New Rector is appointed for Abergavenny and Govilon churches

Wednesday 19th May 2021 2:46 pm
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From left, Archdeacon Sue Pinnington, Bishop Cherry Vann, Fr John Connell, and Area Dean Fr Julian Gray outside St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny, after the licensing of Fr John Connell to the parishes of Abergavenny and Govilon on May 9, 2021 ()

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A new chapter opened in the life of the Anglican churches in Abergavenny and Govilon on Sunday, May 9, as their new priest, the Rev John Connell, was licensed to the parishes.

Friends, family and members of Fr John’s previous parish joined clergy and congregation gathered at St Mary’s Priory Church as the Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Revd Cherry Vann, presided over the service.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only 63 people were able to attend, although there was plenty of socially-distanced chatter as they caught up with those they hadn’t seen for a while.

The congregation included the chairman of Monmouthshire County Council, Cllr Sheila Woodhouse, and the Mayor of Abergavenny, Cllr Tony Konieczny, in what were their final civic duties before giving up the posts they have held for two years.

The service included an anthem, sung by St Mary’s Priory Church and composed by its musical director Tim Pratt using words from St John’s Gospel chosen by Fr John: ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’.

Fr John is no stranger to the Abergavenny area, having previously served as Vicar of Llantilio Pertholey. Originally from Yorkshire, he considers himself an ‘honorary Welshman’, and comes to the town from his previous post at St Augustine’s, Rumney,


Over the next few months, Fr John will work to bring the seven churches of Abergavenny and Govilon together in a new ministry area, as well as overseeing the appointment of a second priest.

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