Archive for February, 2019

We are marking the Feast of St David over the weekend of March 1st and 2nd.


March 1st

8.30am Holy Eucharist (Bi-lingual)

7.00pm Choral Evensong


During the day the Welsh Language Centre (Canolfan y Degwm) based in the Tithe Barn has an open day when people can pop in and and taste its activities.

The Priory bells will ring throughout the day, with thanks to ringers  from  across Wales.

March 2nd

10am Yr Offeren – a Welsh language Eucharist at our sister church of St Peter’s Llanwenarth., followed by refreshments.


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For two weeks each year, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to celebrate the people who grow our food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid. This year’s fortnight focuses on fair pay for coco farmers .



At our daughter Church of Christchurch, North Street we will host a Fair Trade Coffee morning on Thursday, March 7th.

Fair trade will be featured at our Parents and Toddler Group Little footprints on Tuesday, March 5th. We will be playing at cooking fair trade food….and having pancakes at snack time.


They deserve £1.86

£1.86* is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p** a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty.

For the women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and transport the cocoa beans to market but often with fewer rights than men.

This is why we at Fairtrade are campaigning for a living income to become a reality for cocoa farmers in West Africa. If we can work together with governments, chocolate companies and retailers to make the commitments and policies necessary, then we can make it happen. Read more

We are a Fair-trade Church

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TODAY’S Sermons at St Mary’s Priory Church looked at the Question of calling.  In the morning Canon Mark Soady  reminded us we are called out of our frailty a message repeat by Br Sebastian at Evensong.


Fr Mark spoke on today’s Eucharist Readings Isaiah 6.1-8 , 1 Corinthians 15.1-11 and Luke 5. 1-11 all which speak  of not only  callings in different contexts, but about the callers reaction.

“Isaiah expresses doubt that he has the right gifts of public speaking to be  prophet; St Paul wonders if his track record rules him out; and St Peter is called minutes after failing to achieve his ‘ performance targets ‘ as a fisherman”,

said Fr Mark.

Having confessed to himself feeling inadequate to be called to ministry Fr Mark, urged the congregation to think what gifts God had given them that they could use to proclaim his Gospel and bring his kingdom to Abergavenny in the  here and now – and then to trust in God in the using of them.

Quoting the words spoken by Cardinal Basil Hume on his appointment as Archbishop of Westminster,” There are moments in life when a person feels very small.This is one such moment for me.”; Fr Mark said “if we could all accept God’s call in that spirit then we open ourselves up to God to fully use as as He wills. ”


In the evening sermon Br Sebastian, on the occasion of his 20th Birthday, reflected:

The story of the Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson is one many people know. Despised and rejected the little bird journeys through the world seeking the place where he belongs. He is different to those around him and for one so small and tender he is subjected to more than his fair share of the bullying and rejection he goes through. However he never thinks that  he will become a beautiful swan. Indeed he throws himself at the swans mercy thinking that it is better to be killed by such beautiful birds than to continue a life of pain and rejection. Of course in the story, the swans don’t peck him at all, but welcome him as one of their own. Finally he has a place he belongs. No longer an ugly duckling but a beautiful swan. All the suffering and hardships passes and his true beauty is revealed.

As Christians we too can feel rejected by the world, just as Jesus was. In our reading from Colossians today Paul tells us to ‘seek the things that are above’. As Christians we all aim for this to be the case in our lives but sometimes we fall short. Like the ugly duckling we can see all the ugly things about ourselves and want to give up. We feel we will never belong.

Perhaps we look at Jesus and the saints and think of them like the beautiful swans to whom we can never hope to belong, as weighed down by sin as we are.

I was in a bad place once and I just wanted to give it all up, I was so lost in my thoughts and I couldn’t find any happiness. I have always known about God, but I didn’t think much of him at first until the day I started praying and reading about God’s love.


In March four Lay people from the local Anglican churches will share how they use the gifts God has given them to further their faith and proclaim his Gospel.  Find out  more

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On the 67th Anniversary of her Accession to throne, HM The Queen, Colonel in Chief of the Royal Welsh was represented at a service to dedicate a new Standard for the Abergavenny branch of its veterans association by her Deputy Lieutenant of the Gwent Brigadier Russ Wardel DL.


The Regimental Mascot greets Brigadier Wardel

Those attending the service at St Mary’s Priory Church including the Mayor of Abergavenny and Councillors Sheila Woodhouse and Martin Hickman, were welcomed by the Regimental Mascot, Shenkin the goat.

The furled Standard was processed down the aisle of the Priory Church while the organ played the Regimental March: Men of Harlech, prior to being Dedicated by  Canon Soady. He pronounced a Latin, Welsh and English blessing on it before praying the Regimental Collect in both Welsh and English.

After dedicating the new Standard, Canon Mark Soady called on all to remember that the standard represented the highest qualities of the regiment. “Your Regimental Collect reminds us of the high place of valour, this standard represents Richard Hunt (the 200th soldier to die in Afghanistan) and the others of this Regiment from Abergavenny who gave their lives, we must be sure that all that we do honours their memory and the high standing of the regiment”.

Following the service the other standards present were dipped in honour of the new standard as it was paraded past them.

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Holywell Community

As part of the Abergavenny Anglican Churches initiative Proclaiming it afresh, our work in Cantref School this Term is based around the Parables.

Books on the parables donated by the Church to Cantref School

Br Seb said:

“We are explaining the message behind the parables, the messages are sometimes about acceptance, trust and helping others. I think it helps the children understand Jesus a bit better by telling them parables stories with examples of what actions and inactions can lead to.”

This sharing of the parables with the pupils will develop in to them re-writing them in their own words and creating the Abergavenny Gospels

Br Seb preparing a School Assembly

This project is the idea of our Sub Prior Fr Tom, he explains:

“We believe that children of all faiths and none have a right to these stories which belong to all people in the art, literature, and…

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