Until July 3rd we will have a Festival of Flowers at St Mary’s Priory to mark many of this year’s Anniversaries, some of which are very significant for the country and for Abergavenny.

As part of the Festival this evening we have a special service to mark in prayer and readings the anniversaries the Festival celebrates.

The service at 6pm will include clergy from a variety of the town’s christian denomiantions and will be attended by representatives of organisations associated with the Anniversaries.


100 Years of Women’s suffrage


Canon Mark Soady Prior:

As we gather among the beauty of God’s creation we come to give thanks for this year’s anniversaries and the abundance of his blessings upon us.

Revd Jeffrey Pearse, NSM Curate:

Father we give thanks for the example given us by Our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth both in her service to the nation and her commitment to through marriage to Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. May she be an example to us all of a life well lived. We give thanks also for the support she receives from her husband and her son. In this place Father we give thanks for Charles, Prince of Wales, for his tireless support of us as our Patron. In their 70thanniversary year we remember your servants in the National Health Service who in their way have made this country healthy by the eradication of disease.

V:Lord in your mercy

R:Hear our Prayer

Revd Ian Kirby (URC):

Almighty God we hold up before you all who died in the Great War, and all who for decades later suffered; praying that they are now resting in Peace. So, Father, as we mark the Centenary of the ending of Hostiles, may we learn to sow love, where there is hatred; and to bring joy, hope   and gladness where there is currently only despair and sadness. We pray especially at this time for the work of our Twinning Associations and groups as they break down the barriers of ignorance and mistrust between peoples of different nations and races.

V:Lord in your mercy

R:Hear our Prayer

Deacon Gwenllian Knighton (Methodist):

We bring before you in thanksgiving Father others who have fought against injustice and inequality, especially at this time we remember the Suffragettes and all who campaigned and voted for women’s suffrage, and support women’s rights in our own day and age. In this place we give thanks for 10 years as a town fair-trading so that all may receive a fare wage for their labours. Upon human Labour send a blessing Lord.

V:Lord in your mercy

R:Hear our Prayer

Revd Malcolm Lane JP,Chaplain to the Chairman of Monmouthshire CountyCouncil:

Father, as your Son came to heal, so we pray your continued blessing on the endeavours of the St John Priory for Wales, giving thanks for a centenary of service in times of war and national disaster as well as in times of peace of and joy. Enable those who train the young to be a source of inspiration to the cadets and badgers; so the healing work may prosper in the years to come. We pray also for the Royal Air Force created out of the hostilities of the fist World War, it has now become an agent of peace and defence of our realm and territories.

V:Lord in your mercy

R:Hear our Prayer

Revd Jeffrey Pearse :

In your wisdom you called Richard to be a Bishop in your church and five years ago to serve as Chief Pastor of this Diocese. We give thanks now for the gifts you have given him and pray that through him your church may grow in this place. We pray that your Gospel may be preached and your kingdom come, in the name of your son our Saviour Jesus Christ. AMEN


Our Royal Patron HRH The Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday display

Music in the Service

The Priory Church Choir will sing:

Introit- I will thank thee Daniel Purcell in honour of Bishop Richard’s Anniversary


All things Bright & Beautiful  J Rutter to mark the NAFAS Diamond Jubilee

Benedictus in b Flat CV Stanford to Commemorate the Centenary of the Order of St John in Wales


‘Angel Voices ever singing’ to acknowledge artists and artisans, ‘Love Divine’ to celebrate Marriage and ‘God is our strength and refuge’ to the Dam busters tune to mark the RAF Centenary.

The Service will end with the National Anthem and Sir Edward Elgar’s ‘Imperial March’ as an Organ Voluntary as we mark HM The Queen’s 65th Anniversary of Coronation.


Centenary of the end of Hostilities World War1

Readings at the Service

The Sub Prior will read Wilfred Owen’s Poem ‘The End’ to mark 100 years since the Armistice.

A reading from the ‘Song of Solomon’ to mark the NAFAS Anniversary and St Matthew’s Gospel will help us acknowledge anniversaries connected to social justice.



This weekend (until July 3rd) we are hosting a Festival of Flowers at St Mary’s Priory to mark many of this year’s Anniversaries, some of which are very significant for the country and for Abergavenny.


This evening we will be visited by the Bishop of Monmouth to see the displays including two of special interest to him:

  • The display marking the 5th Anniversary of his consecration as Bishop, sponsored by the Holywell Community.
  • The display marking the 15th Anniversary of the Diocesan Link with the Highveld, sponsored by St Mary’s Priory.

Bishop Richard with our NSM Curate Fr Jeff

Richard Pain was elected Bishop of Monmouth on July 23, 2013, having served as Archdeacon of Monmouth for the previous five years, during which me he lived in Abergavenny.

He has served in the diocese for nearly 30 years – as Vicar in Monmouth for 10 years and also Vicar in Risca, Six Bells and Cwmllery, and as a curate in Caldicot.

He is also the Visitor of the Holywell Community.


Fr Mark & Bishop Dominic on a vist to a Highveld Board of Responsibility Project.

On November 19, 2003, Bishop Dominic Walker of Monmouth and Bishop David Beetge of The Highveld signed an agreement linking the two diocese for five years.

The link was further renewed in 2008. Since then visitors have travelled between the dioceses and parishes have formed their own individual links – St Mary’s being first linked with the cathedral parish of Benoni and then with the parishes of Evanda with Secunda, in the north east of South Africa.

The other South African connection in Festival is  a display marking 100 years since the birth of President Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, South Africa and died on December 5, 2013, in Johannesburg. He was a black nationalist and the first black president of South Africa (1994–99).

