St Mary's Priory Abergavenny: The Priory Centre


How we came in to being

Community at play
Holywell Members
Holywell Community

The old monks left Abergavenny following the Reformation of 1537,but on 2 September 2014 a new monastic community came into being in the town with the intention of focussing on community needs within the framework of the Benedictine tradition.

The Holywell community is based in a house on the Holywell estate, and share their possessions in the tradition of holding "everything in common". They  live by a monastic rule of life although they have not taken the traditional monastic vows.

The venture is based on St Mary’s heritage; a Benedictine Priory was established on the site in 1087. The Prior, Fr Mark says, "My predecessor, The Very Revd Jeremy Winston, instituted monthly Monastic Days when people from the parish and further afield could spend a day in the routine of a Benedictine monk, praying the hours and doing outreach work. When I arrived here I looked at ways that the Benedictine Rule of Life could pervade the life of the parish on a day to day basis. We came up with the idea of a new Monastic Community in the Spirit of St Benedict."






Two of its former members  reflect


Ordinand Sam Patterson: "During my time in the community I discovered a love of youth and kids work and I developed a deep appreciation of liturgical worship. Both of which I have carried into my training and continued to develop. I loved living in community, it shaped how I think about Church, and the rhythm of the offices, prayer then food then work and back to prayer, I hope these are things I can bring to my future ministry"

Br Adrian nOSB: "It was through the daily rhythm of the monastic office, through the psalms seeping their wisdom into me, and living life in common in community that began to draw me towards the monastic path.  The Community then allowed me to take periods away to test that calling further.  I don’t think I would be at Mucknell Abbey now living the Benedictine life if it hadn’t been for my time in the Holywell Community gently nudging me in that direction and this along with the lifetime friends I’ve made in the process made the time very worthwhile and an experience I will always hold dear.”





Community life is framed by the daily services...

Morning prayer (8.15), Eucharist (8.30), Midday prayer (noon), and Evening Prayer (16.30) are all public services in St Mary's Priory church Monday to Saturday. Compline is said by the Community privately.

...but includes Outreach

The work of the community targets the consequences of poverty in the area. Although Abergavenny is thought of as a wealthy town, the north of the town is the poorest area in Monmouthshire and this juxta-position of wealth and poverty make it more marked. The outworking of some of the issues around deprivation has tangible consequences for other areas of Abergavenny and community life in general, particularly with regard to the town centre and its access points.




Visit our blog to find out more about what we do.






We are grateful for the financial support we receive from  a number of bodies including The Number One Trust, The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament,  The Additional Curates Society & The Archbishop of Wales Fund for Children

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