Archive for August, 2018

Yesterday ringers from across the Dioceses of Monmouth and Llandaff rung the Priory Bells to mark the 70th Anniversary of their Dedication.


The Bells were erected in 1948 to celebrate victory at the end of World War 2.

The ringing yesterday morning was a peal of 5039 changes of Grandsire Caters rung by members of the Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Dedication of the bells of St Mary’s.  Eight of the ten ringers were from the Monmouth Branch of the Association.

The band comprised:
Helen Phillips. (Conductor)
Andrew Phillips
Barry Hayman
Anne Hayman
Jonathan Lewis
Matthew Turner
Michael Hoult
Peter Munday
David Moore
Harriet Moncrieff


St Mary’s has a thriving group of bell ringers, who meet to practise at 7pm on Monday evenings. The bells are rung before the 11am Parish Eucharist on Sundays and also at weddings and other special occasions. Bell ringers from all over the country visit St Mary’s to ring.

If you fancy a rewarding new hobby, or have rung before and would like to come back, come and see us on a Monday evening.

If you would like more information about bell ringing at St Mary’s, please contact: Mike Hoult (Tower Captain)
Tel: 01873 852427 or email:mike.hoult1@btinternet.com


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The Pen-ultimate day

The St Mary's Choir Blog

With many of the adults deciding to stay in Gloucester, we decided it would be easier to go straight there, and rehearse in the Education Centre.  So at 9.00 the minibus left St Mary’s on what should have been a fairly straightforward journey.  And so it was until we got two miles out of Gloucester.  Whilst the treblettes were busy informing us “I can see the cathedral!”, we were gloomily observing a long queue of traffic.  It turned out that the Highways Agency had decided that today was the day to close the main road into Gloucester and resurface it.  So we sat and inched our way forward and, not being able to go in on the usual road, went round the bypass (eventually) and into the centre of Gloucester, and thus, finally to the cathedral. So our rehearsal started about 30 minutes late.


This was unhelpful as we had…

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The St Mary's Choir Blog

Today had to start quite early as we had no organist, so that duty fell to the Director of Music and that in turn meant that we had to get to Gloucester for 9.00 to take advantage of the small amount of time allowed for organ practice, which has to finish by 10.00 am.  So at just past 8.00, we set off as far as the station to pick up Emily, and then on up the dual carriageway to Gloucester.

Here, the organ was duly practised and Simon rehearsed the choir before haring back to Abergavenny to play the organ for a funeral.  Back in Gloucester we turned our attention to other music, specifically the pieces by Woodward that we are singing tomorrow.  These may not have been sung since the late 1700s, and the 1771 editions are in Gloucester Cathedral Library, from which our edition was created.  Here’s a…

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Singing Week – Day 3

The St Mary's Choir Blog

I’m sure the choristers appreciated their extra half-hour in bed; others of us though had to be up early to deal with work matters before the choir day began……  Nevertheless by about 9.45 the rehearsal began, with Simon taking the first part, dealing with the psalm and hymn.  Then we did the anthem and canticles…and responses.  There was still time to take a look at some music for Saturday before we were due to leave.  I had carefully planned a strategy to ensure we could leave promptly after the rehearsal, despite the fact that there was a funeral taking place in church.  So, I’d moved the minibus to the front of the church to avoid having to work our way around the courtyard, only to find that the undertaker had parked one of his cars just in front of us.  So the quick getaway turned into a twenty minute wait…….the…

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The designer Michelle Rummney used the medieval practice of ‘Measuring to the Saint’ to create this large artwork. 39119372_2073762979348153_3935425907090522112_n

Telling the tale of William Cragh as she went, she measured over 250 people (and one great dane and a teddy bear) with string. In her studio she coiled each string into a spiral, She stitched a cross over each one, before stitching them together.

She also measured Hereford Cathedral’s Mappa Mundi, a wonderful account of how people saw the world – and has included a few people, places and animals from that too.

When they finally arrived at St Thomas’ shrine at Hereford Cathedral, pilgrims would stop beside the map and gaze at this fantastical world whilst guides would tell them stories about the characters and places in it, some from the Bible, and others, from myths and medieval folklore 

This artwork is the centre piece of the Exhibition which is on display at St Mary’s Priory Abergavenny untill September 2nd. 
Small pieces also make up the display and are located in the Benedict Chapel.

There  are two ropes, curled at the head of the tomb in the centre of the chapel

These two strands cut from the same rope are identical in length – the length of the artist when ‘Measured to the Saint’. The lines they each take are not nearly the same, and they are separate, but there are many connections between them. Can two people’s journeys ever really be the same? 

Also there is coloured cotton thread – artist’s length – on paper 

Notice that there are also lengths of string on some of the tombs in this chapel – they have also been Measured to the Saint, and a prayer said for them

More information about the St Thomas Way Here

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The St Mary's Choir Blog

Time to add in the rest of the choir!  Today we had 34 singers in the choir, quite an increase on yesterday’s 10, and they made a very healthy sound!  Our morning rehearsal allowed us the chance not only to go over today’s music, but also to look at some music for later in the week.  A good loud passage, and you suddenly realised just how many people were in the room!


After that, we went our separate ways, with the trebles (and a few others) in the minibus heading straight off to Gloucester, whilst the adults took their time and travelled under their own steam!  Mairwyn had managed to find parking at a local congregational church for choir members, a great relief as the alternative was to pay anything up to £14 for a day’s parking.

Once in Gloucester, the over 18’s headed off to an “escape room”, whilst…

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An image of the Holy Family Icon, Commissioned by the family of the late Bishop David Thomas for St Mary’s Priory has been released to mark the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary today.

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The Icon which was completed this week was written by Br Michaël of Mucknell Abbey. The Icon along with the Lectern donated by Credo Cymru in Bishop David’s Memory  will live in the Joseph Chapel at the Priory Church.

On seeing the photo of the Icon, Canon Mark Soady was seen to say “Whaw!!”, he continued:

“Earlier this year Br Michaël wrote an Icon of St Benedict for us, this if anything is more powerful than that. I very much look forward to collecting it and placing it in the St Jospeh Chapel”.

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