Arrested and imprisoned for his anti-aparteid acvities, most notably on Robben Island, his negotiations in the early 1990s with South African President. F W de Klerk helped end the country’s apartheid system of racial segregation and ushered in a peaceful transition to majority rule. Mandela and de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993 for their efforts.



This weekend  until July 3rd we are hosting a Festival of Flowers at St Mary’s Priory to mark many of this year’s Anniversaries, some of which are very significant for the country and for Abergavenny.


The arts feature in our Festival of Flowers:-

  • Tomorrow at 6pm we have an informal concert with Baritone Simon Pratt soon to start studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, he has just graduated from Leeds University. Simon was awarded the Frank Toothill performance prize for the highest achieving performers. In 2018, he was awarded the Lord Snowden performance prize.
  • One of the displays marks Holst’s Planet Suite first performance 100 years ago.
  • Another display marks the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Academy of the Arts


Simon will perform music on the theme of flowers and love.

Programme includes Dichterliebe – Schumann; Die Lotosblume – Schumann; Widmung – Schumann; The Lilacs – Rachmaninoff; Du bist wie eine Blume – Schumann.


Simon Pratt

The Planets, Op. 32, is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, written between 1914 and 1916.

Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the solar system and its corresponding astrological character as defined by Holst. The premiere was at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, on September 29, 1918, conducted by Holst’s friend Adrian Boultbefore an invited audience of about 250 people.

The first complete public performance was finally given in London by Albert Coates conducting the London Symphony Orchestra on November 15, 1920.


The Royal Academy (RA) was founded in 1768 by a group of 40 artists and architects who became the first Royal Academicians.


The first president was Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose statue now stands outside Burlington House, the home of the RA in London’s Piccadilly. It is home to Britain’s longest established art school and, every year since its foundaon, it has held an annual Summer Exhibion, the largest open-submission art exhibion in the world.

This year’s was curated by Grayson Perry.


From today until July 3rd we will have a Festival of Flowers at St Mary’s Priory to mark many of this year’s Anniversaries, some of which are very significant for the country and for Abergavenny.

In addition to  a display sponsored by the Town Council you can get Fair Trade Tea and Coffee in the Priory Centre during the Festival.

Abergavenny Fairtrade Forum was established in February 2006 to work towards gaining Fairtrade Town status for Abergavenny, which was achieved in 2007.

The Forum is made up of people from the local community and representaves from Oxfam, churches and the county council. It connues to promote Fairtrade and the sale and use of Fairtrade products by local businesses and organisaons.

St Mary’s Priory plays its part by providing Fairtrade.



During the Festival refreshments are being served in the Priory Centre by various local Anglican Groups

FRIDAY: Christchurch, North Street, in aid of the repairs to their Great East Window.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: St Peter’s Church, Llanwenarth in aid of their roof and tower repairs .

MONDAY: St Mary’s Priory Choir, in aid of their singing week.

TUESDAY: St Mary’s & Christchurch MU Branch in aid of their work.

From June 29th – July 3rd we will have a Festival of Flowers at St Mary’s Priory to mark many of this year’s Anniversaries, some of which are very significant for the country and for Abergavenny.

Arranged by members of the Town Twinning Associations and sponsored by them are two displays to mark 50 and 30 years respectively of twinning,

In 1968, Abergavenny’s then Mayor John Lewis was one of a party of eight who made the trip overseas to Ostringen in the state of Baden Wuremberg to forge twinning links between the two towns. Despite small scale council and school exchanges, the association between the two didn’t really take off until 1971 when a programme of youth soccer exchanges began. The link has gone from strength to strength

In 1988, Abergavenny twinned with Beaupreau in Western France, about 45 kilometres from Angers and 309 kilometres from Paris.


From June 29th – July 3rd we will have a Festival of Flowers at St Mary’s Priory to mark many of this year’s Anniversaries, some of which are very significant for the country and for Abergavenny.


Monmouthshire Regiment Troops line up for a blessing outside St Mary’s before going off to fight in World War 1

A display below the War Memorial will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

It is sponsored by the Royal British Legion and Monmouthshire Regimental Association and designed by the wife of a former army medic – Gill Luter.

In early October 1918, Germany, no longer able to continue the war, approached the United States about an armistice. At 5:12 AM on November 11, 1918, in the Forest of Compiegne, the Armistice was signed in Marshal Foch’s train car.

The Armistice did not come into force until the 11am that day and fighting continued until the last minute – future American President Harry S Truman, then an artillery captain, kept his battery firing until the final moments.

Officially over 10,000 men were killed, wounded or went missing on November 11, 1918. The last soldier to die was Private Henry Gunther, from Balmore,USA. Ironically of German descent, he died at 10:59 in France.

From June 29th – July 3rd we will have a Festival of Flowers at St Mary’s Priory to mark many of this year’s Anniversaries, some of which are very significant for the country and for Abergavenny.

One of the displays will mark the 70th Anniversary of the NHS – and it is hoped it will be arranged by a recent long term patient of the service at Nevill Hall Hospital.


On 5 July 1948, the NHS was launched by the then Health Secretary, Aneurin Bevan, at Park Hospital in Manchester (known today as Trafford General Hospital). For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opcians and densts were brought together under one umbrella to provide services for free at the point of delivery.

Over the last 70 years, the NHS has transformed the health and wellbeing of the naon and delivered huge medical advances and improvements to public health, meaning we can all expect to live longer lives. It is thanks to the NHS that we have all but eradicated diseases such as polio and diphtheria, and pioneered new treatments like the world’s first liver, heart and lung transplant.

The Priory Trustees work in partnership with the Aneurin Bevan Health Board  and Criw’r efail in the delivery of Welsh Language excellence. The Board’s Welsh Language Unit is based in the Tithe Barn.