Archive for August, 2017

The Installation of Stephen Hughes CStJ , FCA, CF as the new Chancellor of the Priory of Wales for the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem will take place here at the Priory Church on Saturday, October 28th.  The service will also see Daniel Lyons OStJ handed his Warrant  as Commissioner of St John’s Ambulance in Gwent. 


The Chancellor 

The new Chancellor is Stephen Hughes of Grosmont. A former High Sheriff for Gwent, he previously served as Vice Chancellor

The role of the Chancellor is to exercise responsibility and accountability through the Priory Chapter, for the efficient running of the Priory for Wales, with the assistance of the Principal Priory Officers, the Chief Executive and his Senior Management Team.

County Commissioner

St John (Wales) is the leading First Aid Charity and the Volunteers are arranged in to County Areas overseen by a County Commissioner.

Daniel has served St John in a number of roles including National Youth Development Officer.  He was promoted to be an Officer of the Order last June.

The Chancellor (left) and Gwent County Commissioner (Right) with the Lord Prior

Pro Fide: Pro Utilitate Hominum


St John is a major international charity which provides first aid, health care and support services in over 40 countries around the world. Together they make up the Order of St John, which is accredited to the United Nations.

St John Cymru Wales celebrates its centenary in 2018. Last year its 4,000 volunteers carried out 200,000 hours of volunteering at 3,500 events across Wales.

In addition to St John’s Ambulance the Order’s charitable work is carried out by the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.

The Order of St John itself is an Order of Chivalry of the British Crown. Her Majesty the Queen, the Sovereign Head of the Order, honours individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the work of St John, by awarding membership, at different grades, in the Order.


The Order is a Christian Order, founded on Christian principles and all they do is inspired by Christian ideals. However they warmly welcome people of any faith or no faith, who are motivated to share in their mission.

Our Vicar, Canon Mark Soady MStJ is Chaplain for the St John Gwent Council.

The Service which starts at 3pm is ticket only, but there will be displays of St John’s activities across this site for the public to view.


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A week of celebrations is planned for the Festival of our Patron Saint the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Our Lady is featured in a number of the windows in the Priory Church

On Tuesday The Feast Day itself there will be aqcelebartion of the Holy Eucharist at 8.30am.

On Sunday, August 20th at 11am the Bishop of Monmouth will Celebrate and Preach at a Sung Eucharist during which the Holywell Community will Commissioned  for the coming year. The service will be sung by the Priory’s Holiday Choir. In attendance will be  Civic Leaders and two sisters representing the Ty Mawr Convent.

Following he service there will be  a Picnic Lunch on the Vicarage Lawns.

There will be no 8am and 9.30am Service next Sunday, but Evensong will be sung at 6pm.

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Rochester – Day 6

The latest news from Rochester

The St Mary's Choir Blog

We knew that today was going to be demanding before it started, and we weren’t disappointed!  We arrived at the cathedral at 9.00 and had to creep in as there was a morning Eucharist under way.  Up in the Gundulf tower we set to rehearsing, aware that on Sunday morning rehearsal time would be very short, so we had four services to prepare.  After 45 minutes, the music for today’s Evensong was sorted, so we had a short break whilst I went to set some things up on the organ.  Tomorrow we have a visiting organist, but today we hadn’t, so it meant a swap of roles.  I would play, and Simon conduct.  Here’s what you see, sat at the console.


We then went back to the tower and rehearsed all the music for tomorrow until it was finished – nearly midday!


Then it was time to go off for…

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Rochester – Day 5

So Fr Mark arrives to see us

The St Mary's Choir Blog

During the night, the rain had stopped….finally!  We woke up to blue skies and even some warmth!  The energetic took the opportunity to go off with Doug and indulge in some strenuous exercise before breakfast!

Others decided to use the time to sleep in!  Either way, we all gathered in the cathedral at 9.15 am for our morning rehearsal.  Today’s evensong was to be unaccompanied, so we spent most of the rehearsal working “a capella”.  More work on the Tallis – we’re getting there!

Then, back to the flats for a quick bite of lunch before some went off to try another “Escape room”, and the rest of the younger choristers, plus some who weren’t quite so young went to “BattleSectorX” for a game of laser-tag. Actually they ended up playing three games as the place was quite quiet, and they made us an offer it would have been silly…

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Rochester – Day 4

Yesterday was the choir’s day off, sounds like they had a good day

The St Mary's Choir Blog

Today was our day off, so we had a chance to do something a bit different, and not have to rush back for Evensong.  To celebrate the change of routine, there was no early morning run, and slightly more leisurely feel for some.  However, for our trebles there was a special rehearsal to learn some extra music for the Festival of Liturgical Music (28th Aug – 3rd Sept) at St Mary’s Priory.  Then we were joined by the rest of the choir for the opportunity to do some more work on the “Mass for Four Voices” by Tallis – this time the Gloria.  By the end of the rehearsal, not only were we able to sing it through unaccompanied, but it stayed pretty much in tune.  Considering how tired a number of people were, that was no mean achievement.

Then we walked back to the flats, before setting off on…

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With the Priory Choir at Rochester…along with many of the Parish officials building work goes on back at the Priory.

We have taken advantage  of the choir being way to do some repairs to the roof and wall of the Music Room.


Also work on the Lewis Chapel roof is well underway. Regrettably we have had to cover up the star attractions in the Lewis Chapel while work is on going. The Jesse window is not visible, but Jesse itself and Dr Lewis’s Tomb can just be viewed .



An inspection of the roof happened earlier this week. See the old Chimney pot?


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Report of Day 3 of the Choir’s Week in Residence

The St Mary's Choir Blog

We were promised rain, and we weren’t disappointed!  Although as the sun came up, and the runners returned from their “gentle” exercise, there were gaps in the clouds. They soon filled in, and although we were able to walk to the cathedral in the dry, as we came out at about 10.30, the drizzle had started.


So, we had a (relatively) leisurely start to the day with the morning rehearsal not starting until 9.15. am instead of 9.00 am.  By 10.30 we had finished all the music for the day, and worked on the Sanctus and Benedictus by Tallis.  The over 14s had decided to undertake an “Escape Room” activity, whilst the trebles were due to go ten-pin bowling.  However, by now the rain had started in earnest, and by the time we got to the bowling venue, so had half of Kent.  The result was that no bowling lanes…

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