Archive for February, 2012

The Priory House Company is pleased to announce the appointment of 27 year old Tom Bond as their new Manager, in succession to Richard Morgan.

Tom is just completing a fixed term contract as Student Entrepreneur Ambassador at the University of Wales, Newport. A graduate in Documentary Photography from Newport’s University, Tom served for 2 years as its Student Union President as well as a member of its Governing Body and of the Court of the University of Wales. Among Tom’s other employment has been some work at the Office of the Bishop of Monmouth.

Welcoming his appointment, Fr Mark said, “I am pleased we have secured the services of this talented young man. Having worked alongside Tom at both the University and at Bishopstow I know that under Tom’s management exciting things will occur.

“We are very grateful to the hard work and imagination Richard has brought to the job. He has contributed greatly to the development of the site and his enthusiasm and original ideas will be sorely missed.”

Simon Bailey, a Director of St Mary’s Priory House Company, said “I would like to thank Richard for his invaluable contribution during his time as Manager at St Mary’s and wish him every success in the future.

“We are entering an exciting new phase at St Mary’s with our new Vicar, Fr Mark Soady at the helm who has already shown great enthusiasm for the good work of the Parishioners. With the appointment of Tom Bond as our new Manager I am sure that we will be able to further develop and improve the services that we offer at St Mary’s Priory.”

Richard will finish on 29th February ready to take up his new position as Customer Service Manager for Dulux in March.


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Plans are well underway for the Medieval Fayre which will take place on Saturday 16th June at St Mary’s Priory, Abergavenny.

The Fayre, organised by volunteers from the Learning Service at St Mary’s, hopes to attract families from Monmouthshire and the surrounding areas. Visitors will be able to explore the Medieval Tithe Barn and the historic Priory Church as well as browse the wide variety of stalls.

Stallholders from across the region will include: the Burren Bread Company, Naturally Created wooden boards, local brewers, Chantler Teas, Black Mountain Smokery and handmade pies. There will also be a variety of entertainment for the whole family, including a coin striker, bee keepers, representatives from National Parks Association and folk groups.

Our Learning Service volunteers will be dressing up in traditional Tudor costume, handmade using authentic techniques, and making peg dolls with the children. The ladies who worked on the Abergavenny Tapestry project will be on hand to demonstrate techniques in small workshops.

Tithe Barn Manager, Richard Morgan, says “the Medieval Fayre will be a first for St Mary’s Priory and promises to be a highlight of Monmouthshire’s calendar of events! We are enormously grateful to the support of our volunteers who have helped to make this possible and we look forward to a very successful and enjoyable day.”

For more information about the Medieval Fayre, please follow us on Twitter.

If you are interested in having your own stall, please do not hesitate to contact the Learning Service secretary for more information.

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Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It is a day of penitence to clean the soul; Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving that Christians used to undergo in the past.

Lent is a time of abstinence and of giving things up; Shrove Tuesday, therefore, is the last chance to indulge yourself and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent such as meat and fish, fats, eggs, and milky foods. Families would have feast on the shriving Tuesday to use up the food that would not last the forty days of Lent without going off. Traditionally, pancakes were made to use up all the eggs, fats and milk in the house with just the addition of flour.

Pancake races are often held in villages and towns throughout the country on Shrove Tuesday. The contestants, traditionally women, carry a frying pan and race to the finishing line while tossing the pancakes as they go. The winner is the first to cross the line having tossed the pancake a certain number of times. Traditionally, when men want to participate, they must dress up as a housewife usually an apron and a bandanna.

Pancake races are thought to have begun in 1445. A woman had lost track of the time on Shrove Tuesday, and was busy cooking pancakes in her kitchen. Suddenly she heard the church bell ringing to call the faithful to church for confession. The woman raced out of her house and ran all the way to church; still holding her frying pan and wearing her apron.

Every year, members of the Mothers Union at St Mary’s Priory make and sell pancakes in the Priory Centre; monies raised from the sale of pancakes are given to support the work of the Mothers Union in the parish.

For more information about Lent at St Mary’s Priory, please visit the blog.


