The new Holywell Community will come in to being in early September. Following a 36 hour retreat led by Bishop Dominic Walker OGS, a member of the Anglican Advisory Council on the Religious Life, the Bishop of Monmouth will Licence Fr Mark Soady as Prior , and commission Ami Pope and Sam Paterson as members of this new monastic community at 6pm on September 2nd.
A Benedictine Priory was established on this site in 1087. Commenting on the new Community Fr Mark said, ” My predecessor, ever conscious of the Benedictine roots of St Mary’s, 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 two and a half years ago I looked at ways that the Benedictine Rule of Life could pervade the life of the parish on a day to day basis. My then colleagues and I came up with the idea of a new Monastic Community in the Spirit of St Benedict”.
The Community members will life together in a house on the Holywell estate , having “everything in common”.
Mid – Week Monastic Pray times
08.15hrs Morning Prayer
08.30hrs Holy Eucharist ( (am on Saturday)
12noon Midday Prayer
16.30hrs Evening Prayer
The above services are held in the Priory Church and are open to the public. Compline is said by the Community privately.
Although Abergavenny is thought of as a wealthy town the north of the town is the poorest area in Monmouthshire. This juxta-position of wealth and poverty make it more marked.
Various community needs (of Abergavenny N in particular)have been the focus of our research and centre mainly on the most deprived electoral ward(s) in the county of Monmouthshire; namely part of the Mardy area (Mardy 1 – the most deprived in terms of the WIMD 2011 rankings – sits in the top 20% overall), Lansdowne (in the top 30% of most deprived areas) and in some respects, the area of Croesonen (in the top 40% overall but in the top 10% of the WIMD rankings with regard to the physical environment). 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. The work of the community has been targeted towards these consequences, both from a town centre and an ‘at source’ perspective.