PEW LEAFLET 23rd January 2022

Unfortunately, at the beginning of July, we said goodbye to our Facilities Coordinator Lydia Warburton, who has gone to live in France. She was a true asset to the site, and we will miss her hardworking and ever positive attitude around the site.

However, we have since welcomed Simon Pratt as our new Facilities Coordinator, who has officially started on site. Simon is well known around the site having been in the choir since childhood, worked in the Food Hall, and been a member of the Holywell Community. His experience with social media will be a huge asset as we look to improve and raise our online profile for the Priory, Tithe Barn, and Priory Centre, find new bookings and see the site come back to life again after the pandemic.

Simon will be based in the Tithe Barn Tuesday-Saturday 9am-430pm. We wish him all the best in his new role!


Due to the uncertainty of the coming weeks with regard to Covid-19, we have made the decision to close the Tithe Barn including our Tapestry/Exhibition area. Although many of our upcoming events have chosen to cancel, the few that are still taking place will do so with extra cleaning and hygiene procedures in place.

We will continue to monitor our emails and telephones throughout this period, so please be assured any messages left will be returned as soon as possible.

Jeremy Thomas Art, now based in the Tithe Barn, has also made the decision to close until further notice.  To contact Jeremy:

Email: jezthomasart@gmail.com

Website: https://www.jeremythomasart.co.uk/index.html.

We will constantly be updating our website with news on the situation as we find out more in these uncertain times.

As the New Year begins we all get back into our routines on site. The following Annual meetings have now been booked into the Diary:

17th March

St Mary’s Priory Development Trust meeting will take place at the Tithe Barn at 5pm

Easter Vestry Meeting will take place in the Priory Centre at 7pm

As many of you already know Fr Mark will be leaving us  at the end of March, and so between 17:30-19:00 (between the Development Trust meeting and the Easter vestry meeting) we will be holding light refreshments for anyone who wishes to attend and give their farewell wishes to Fr Mark who in his time here has had a great influence on the site and the people of Abergavenny, he will be greatly missed by not only the Parish but Abergavenny town itself. We look forward to welcoming you to give Fr Mark the farewell he deserves for his next chapter in life.


A number of parishioners will travel by bus to attend Fr Mark’s Licensing as Rector of Tarleton & Rufford on April 1st. To book your seat visit the Tithe Barn. 


St Mary’s Priory with its Tithe Barn Welsh Language  Centre ( Canolan y Degwm) will be at the centre of this weekends seasonal Welsh cultural celebrations in Abergavenny.

On Saturday the Mari Llwyd  will end it’s tour of the town by being at the Priory centre at 6.15pm. Later Merched y  Wawr will hold their Hen  Galan Supper.(The Supper is ticket only). Entertainment at the supper is provided by folk singer Sian James.


On Sunday we will host the Plygain at 3pm in the Priory Church, followed by Swper y Plygain in the Tithe Barn Plygain is a traditional Welsh celebration of Christmas through song.

THE Tithe Barn  and Parish Office will be closed for the Christmas Holiday from 12noon on December 24th to 9am on January 2nd, 2020.

Have a blessed Christmas


After a successful year of events, St Mary’s Priory Church, Made in Monmouthshire and Criw’r Efail are holding a festive market in the Prince of Wales Courtyard, alongside the Tithe Barn on Saturday, 7th December 2019.


Over 30 local artists and makers will be joined by St Mary’s Priory Choir and local musicians such as Rivers and Roads, Jim Ramsey as well as some jazz, country music, a local children’s choir and more.  There will also be some warming mulled wine, cider, mince pies and other hot drinks all within the beautiful setting of the courtyard.

Reflecting on the initiative over 2019, Canon Mark Soady, Prior of St Mary’s Priory said,

It has been a real partnership approach in promoting the creative talents of local makers and artist and their roles in keeping alive traditions that have shaped the landscape.

We are pleased to provide our Benedictine hospitality to all.


The event is also working with Abergavenny Food Bank and will be taking offerings from members of the public  on the 7th December 2019.  Items can be left at the base of the Nativity Crib in the Courtyard on the day.

Aneurin Bevan Health Board will also be raising awareness on loneliness and well-being over Christmas and across the year, with Crafting for Cancer also in the Courtyard. The Tithe Barn will also be open where you can view the Tapestry, meet our Artist-in-Residence and learn about the activities of the Welsh Language  Centre.

The event will start at 10am and finish at 5pm with car parking nearby as well as the town’s bus and rail station.

The events in 2019 have been supported in-kind by local business Chris Jones Regeneration.


We are very excited to announce that Jeremy Thomas , our Artist-in-Residence will move his studio in to the Tithe Barn in November. Jez will take the space vacated by the Tourist Information Centre, following the decision of Monmouthshire County Council to relocate the centre.


Jez at work in his current studio

Jez is currently working on painting thirty scenes from the Gospels, as part of our Proclaiming it afresh initiative.  He has already completed the first eleven.


The Annunciation to the BVM  (c) Jez Thomas

You can read about Jez and his work  here

Welcoming the news the Prior, Canon Mark Soady said

“Over the centuries the Tithe Barn has been used for many things after it ceased to be the store of the tithes collected by my predecessors, but never before has it housed an artists studio. Given it is a heritage centre were better to have an art studio. Jez will bring a special something to an already special building.”

Jez Thomas also commented

“I’m really looking forward to moving to the tithe barn where I’ll be working as an artist in residence. It will be good to be on hand to talk about our project thus far. Mostly I’m looking forward to working more closely to my spiritual home, St Marys.”


One of our Learning Service Volunteers today received the High Sherrif’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Award was presented to Majel Lee  by HM High Sheriff for Gwent, Dame Claire Clancy at the Priory today.


Congratulating Majel, Canon Mark Soady said,

Majel is a very keen and enthusiastic ambassador for, and worker with the Learning Service. This award is justly deserved!