Fascinating Facts about Pancakes:

  • The first recorded pancake race was in Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1445.
  • The largest number of pancakes tossed in the shortest amount of time in the UK is 349 tosses in 2 minutes (Dean Gould at Felixstowe, Suffolk, 14 January 1995).
  • The largest pancake ever made and flipped measured 15.01m wide, 2.5cm deep and weighed 3 tonnes (Rochdale, Greater Manchester, August 1994).
  • It is customary in France to touch the handle of the frying pan and make a wish while the pancake is turned, holding a coin in one hand.
  • British people will eat a staggering 52 million eggs on Shrove Tuesday – that’s 22 million more than on a regular day.
  • Maple syrup which is often used as a topping, was originally a sweet drink which was discovered by the Algonquin Indians. To make this drink, sap was collected from Canadian sugar maple trees and next it was boiled.
  • Over a lifetime, an average person will eat 7,300 eggs.
  • Just about every country has its own version of the pancake. Some of the best known are: buckwheat flour galettes of Brittany; sweet Cretan tiganítes of Greece; Moroccan semolina baghrir and Russian buckwheat-flour blinis.


What is your favourite topping?

More than half of us prefer pancakes with just lemon and a little sugar. More adventurous pancake aficionados will be opting for maple syrup, chocolate sauce or even cheese on Shrove Tuesday. Why not tweet us your favourite topping and read the results on our blog!

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Shrove Tuesday has crêped up on us once again, so why not try this flipping good recipe!

For the Pancake Mixture

  • 110g  plain sifted flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml  milk mixed with 75ml water
  • 50g butter
  • pinch of salt


Sift the flour and the salt into a bowl so the flour gets an airing. Make a well in the centre of the flour and crack in the two eggs. Lightly whisk the eggs into the flour gradually adding the milk and water mixture until you reach a smooth creamy texture.

Melt the butter in a pan and then spoon 2tbsp of it into the batter mixture. Keep the remainder of the melted butter separate to lubricate the pan.

Get the pan really hot and then turn the temperature down to a medium heat. Spoon about 2 tbsps of the the batter mixture into the pan with a ladle and move the pan to ensure the bottom is covered by the mixture. With a palette knife, lift the underside of the pancake to ensure that it has cooked before flipping to cook the other side.

Your favourite fillings or toppings…

@SugarLoaf_Soaps says: “Lots of sugar!”

@JadoreJewellery says: “Savoury is a no no!! Sweet all the way :-)”

@MountainActs says: “Fresh lemon juice & loads of sugar (vanilla sugar is good too!)”

@PiersBramhall says: “I’m a sweet & sour kind of guy..sugar & lemon 🙂 Though had a great bacon, cheese & mushroom one at a concert recently!!”

@EarlGreyQueen says: “Sugar and lemon of course! :)”

@PGodsell says: “Mine is Honey!”

Tithe Barn manager @rjmorgan31 says: “Sugar, lemon juice… and a dollop of homemade ice cream.”

Fr Mark Soady, Vicar of St Mary’s Priory, says: “I like maple syrup… and lots of it!”

The Bishop of Swansea & Brecon says: “Lemon juice with sugar sprinkled on top!”

@CatherineBarwic says:”I always have bacon and white chocolate with a sprinkle of sugar, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!”

@MonmouthshireCC says: “Can’t speak for everyone at the council but this tweeter is very partial to chocolate spread & served with a nice coffee :-)”

@DerektheWeather says: “Sugar and lemon”

@RightSomeGood says: “Blueberries, hands down!”

…why not Tweet us with your favourite filling or topping?

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The project to redesign the new website for St Mary’s Priory is almost complete and we are looking forward its launch at the end of the month.

The website, designed by local web designers David and Angela Siddall, will be much easier to navigate. It will be a dynamic site with links to blogs for the Priory Church, Tithe Barn and Priory Centre which can be regularly updated by the Church community and also include live Twitter feeds.

Menus for the Tithe Barn Foodhall and catering in the Priory Centre, including Wedding receptions, will be available to download as well as information and booking forms for school visits offered by Learning Service.

Tithe Barn manager, Richard Morgan, says “it has been a pleasure working with David and Angela throughout the project. From the outset they have understood the sense of community which is at the heart of St Mary’s Priory and have translated this into a very user-friendly website. We already have a number of followers for our blogs and interaction with Twitter users across the world and we hope to increase this when the website is launched at the end of the month.

“I am extremely grateful to the two local professional photographers, Tim Woodier and James Cunningham, who have contributed photographs for the new site and to members of St Mary’s Priory who have been proof reading the content.”

The launch of the website will be announced via Twitter.

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