About the Community

The Holywell Community is a New Monastic Community in Abergavenny living by the spirit of the Rule of St Benedict, almost 500 years after the original monks left St Mary’s Priory.


The Beginnings

Up until the reformation under King Henry VIII there had been a Benedictine priory on the site of St Mary’s since 1087. However at this time it was closed and the Priory Church became the town’s Parish Church. Fast forward almost 500 years and Fr Mark Soady and his then colleagues were wondering how to bring back that Benedictine spirit to the parish and wider community. After a few years of groundwork the community was finally launched in September 2014 consisting of Fr Mark, Amy and Samuel and a few months later Deacon Sarah joined them as Sub-Prior. Speaking at the commissioning Fr Mark said  “It is exciting to be re-creating a Benedictine community here after a 500 year gap – and thus going back to our roots.”

Where we are now

We are currently suspended as Covid has made recruitment difficult. We follow the spirit of the Rule of St Benedict; adapting it slightly to suit our circumstances but staying as true to it as is possible. Members sign up for a year at a time and live in the Holywell Community House with the other Lay Members. We live, work, eat and pray together; carrying each other along as we seek to serve God in Abergavenny. If you are exploring a call to the Ordained or Religious Life or simply looking for a year to spend serving God then life at Holywell will challenge and strengthen you and where possible we seek to give opportunities to explore those callings.

For more information see our flyer here.


Sr Jennii ‘high 5s’ the Archbishop of Wales


In Addition to our daily round of prayer and work on the site we have a daily outreach activity in to the wider community.

Monday is our rest day.

Tuesday who run a Mother and Toddler Club:  Little Footprints at Holy Trinity Church Hall

Wednesday  we go in to local schools to take Assembly

Thursday we join the Learning Service and help with school visits. We tend to lead the session A Day in the Life of a Monk.


Friday we help with Crafty Women – a drop in Craft activity for isolated or lonely women .



The Community has over the years got involved with teenage and young people outreach on Saturday afternoons at 7 Corners and Saturday evening with Hotspot.

Two Sundaya month we lead All Age Worship at St Mary’s Priory at 9.30am, in addition to our other Sunday service duties.

5 thoughts on “About the Community

  1. Pingback: Now Recruiting! | Holywell Community

  2. It is really exciting to hear about this. The monastic and minster models of ministry are the direction towards which our Church must look for strength and growth in the future. If I was much younger I would be asking to join you.


  3. Pingback: Recruiting for Autumn 2016 | Holywell Community

  4. I am impressed about your community. I am Ven. Dr Joseph osei the Dean of St Nicholas the only Anglican Seminary in Ghana serving not only Ghana but also the Curch of the Province of West Africa.
    this information given now will be followed with a letter giving you a profile of St Nicholas Seminary .


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