Our NSM Curate Revd Jeffrey Pearse was today Ordained Priest  at Newport Cathedral by the Bishop of Monmouth.


Fr Jeff with the Bishop of Monmouth

He will Celebrate his first Eucharist tomorrow at 10.30am at St Peter’s Church, Llanwenarth.


The Bishop vested Fr Jeff following his Ordination.

The Vicar’s current PA Catherine Jones will leave her post on July 31st and will be replaced by Maggie Pratt on September 1st.

Fr Mark has thanked Catherine for her service and welcomed Maggie:

Maggie joins us with a lot of experience. She is currently secretary to the Priory Development Trust and is a former PA to Archbishop Barry Morgan.

Details how activities over the weekend on June 24/25th effects us at St Mary’s Priory: Ordination, First Eucharist & MCC Civic Service



Among those to be Ordained Priest at the Monmouth Diocesan Ordination in Newport Cathedral during the morning of June 24th is our NSM Curate, Deacon Jeff Pearse.


Deacon Jeff with Fr Mark on Palm Sunday

First Eucharist 

ON Sunday June 25th at 10.30am the Reverend Jeff Pearse will Celebrate his first Eucharist at St Peter’s Church, Llanwenarth. Deacon Jeff’s  former Incumbent from Manchester, The Revd Paul Gully will be the Preacher and Fr Mark will act as Deacon.

There will be no Holy Eucharist celebrated in St Mary’s Priory that morning.

Following the service there will be  a Reception at St Peter’s Hall.


Monmouthshire County Council Civic Service 

The Chairman of Monmouthshire County Council, Cllr Maureen Powell will hold her Civic Service at the Priory Church at 3pm on Sunday, June 25th. Fr Mark her Chaplain and our Vicar will preach.


Today we said to Farewell to Bishop David Thomas.  The service was attended by a large Congregation, along with 70 robed clergy,  a large number of Bishops including the Bishops of Monmouth, Swansea & Brecon and St Asaph.

The Principal Celebrant at the Service was the Bishop of Ebbs fleet, accompanied by six Concelebrants. The concelebrating priests, had been invited by Rosemary due to their particularly close association with Bishop David, they were The Reverend Canon Huw Thomas, The Reverend Canon Richard Harper, The Reverend Canon Jeffrey Gainer ,The Reverend Canon Keith Evans ,The Reverend Canon Mark Soady (Vicar & Prior)  and The Reverend Nicholas Barry.


Bishop David’s Coffin was received on the Eve of the Requiem Mass

The Lessons were read by John Thomas (Bishop David’s son) and Mrs Sheila Davies (Asst Warden). The Gospel was read by Deacon Sarah Gillard-Faulkner (Sub Prior).

Bishop David’s daughter, Mrs Fliss Barry delivered the Eulogy and Canon Peter Jones gave the address.

During Communion the Priory Church Choir, under the direction of Tim Pratt sung Pie Jesu and In Paradisum from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in D minor. A Hymn written by  Bishop David for his father Bishop Jack, was among the hymns sung at the service.

At the conclusion of the service six Priests Ordained by Bishop David acted as bearers as the coffin was carried out of the church for a private Burial service, while the Choir sung Dyson’s Nunc Dimitis in C minor.

Fr Mark Soady had received Bishop David’s body in to the Priory church the evening before.

Speaking at the Opening Holy Eucharist of the St David’s Cathedral Festival, Canon Mark Soady claims music brings us closer to our creator God.


Fr Mark said:

St Augustine of Hippo is reputed to have said, ” He who sings prays twice”, although some scholars dispute he ever said that what is certain is that singing is a method of worship appointed by God, for since the beginning of creation that ability to sing was in our hearts.

A late medieval German Benedictine Abbot, Johannesburg Trithemius portrayed Raphael – traditionally the Archangel in charge of healing – presiding over the popularisation of music. In our own day and in our own land dozens of organisations are harnessing the healing power of music: charities like Music in Hospital, which employs professional musicians to sing and play for people who are sick; Tenovus, the cancer charity, which has formed choirs for people who have suffered or are still suffering from cancer; the Forget-Me-Not Choir, for people living with dementia; and professional Music Therapists, who use music in one-to-one sessions to treat a wide range of mental as well as physical illness. The music psychologist, Dr Nigel Marshall says, “Music is becoming an increasingly important part of healthcare and there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that taking part in, or experiencing music can have significant benefits on our overall level of wellbeing”.

The Book of Acts records that at the Ascension two angels asked the Apostles after Jesus had ascended “Why stand there looking up?” I think we all often metaphorically stand and look up / look for the other. We all search for a glimpse of heaven, and what is more music gives us that glimpse. In the Book of Revelation we read that around the throne of God there is singing day in day out. It is because of that St Benedict calls on his monks to pray 7 times a day, and why this and other Cathedral Churches have the daily reciting of the offices.


Nearly four years ago I established a new Monastic Community at St Mary’s Priory in Abergavenny. We follow the spirit of the rule of St Benedict because the Priory was established in 1087 as a Benedictine Institution. Four times a day we meet to say the offices, but I became aware that something was lacking, we often failed to reach ‘the other’ so this Academic Year we designated one of the lay members as responsible for music and in recruiting targeted a young musician. The presence of the Concentor (as we call him) has transformed our worship, such is the place of music in the worship of God.

On Monday night last, some young people spend a pleasant evening enjoying the music they love, but that enjoyment was literally brought to earth with a bang. The bang of a terrible explosion caused by a person or persons who are very sick. Those involved would have come down from feeling like they were in heaven to feeling like they were in hell.

We need to use those glimpses of heaven that we experience to work hard to ensure that God’s will is “done on earth as it is in heaven”, so that we’d can bring true peace to the world, so that there will be no acts of violence or terror like we saw this week.

In thanking God for the gift of music and for the glimpse it gives us of heaven, we must also commit to use that gift of music so that we can show others something of God…..and thus fulfill our Lord’s last command to “Baptise all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

The Festal Eucharist saw the Cathedral Choir, accompanied by the British Sinfonetta Strings, sing:

  • the Missa brevity Sancti Johannis de Deo by Haydn
  • Ubi Caritas  by Durafle
  • Cantata Domino by Monterverdi





It will be good to welcome back Richard, Bishop of St Helena as our Celebrant & Preacher for the 11am Pentecost Sung Eucharist.


Bishop Richard of St Helena

Other services that day:

  • 8am Holy Eucharist
  • 9.30am All Age Worship
  • 6pm Evensong

4.20pm Choral Vespers 

6.30pm Holy Eucharist in the Holywell Community Garden. Celebrant & Preacher: Bishop Dominic Walker OGS