2021 PILGRIMAGE: The arrangements for the 2021 Pilgrimage on Saturday 21st August will differ substantially from those in previous years.
As outlined in this year’s Trust Newsletter, the road between Llanthony and Capel-y-ffin is currently impassable due to a landslip. The 11.30am Eucharist will therefore be at St Mary’s Church, Hay-on-Wye, rather than at Llanthony. This will be followed by a ‘bring & share’ picnic in the grounds of the church.
From 1.30pm onwards, drive to Capel-y-ffin via the Gospel Pass in time for Evensong at 3.30pm in the grounds of the Church of St Mary the Virgin at Capel-y-ffin. Our preacher will be Fr Ben Rabjohns of Penrhiwceiber. The procession to the ruins of Fr Ignatius’ Abbey Church will then follow, with prayers at the Wayside Calvary and the statue of Our Lady of Llanthony, before tea on the lawn at the Monastery, courtesy of the Knill family.
Please note there is no organised pilgrimage walk planned for this year, although some pilgrims may choose to walk part of the way between Hay-on-Wye and Capel-y-ffin if they so wish.
Please get in touch with the Trust Secretary via the Contact page for further information if needed.
An online lecture (available for 48 hours) which may be of interest to our supporters is being hosted by Theatr Brycheiniog from Friday 23rd April 2021 at 7.30pm. The 23rd Sir John Lloyd lecture on ‘The Monastic Presence in Medieval Brecknock’ will be given by Professor Janet Burton of Trinity College, Lampeter; further details are available on our Facebook page or from www.brycheiniog.co.uk/en/whats-on . There is no charge for the lecture but a donation may be made to the work of the Brecknock Society & Museum Friends if you so wish.
Unfortunately the 2020 pilgrimage had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, we were able to invite our supporters to join us in a ‘spiritual pilgrimage’ to Llanthony and Capel-y-ffin on August 22nd 2020, details of which are available here. In addition, our Newsletter Editor made a video version, available here and on YouTube. The intended date for this year’s Pilgrimage is Saturday 21st August 2021, and more details will be available in the next issue of the Trust Newsletter, published annually on or around Ascension Day. Please contact the Trust Secretary via the Contact page if you are not on our mailing list, and would like to receive a copy of the newsletter.
The new plaque carved by sculptor Philip Chatfield is now in place on the wall of the Abbey Church, just to the left of the entrance gate, and describes Ignatius’s mission in this remote part of the Black Mountains.
In addition, visitors to the Abbey Church will notice there is now a slate sign (carved by Trust Secretary Peter Davies) in place on the north cloister wall of the Monastery by the steps leading up from the forecourt.
If you are not on our mailing list and would like to receive a copy of the latest Trust Newsletter, please contact the Trust Secretary (see the Contact page).
The 2019 Trust Pilgrimage took place in fair weather on August 17th, with Canon Simon Griffiths of Truro Cathedral the guest preacher at Evensong in the Church of St Mary the Virgin at Capel-y-ffin. See the Trust Facebook page for photographs taken on the day.
See the Trust Facebook page for photographs and details of the 2018 Trust Pilgrimage. The text of Abbot Cuthbert Brogan’s sermon at the Pilgrimage Evensong in the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Capel-y-ffin can be seen on the on the Documents page of this website.
A summary of the Father Ignatius Trust Privacy (Data Protection) Policy can be seen here.
The 2017 Trust Pilgrimage took place in fine weather on Saturday 19th August, starting with a sung Eucharist at St David’s Church, Llanthony, celebrated by Fr Richard Williams of Hay, with an address by Fr Philip Wyn Davies, Vicar of Tregaron. Following a picnic lunch next to the Priory car park, some pilgrims drove to Capel-y-ffin while others set off on foot along the eastern side of the valley, arriving in time for Evensong at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, with Fr Martin Williams presiding. The packed congregation was addressed by the Right Reverend Dominic Walker, former Bishop of Monmouth, whose sermon may be viewed here. Evensong was followed by a procession up the lane to the ruins of Ignatius’ Abbey Church, with stations at the memorial Calvary and the statue of Our Lady on the monastery forecourt. Tea and cake were served afterwards on the Monastery lawn by the kind courtesy of Mr & Mrs Knill. See the Trust Facebook page for further details and photographs.
The entrance to the Wayside Calvary at the side of the lane leading up to the Monastery at Capel-y-ffin has been repaired by stonemason John Barber of Llanigon. Mr Barber was able to conserve the original inscription on one of the entrance pillars, which reads: ‘The Burning Bush Opposite’, a reference to the site of the apparitions of Our Lady reported in 1880 in the meadow below the Monastery. A photograph of John Barber and his assistant at work on the Calvary steps is included in the 2017 edition of the Trust Newsletter, and our thanks go to Jessica Griffiths for taking the photo. Jessica helps her mother Mary run the Grange pony trekking centre near the Monastery.
