Archive for September, 2017

Next Sunday, October 1st we will give thanks for the Harvest in the morning, and in the evening the Bishop will License Fr Tom Bates to the Parish.


We will give thanks for the Harvest at:

  • 8am Holy Eucharist
  • 9.30am All Age Eucharist
  • 11am Sung Eucharist. Preacher Revd Mark Lawson Jones, Chaplain to Mission to Seafarers for SE Wales.

Our Harvest offering this year will got o the Work of the Mission to Seafarers.


At 6pm during Evensong the Bishop of Monmouth will License Fr Tom Bates as Associate Priest in the Parish. Fr Tom was a admitted as Sub Prior of the Holywell Community last month.

Fr Tom can be contacted  from next Sunday on subprior@stmarys-priory.org  or on 01873 855889.

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Preaching at St Mary’s Priory today (10.ix) Canon Mark Soady reminded us that we are called by today’s Gospel  (Matthew 18. 15-20) to remove our differences with our neighbour. The Church in Wales’ Mediation Service helps us to do that in the church context.


He said:

Six of the Ten Commandments are about our relationship with our fellow human beings because, as Jesus said, if we can not get relationship right with those we see how can we have a right relationship with God, who we do not see.

So how do we often deal with  a disagreement with a fellow human being? We keep it to ourselves, whilst brooding over the injury. Such behaviour can result in it causing us more hurt, as it festers in our heart. Then we start telling our friends about the hurt – we bring them in not to help heal the situation, but to corroborate our feelings about the situation. Often the last person to hear about the hurt is the person who is causing it.

Today’s Gospel calls on us to do things differently. It tells us to confront the person who does the hurt to us, not in an aggressive way, but in an honest way that clears the air.

However, the Gospel recognises that sometime the hurt is so great that a third Party, a mediator, is needed to help facilitate that conversation – that is just what the Church in Wales’ Mediation Service is there to do.

We as followers of Christ, as members of the Body of Christ are called to live together in peace and love  – Do make use of the organs that are there to help us do that.

Fr Mark is a Member of the Church in Wales Mediation Team.

For more information about the Mediation Service



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A play about the Ladies of St Mary’s has been written as the next contribution to the year of Faith in Art. The play will be performed by local amateur dramatic society in the Priory Church on October 13th.

The group of Lady  ghosts of St Mary’s gather ‘after hours’  for their AGM and in order to appoint a chairman for the coming year tell their stories and swap tales.
The play is  based on the female characters buried in St Mary’s Priory – many of whom where very key players in the local and national stage in their day.
The script writer Liz Davies says
Hopefully it will be informative and vaguely amusing!
The Vicar, Canon Mark Soady
It is great to be able to support our local theatre – and showcase the wonderful local talent we have in this live theatre production. I am relay looking forward to it – and it is rumoured I may have a cameo part.
Tickets priced £5 will raise money to support the local Borough Theatre.

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We will be at the Abergavenny Market during the day on Saturday gathering signature for the Big Shift Campaign petition – do come and see us!


Christian Aid says

In the Paris Agreement of 2015, world leaders pledged to stop global temperatures rising above two degrees.

To achieve this, governments and scientists are united in agreeing that we must move towards a zero carbon economy.

There is also a strong financial case for shifting away from fossil fuels – in 2016, The World Economic Forum identified the failure to tackle climate change as the biggest risk we face.

Investing in renewables helps fight climate change

UK banks manage trillions of pounds of our money. It’s up to us to be interested in how they use it.

Our research shows that the banks managing our money are still much more heavily invested in fossil fuel companies than in renewable energy companies. Our economy has been based on fossil fuels for over 100 years, so we understand that it’s not as easy as simply changing all of their loans and investments overnight.


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The Harvest of the Sea is high on our agenda this Autumn both at the Food Festival and with Harvest Thanksgiving.

Anglican churches in Abergavenny are making their Harvest Thanksgiving offerings for the work of the Mission to Seafarers this year.

Throughout a long and distinguished history, The Mission to Seafarers has grown to become one of the largest port-based welfare operators in the world, providing a service in around 200 ports, 365 days a year, across 50 countries. International Headquarters (IHQ) in London supports over 70 frontline staff and around 100 Honorary Chaplains in addition to an army of Volunteers, who visit ships, offer hospitality, drive minibuses and engage in a range of other welfare activity.

Their vision is to operate a network where seafarers are valued and cared for in the ports where the need is greatest. They are based in Newport and other South Wales Ports

The Chaplain at these Ports, The Rev’d Mark Lawson-Jones will be the Preacher at St Mary’s Priory for our Harvest Thanksgiving Service at 11am on October 2nd.

The Food Festival Fringe Meeting at the Priory Church on the eve of the Food Festival asks What future for fish?

Join leading specialists Dr Rory Moore and Dr Alan Terry as they discuss the urgent need for marine conservation. Their research has thrown light on the present state of Welsh inshore fisheries and the global efforts to create large scale marine reserves. Both in Wales and across the world’s oceans, action is needed now to allow fish stocks to recover and establish sustainable fisheries.

Find out what’s being done to combat overfishing, the destruction of biodiversity and how you can support the future of our global food security.

Doors open at 6.45 for the free talk at 7.30pm.

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We are very grateful to Tim Pratt for organising the week long Festival and for tonight’s composition

The St Mary's Choir Blog

Today the festival drew to a close.  For evensong we were thrilled to be able to host the “Icosa Choir”, who are ” a new and exciting chamber choir which brings together some of Britain’s best young singers.”  They did not disappoint!

Focusing on music from the twenty-first century, we heard a brand new set of responses by conductor, Luke Mather, a wonderfully exciting Magnificat by Alex Woolf, and a beautifully expressive Nunc Dimittis by Nils Greenhow.  The anthem, composed especially for the choir by the Director of Music at St Mary’s Priory, Tim Pratt, was a setting of “When I consider” by John Milton.  This group of twelve very talented singers produced a beautifully blended sound, and sang with great conviction and musicality.

Following evensong, we were treated to a wonderful choral recital by the choir, which included a range of music by British and American composers.  But the piece…

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Festival draws to a close

The St Mary's Choir Blog

Today’s lunchtime recital had to be cancelled. because the choir had been asked to sing at the wedding of our local Assembly Member, Nick Ramsay, at Llandaff Cathedral.  This involved us leaving Abergavenny at 10.00 am, rehearsing at 11.00, singing in the service at 12.00, and finally getting home just after 2.00 pm.  A long day, and we hadn’t even started our festival duties!


After we returned, had a cup of coffee, and relaxed for an hour or so, we were back in church with the Priory Chamber Choir, rehearsing for Evensong.  We were joined today by Huw Morgan, who played the organ for us.  This time we were singing music of the twentieth century; a noticeable shift from the lush harmonies of the nineteenth century, to more astringent harmonies and complex rhythms.  Although the chamber choir only numbered eight, there was some fine singing and the small congregation were fulsome…

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