We love hosting events at the church and in the community and are open to suggestions for future functions. We are hoping in due course to install more facilities including a loo and kitchenette. There is space at the back of the church for a couple of trestle tables. Scroll down to see some of the recent events and visits we've hosted and for details of upcoming events.
We hold a coffee mornings a few times a year to raise money for local charities. You're very welcome to come along - just turn up. We also have plans for some other events in the coming year - keep an eye on the website for more.
Dates for your diary
For our Christmas services, check out our CHRISTMAS AT ST MARY'S PAGE!
A prayerful start to Advent
Advent Sunday was a wonderfully peaceful day of prayer at St Mary's. After our usual Christian meditation, we had an eight-hour prayer vigil at the church, with various members praying for between 30 and 90 minutes each.
We marked the end of the vigil with our now-traditional, highly-atmospheric Advent Service of Light. Starting in the darkness, we lit candles after each reading, taking us from darkness to light.
Afterwards, we had mince pies and drinks together.
Festive Fun at the Fayre
The Christmas Fayre, which we held jointly with the Welsh Newton Village Hall committee, was a lovely way to start the festive season. It was great to see old and new friends there, all enjoying the hot food, cakes, mulled wine and drinks, and browsing the stalls.
For those who weren't there at the end, the Teddy was called Gingerbread!
Huge thanks to everyone who helped and contributed, and especially to the Village Hall team who worked so hard to make it happen.
Remembrance at St Mary's
We started the season of Remembrance with a Remembering Your Loved Ones service on All Souls' Day, remembering those who have died, giving thanks for their lives and praying for the bereaved.
On Remembrance Sunday we had an Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial and hosted refreshments in the church afterwards.
Our latest outdoor church session was all about remembering, and the children made lovely stained glass windows to remember the amazing things God has done for us.
Archdeacon celebrates Bible Sunday
We were delighted to be able to host the joint benefice service (when all the local churches join together) this Octobe, and were privileged to have the Archdeacon of Hereford, the Ven Derek Chedzey, leading the service.
As it was Bible Sunday, he spoke powerfully about why and how to read the Bible and encouraged us to make it a daily practice.
Afterwards we spent time socialising over coffee and cookies.
Taking church outdoors
We took breakfast and Bible study outdoors in October, with a nature-themed discussion around the firepit, celebrating God's abundant provision.
Meanwhile the children enjoyed hot chocolate and marshmallows, and explored the churchyard, spotting sources of food for animals, bird and humans, and making gratitude bracelets from nuts and conkers. This will be a regular event, every third Sunday after meditation (weather permitting!), so wrap up warmly.
Harvest Festival in ancient Llanrothal
This year our Harvest Festival service and supper were at the beautiful and ancient church of St John in Llanrothal. Lit by candlelight, as there is no electricity there, it made for a wonderfully atmospheric service.
Afterwards we had soup and an amazing harvest loaf depicting a wheatsheaf and even a little mouse.
Special thanks to Vikki Scovell for her stunning decorations and amazing harvest loaf.
Joint Service with St Mary's RC Church
In a world with so much division and discord, it was wonderful to host a joint service with our friends from St Mary's RC Church in Monmouth.
Revd Ben and Fr Nick did a fantastic job of delivering a joint sermon, and the readings and prayers were shared between members of both congregations. Afterwards we spent time forging friendships over tea and cake.
We hope this is the start of more regular services and events together.
Spiritual Question Time
Welsh Newton Village Hall was packed out for our very first Spiritual Any Questions, featuring the Bishop and Dean of Hereford, the Rt Revd Richard Jackson and the Revd Canon Sarah Brown. The panel tackled some challenging questions, such as why God allows suffering and what AI means for spirituality, and some excellent discussions ensued.
Many of those attending signed up for a regular discussion group to keep the conversation going. If you're interested in joining this please email email@example.com.
24 hour prayer vigil
We filled the church with 24 hours of non-stop prayer in Holy Week, starting at 3pm on Maundy Thursday and ending with a powerful service led by Revd. Mark Melluish at 3pm on Good Friday. All the pray-ers, most of whom took a one-hour slot, reported that the time flew by in an extraordinary way, and those who kept vigil during the moonlit night felt God's presence particularly strongly.
It was back to the Middle Ages for our latest event - a Medieval Banquet held in an atmospheric barn. Guests threw themselves into the spirit of the event, dressing up in medieval costume, and there was feasting, music and merry-making. Huge thanks to all who cooked, organised and played and especially to Johanna David for hosting.
Christmas Coffee and Chat for Charity
There was plenty of festive spirit at our Christmas Coffee and Chat in December, which raised over £150 for Vennture, a fantastic local charity that works with the homeless and others in need in Herefordshire. In addition to Christmas treats, we had stalls selling books and home made crafts and foodie gifts, and it was lovely to catch up with local friends.
Our very first Advent Retreat at St Mary's was an opportunity for old and new friends to spend a peaceful afternoon preparing ourselves for the busy Christmas season. We spent time listening to poetry and music, doing crafts and reflecting on the anxious mind, before ending with a Christian meditation.
Harvest Festival and Supper
Our annual harvest festival service and harvest supper were a lovely community event as always. We welcomed some young visitors from Germany and enjoyed catching up with old friends over soup, bread and cheese (with apple crumble to follow). Huge thanks to the talented Vikki Scovell for her extraordinary harvest bread and to Sue, Ruth and Penny for the soup.
Macmillan coffee morning
Our monthly coffee morning was held as a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Care in October. It was great to see so many people enjoying the food and catching up with friends, and to be able to raise money for such a great cause. Thank you to everyone who attended and especially to those who baked such amazing cakes and biscuits.
St John Kemble Pilgrimage 2022
We were delighted to host members of the Roman Catholic community once again for the annual pilgrimage to the grave of St John Kemble in August this year. The pilgrims, who had walked from St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Monmouth, processed through the churchyard to the grave of St John Kemble where they said prayers, sang a hymn and listened to a short address. They very kindly invited us to join them afterwards at the Benediction at their church in Monmouth, followed by a tea at which we had a chance to get to make some new friends. We are very much hoping to forge closer relations between the two churches.
Visit from Local History Group
This summer we were delighted to host a group from the Monmouth U3A. It was a real pleasure to share a little of the fascinating history of our church and to chat over coffee and biscuits.
If you're part of a group that would like to visit the church, do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In May of this year we were lucky enough to host the first in a series of wildlife talks at St Mary's. Sarah King of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust spoke to a packed church about the amazing habitat in Welsh Newton Common, with lots of practical advice about how to preserve habitat for vulnerable species. She emphasised the need to create corridors between isolated patches of woodland, the importance of ponds and even the need to shut gates so dormice don't get stranded!
It was lovely to see so many local friends there and we enjoyed catching up with everyone over refreshments both before and afterwards. Stay tuned for further talks.