Archive for October, 2018

In the week we launched our new initiative Proclaiming it afresh and ahead of Bible Sunday, Fr Tom Bates, Chair of Abergavenny Anglican Churches’ Mission and Outreach Committee outlines the programme for the next twelve months.


The Declaration of Assent of the Anglican Church is a promise made by all Anglican ministers, ordained and lay, which roughly sets out the understanding the Anglican Church as part of “the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” committed to “worshiping the One True God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” It is one of the title deeds asserting what Anglicanism is, and what Anglican Christian’s believe. As part of this it declares that the faith we receive we are called upon as the Church to “proclaim afresh in each generation”.

As this year’s theme for mission we have decided to focus on this phrase which is at the core of our identity, and our calling: ‘Proclaiming it afresh’. It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that mission is something difficult, something we need to have Pioneer ministers and Diocesan Missioners to do, when in point of fact the Mission of the Church is placed very firmly by Jesus in the hands of all his followers. This focus of this year is to rejoice in that fact and to rediscover a mission centredness for all disciples worshipping in our churches.

With the thinking that mission is for ‘professionals’ comes the idea that mission is difficult. As we seek to ‘proclaim afresh’ the message we believe the people of Abergavenny need and deserve to hear we also want to de-bunk the myth that mission is beyond ANYONE who is called to discipleship in our churches. We are called to witness to the story of Jesus Christ and his Good News, and there are literally thousands of ways EVERYONE can be equipt for that ministry through the gifts God has given them.

So over the next year we will be looking at the wide variety of gifts God has endowed us with here in this place. Ways in which we all tell the story Christ has entrusted to his followers.

Last week we were able to welcome the fantastically talented Riding Lights theatre group who came to launch this year with their production of ‘Gospel Street’: A modern retelling of Jesus’ life and teachings, performed to a packed house at Holy Trinity. One of the key ways we were able to reach out through this production was through the generosity of those who sponsored tickets, enabling young people from 7 Corners Centre and Vision of Hope Farm to attend, as well as others from the community.


Riding Lights: Gospel Street – remember your are 1 of the 140 characters

Local artist Jeremy Thomas has kindly agreed to participate in ‘Proclaiming it Afresh’ by setting his amazing talents to producing artworks throughout the year which tell the Gospel story, and which will be displayed at St Mary’s.


Jezz Thomas Paintings- the 1st one nears completion

Cantref School have agreed to set their talents to work by engaging in a literacy project in the spring term which will see them study the parables of Jesus and retell them in their own way to produce the ‘Abergavenny parables’.

During Lent we will be running a study course from the Bible Society which focuses on the shape of Holy Scripture and the ark of our salvation history from Genesis to Revelation.

Godly play will also play an important role as we seek to enable each and every member of our churches to engage with, and feel that they are equipt to tell the story to young and old alike.

During the international ecumenical wave of prayer ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ between Ascension and Pentecost there will be special events and hopefully opportunities to tell your own story, should you wish, through a project like the BBC Radio 4 Listening project.


Next September we are hoping to have a pilgrimage along the St Thomas Way which will look at bringing the year to a conclusion focusing on our part in telling the Christian story which has been told herer in Abergavenny for a thousand years, and our place in that.


These are just a couple of the exciting ideas we have to look forward to in the coming year. I really hope that this will be a great and fun way to engage with mission in this place and that you will find through these opportunities your own way to ‘Proclaim it afresh’ as you journey on your own path.

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Two Choral services are planned for the weekend.

All Souls

ON Friday, November 2nd, All Souls, we will hold a Requiem Eucharist at 7pm during  which we will remember all those who have died during the past year and other departed loved ones.

There will be no 8.30am Holy Eucharist that day.


The Icon on the Lectern in the St Jospeh Chapel


Icon in Memory of Bishop David Thomas

The following morning at 11am Bishop Richard Fenwick will bless and chrismate a new Icon of the Holy Family given to us by the family of the late Bishop David Thomas in his Memory. A Lectern in memory of Bishop David donated by Credo Cymru will also be dedicated at this service.

To obtain tickets for this service please email; Enquiries@stmarys-priory.org

There will be no 9am Holy Eucharist that morning.


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Work has begun on redecorating the Bell ringing Chamber and improving the heating and lighting in there. Coe Stone Ltd and Hurst Electrical needed to find a way to get the scaffolding up there. Given the tower stairs are to narrow they used a hole built- in to erect the bells.


Meanwhile outside the North West entrance work has begun to prepare for the laying new gas pipes for our new central heating system.



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Maintenance and upgrading work on the Priory’s Ringing Chamber and Central Heating System scheduled for the Summer will now take place this month.

Robin Smith the Asst Warden in charge of works said, “October is a quiet month, so a good time to undertake these works before the busy November and December months”.

We do not expect any major distruption to services or visiting times.

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