St Mary’s Church in Magor is celebrating its 150th birthday – and everyone is invited to join in the fun!
Celebrations include a ‘Living Church’ event over the weekend 11-13 May, including talks about the history of the building, a chance to explore parts of the church which are not usually open and a re-dedication service lead by the Bishop of Monmouth.
Rev Canon Jeremy Harris, Ministry Area Leader for Magor, said: “A number of key events are taking place over the three days and our aim is not to simply celebrate the past (although that is important), but also to demonstrate how we are indeed a ‘living’ church; giving people the opportunity to find out more about the building, what we do and how we are trying to interact more with our community. We are also going to be asking people about the role they envisage for the church in the future.”
Parts of the building date back to 12th Century and there is thought to have been a place of worship on the current site since the 7th Century, however, however, it will be 150 years since a major restoration of the building was carried out and the dedication of the church was changed from St. Leonard (the patron saint of prisoners, women in labour and cattle!) to St. Mary the Virgin.
From the Friday to Sunday the church will be open from 10am to 6pm. The key events will be:-
Friday 11th at 7.30pm: A lively talk about the history of the building and an opportunity to explore. This will be led by Richard Jones from the Caldicot History Society and the Diocese of Hereford. Admission is free and refreshments will be available
On Saturday 12th between 10am and 4pm several areas of the church generally closed to visitors will be open to the public. This includes the ringing chamber in the tower and the medieval Parvis room. Between 2pm and 4pm there will be a special birthday Cake Saturday – delicious cakes and tea/ coffee and a chance to explore!
On the morning of Sunday 13th May at 10.45am Bishop Richard of Monmouth will be joining us in church for a service of celebration and re-dedication. This will be attended by the incoming Chair of Monmouthshire County Council and local civic dignitaries and representatives of local voluntary organisations.