Archive for February, 2020

A number of events have been announced as being hosted at the Priory in May and June.


1st Jesus College, Oxford 450th Anniversary Event. More details 

8th Abergavenny Town VE Day Party from 3pm in the Prince of Wales’  & Priory Courtyards. The Priory Bells will ring out at 7pm.


13th Bishop of Monmouth’s Visitation to the Abergavenny Deanery. Service at 7.30pm



6th Priory Sessions Concert: Eric Bell Trio and others  (50th Anniversary of Thin Lizzie)

15th & 16th Art Exhibition.

20th Friend of Friendless Churches Year of Pilgrimage walking Pilgrimage  Art+Christianity starts and ends at the Priory. 4.30pm Vespers and 5pm Tour of the Priory.

27th Book Festival hosted by Matthew Butler MVO

Read Full Post »

Our Vicar, Canon Mark Soady preaching on The Feast of Candlemas  – two days after BREXIT – said that the hoped we would not be like the Judges in the Old Testament, but would be welcoming to all comers.


The Candlemas window pain, North Transept of St Mary’s Priory Church

Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory.


He said:

I have learnt that the old King Henry VIII Grammar School had two houses. Oppidan was for the town’s folk.  Rustican was for those from the country. Such a division is not peculiar to this town or to the Grammar School era.

In the days before Christ, normally the gates of Jerusalem and other cities in Israel would be open and those who lived and farmed in the surrounding countryside could enter the cities with their produce to sell. When the Judges, as the rulers of the day were called, knew they were about to be invaded by the army of their enemies the city gates were closed.

Prior to the gates being closed the Judges sitting  in the gateway would decide who could come in to take sanctuary in the city and who could not. Although the rural dwellers provided the provisions for the city dwellers to be able to live through a siege, they were not allowed to take refuge in the City, because extra mouths would be needed to be fed.

Psalm 24  speaks of the shame of the Judges who sat in the gateways, their heads hung in shame because they excluded their fellow Jews from the sanctuary of their city.

As we leave the European Union, I hope that we in Britain will not close the gate and pull up the draw bridge on our fellow human beings who need sanctuary ……especially not because we are worried about them taking our homes and our jobs.

On This Feast of Candlemas, it is worth remembering what Simeon prophesied of  Jesus: “This child is destined for the falling and rising of many”.  As Jesus came to turn norms upside down, so we his followers need to stand up for the less fortunate in the world.

I pray we will do that rather than closing the metaphorical gates on them.


Read Full Post »