llanwenarth.


The Bishop vested Fr Jeff following his Ordination.

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The Vicar’s current PA Catherine Jones will leave her post on July 31st and will be replaced by Maggie Pratt on September 1st.

Fr Mark has thanked Catherine for her service and welcomed Maggie:

Maggie joins us with a lot of experience. She is currently secretary to the Priory Development Trust and is a former PA to Archbishop Barry Morgan.

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June 24th/25th

Details how activities over the weekend on June 24/25th effects us at St Mary’s Priory: Ordination, First Eucharist & MCC Civic Service



Among those to be Ordained Priest at the Monmouth Diocesan Ordination in Newport Cathedral during the morning of June 24th is our NSM Curate, Deacon Jeff Pearse.


Deacon Jeff with Fr Mark on Palm Sunday

First Eucharist 

ON Sunday June 25th at 10.30am the Reverend Jeff Pearse will Celebrate his first Eucharist at St Peter’s Church, Llanwenarth. Deacon Jeff’s  former Incumbent from Manchester, The Revd Paul Gully will be the Preacher and Fr Mark will act as Deacon.

There will be no Holy Eucharist celebrated in St Mary’s Priory that morning.

Following the service there will be  a Reception at St Peter’s Hall.


Monmouthshire County Council Civic Service 

The Chairman of Monmouthshire County Council, Cllr Maureen Powell will hold her Civic Service at the Priory Church at 3pm on Sunday, June 25th. Fr Mark her Chaplain and our Vicar will preach.


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Today we said to Farewell to Bishop David Thomas.  The service was attended by a large Congregation, along with 70 robed clergy,  a large number of Bishops including the Bishops of Monmouth, Swansea & Brecon and St Asaph.

The Principal Celebrant at the Service was the Bishop of Ebbs fleet, accompanied by six Concelebrants. The concelebrating priests, had been invited by Rosemary due to their particularly close association with Bishop David, they were The Reverend Canon Huw Thomas, The Reverend Canon Richard Harper, The Reverend Canon Jeffrey Gainer ,The Reverend Canon Keith Evans ,The Reverend Canon Mark Soady (Vicar & Prior)  and The Reverend Nicholas Barry.


Bishop David’s Coffin was received on the Eve of the Requiem Mass

The Lessons were read by John Thomas (Bishop David’s son) and Mrs Sheila Davies (Asst Warden). The Gospel was read by Deacon Sarah Gillard-Faulkner (Sub Prior).

Bishop David’s daughter, Mrs Fliss Barry delivered the Eulogy and Canon Peter Jones gave the address.

During Communion the Priory Church Choir, under the direction of Tim Pratt sung Pie Jesu and In Paradisum from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in D minor. A Hymn written by  Bishop David for his father Bishop Jack, was among the hymns sung at the service.

At the conclusion of the service six Priests Ordained by Bishop David acted as bearers as the coffin was carried out of the church for a private Burial service, while the Choir sung Dyson’s Nunc Dimitis in C minor.

Fr Mark Soady had received Bishop David’s body in to the Priory church the evening before.

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