Further reviews of Hugh Allen’s book ‘New Llanthony Abbey’ can be found in New Directions magazine (Dec. 2016/Jan. 2017 issue) – see here, in the latest issue of the Kilvert Society’s Journal (see link to our Facebook page opposite) and here in an extract from the Anglo-Catholic History Society Autumn 2016 Newsletter.
‘New Llanthony Abbey’ by Hugh Allen (Peterscourt Press 2016)
Hugh Allen’s book ‘New Llanthony Abbey: Father Ignatius’s Monastery at Capel-y-ffin’ has now been published, and is available direct from the author (see contact details below). A review of the book published in the Church Times may be viewed here, and a review posted on the Society of the Faith website is available here. In addition, a review by Fr Martin Williams is included in the latest edition of the Trust Newsletter.
Hugh Allen tells the story of Ignatius’s community from its origins in early 1860s East Anglia to its migration to Wales in 1870, its history through the following four decades (including the reported Apparitions in 1880), and its demise after the founder’s death in 1908. He also describes the later history of the former monastery, home in the 1920s to the sculptor and typographer Eric Gill, and for many years to the family of his eldest daughter, and brings the story up to date with information about the Father Ignatius Memorial Trust and the continuing appeal of New Llanthony as a place of pilgrimage.
The author is a former clergyman of the Church in Wales, and now an Orthodox layman. He is a longstanding member of the Father Ignatius Memorial Trust. To obtain a copy of the book, please telephone him on 01884 258031 for BACS transfer details, or send a cheque for £20 (payable to R.W.H. Allen) to Hugh Allen, 9 Park Close, Tiverton, Devon EX16 6AX (price includes postage and packing).
2016 Trust Newsletter
The 2016 Trust Newsletter remains available. It includes sculptor Philip Chatfield’s account of his commission to carve a statue of St Aeldred for the Caldey Island community, a gift from the Benedictines of Pluscarden and Prinknash to mark the 1913 conversion. The cover photograph shows Ignatius preaching at the National Eisteddfod held in Newport in 1897.
To obtain a copy of this newsletter, please contact the Trust Secretary – see the Contact page.
Fr Roger Shambrook
It is with great regret that we announce the death of Fr Roger Shambrook on May 6th, 2016. Fr Shambrook had been a long-standing Trustee, with many years of faithful service to the Trust. An appreciation will be included in the next edition of the Trust Newsletter.
Following the recent retirement of Debbie Lyne as a Trustee, we are delighted that Debbie has agreed to become an Emeritus Trustee, and so will continue her long association with the Trust.
The 2016 Pilgrimage took place on Saturday 20th August, with a sung Eucharist service at St David’s Church, Llanthony at which Fr Martin Williams officiated. The preacher was Fr Mark Soady of St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny. Pilgrims then made their way, some on foot, to St Mary’s Church, Capel-y-ffin for Evensong, conducted by Fr Roderick Hingley, with an address given by Fr Julian Gray, Vicar of Llantilio Pertholey. This was followed by a procession to the Monastery with stations at the Wayside Calvary and the newly refurbished statue of Our Lady on the monastery forecourt. Tea and cakes were served on the monastery lawn courtesy of Mr and Mrs Andrew Knill. See our Facebook page for photographs taken on the day.
2016 National Eisteddfod
The National Eisteddfod of Wales took place in Abergavenny from 29th July to 6th August 2016, and the Trust was represented on the Maes within the Lle Hanes (Local History Pavilion). The Eisteddfod was returning to Abergavenny for the first time since 1913, and was held on the Castle Meadows not far from Abergavenny Castle and Museum. Those familiar with the story of Ignatius will know that that he held the Welsh language dear, and that he was created a Bard at the National Eisteddfod held at Brecon in 1889, taking the bardic name ‘Dewi Honddu’. A photograph of Ignatius preaching at a later National Eisteddfod in Newport is held in the Trust Archive at Abergavenny Museum, and is reproduced on the front page of the 2016 Trust newsletter (see above).
See our Facebook page for Michael Woodward’s photographs from the 2015 pilgrimage, as well as a short video.
A few copies of the 2015 Newsletter remain available. As well as details of the Pilgrimage and other news, the 2015 Trust Newsletter includes an article by Hugh Allen entitled ‘Two Diaries’, kept respectively by Fr Ignatius in the early months of 1908 and by Fr Joseph Woodford of Caldey when he lived at Capel-y-ffin between 1923 and 1928. The photo on the cover of the newsletter (above) shows the Abbot with his adopted son ‘Brother David’ and family at Maes-y-ffin in 1907, the year before he died. An extract from the newsletter is available on the Documents page and gives Ignatius’ description of the final Apparition of Our Lady of Llanthony on 15 September 1880, the only one of the four reported apparitions which he witnessed himself.
To obtain a copy of this newsletter, please contact the Trust Secretary – see the Contact page.