The Deanery of Raglan/Usk is in the Archdeaconry of Monmouth.
The Rural Dean is The Reverend T G Clement.
Raglan and Usk Deanery is situated at the centre of Monmouthshire, surrounding the beautiful Usk Valley. In part perhaps, it is this God-given beauty that provides much of the ‘heart beat’ of the Church in this area. With this wonderful countryside so evident, so vibrant, and so accessible, God’s creation brings life to all that goes on here.
Based on God’s love, fellowship is at the core of our ministry. The Deanery Chapter, which includes stipendiary clerics, non-stipendiary clerics and lay-readers, meet together regularly. One month they gather for a Chapter business meeting, and the next month they meet for a Chapter Fellowship Supper. They also meet fortnightly to pray for one another.
In order to move towards our Mission Plan aim of working together more closely as a single unit, the Deanery as a whole also has opportunity to meet together regularly. Each 2nd Tuesday of the month there is Deanery Informal Praise and Worship, and each 4th Thursday of the month a Deanery Quiet Time is held. Over the last few years we have arranged a Deanery Lent course, and we hold an Easter Dawn Communion Service on the Blorenge Mountain. Once a year we organise a Refreshment Away Weekend, and once a year we join with other denominations for an open-air service of Christian witness. There are also various events held by individual parishes, like the Advent Carol Service in St. Cadoc’s Raglan and an Easter Vigil in St. Mary’s Usk, to which the wider deanery are invited.
To support these grouped events and all other work going on in the deanery, a small Intercessory Prayer Team meet together fortnightly to listen to God’s guidance and pray through current issues. And a Deanery Daily Prayer Diary is circulated to enable parishes and individuals to pray for one another and for the work being carried out across the deanery, and indeed, the diocese.
The new Church in Wales Lectionary is now being used in most parishes across the deanery. Over a three year period, this lectionary provides a much broader use of biblical material. And while some parishes are still using the 1984 rite, a good proportion of parishes have adopted the 2004 rite for Holy Communion. This allows for a range of worship styles, and also better accommodates the different material available for the various seasons of the Christian year.
There are 22 church buildings currently in use throughout the deanery (2 are redundant), many of which are listed, and all are worth visiting. Just some special features to be seen are the wonderful rood screen lofts of Bettws Newydd and St. Jerome’s, Llangwm; the splendid rood screen in St. Mary’s, Usk; the double entry to the once rood loft in St Cybi’s, Llangybi; the ‘quirky’ bend of the aisle in St. Illtyd’s, Mamhilad; the optical illusion seen looking through the glass doors at the back of St. Cadoc’s, Raglan; the sgraffito on the walls inside St. Mary’s, Llanvair Kilgeddin; and the new sculpture above the chancel step in St. Peter’s, Goytre. Outside the buildings are some preaching crosses, old bells, timbered porches, odd towers, ancient yew trees, and many magnificent views of the amazing landscape.