Friends of St Mary’s Lunch

Bishop Joanna and the clergy of St Mary’s

Bishop Joanna Penberthy was the celebrant and preacher at St Mary’s Church, Haverfordwest, on Sunday 14 May and also the guest speaker at the Friends of St Mary’s Lunch held at the Glen Hotel following the service in church. She was accompanied by her husband Adrian and her chaplain, Fr Paul and spoke to the guests about her about her life and calling to the ministry.

Mr Roy Folland present cheque from Friends

The Chairman of the Friends, Roy Folland, presented a cheque for £1499 to Pat Barker to purchase a new Yamaha digital piano for use in the many concerts now taking place in St Mary’s. In thanking the Friends for their generous donation Pat said that in 2016 some twenty concerts and other musical events had taken place in the church which was now a major venue in the town and a good, reliable piano had to be available for performers and accompanists.

She added that the Friends had also provided 100 folding seats and staging.

Baroque Concert

Following the great success of last year’s concert of Handel’s ‘Dixit Dominus’ and other baroque music in St Mary’s Church, featuring Tempus Vocal Group, professional soloists, and musicians from the Wales Baroque Players, there will be another concert performance of ‘Dido and Aeneas’ and other works by Henry Purcell on Saturday 20th May from 7.30pm in St Mary’s Church.

Last year’s concert saw St Mary’s Church filled to capacity, and it is anticipated that this year’s performance will be another sell-out, so please order your tickets early to ensure a seat. Tickets are priced £12 in advance, or £15 on the door (children half price). For booking and enquiries contact or telephone 01646 621218.

Easter Story

St Mary’s Church was the setting for the inspirational re-enactment of the Easter Story at the end of March, as part of a project produced for the junior schools of Haverfordwest. Five schools from Haverfordwest took part, and experienced the Easter story, retold in the style of a Passion Play, enacted by a cast consisting of clergy and parishioners from St Mary’s.

The children ‘journeyed’ with the characters from the Passion narrative through the church, and experienced the events of Holy Week and Easter, from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday  (portrayed by Fr Edward, in very realistic beard!); and the Last Supper with disciples (Derek Rees and John Warren) on Maundy Thursday; through the scheming and plotting of Caiaphas (very convincingly played by Bishop John) and Judas (Hume Gravell); Jesus’ arrest and trial at the hands of Pontius Pilate (menacingly portrayed by Peter Allen); his crucifixion at the hands of fittingly attired Roman soldiers (Roy Folland and Charles Davies); and finally, to the wonder and amazement of Mary Magdalene (Wendy Hawker) at the discovery of the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning. The whole story was narrated throughout by Gill White and Father Alun, who had scripted the play and led the children through the whole experience, and with musical accompaniment by Pat Barker.

It was amazing and inspiring to see how the children were drawn into the experience of the story, with many of them expressing their wonder and awe at what several said was the first time they had heard the Easter story. Congratulations and sincere thanks are expressed to Gill, Alun and all the cast and helpers who helped to produce such an inspirational project, to communicate the central message of our Christian faith to the young people of our town schools.


The cast and helpers of “The Easter Story” St Marys Church, Haverfordwest – March 2017


Holy Week and Easter

Holy Week and Easter

Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday, 9th April, 2017. This week marks the most important week of the Christian year, as we follow the events of Our Lord’s Passion and death, leading to the great celebration of the resurrection on Easter Day.

Palm Sunday (9th April)

The week begins with Palm Sunday, the day which recalls Jesus’ entry into the city of Jerusalem, to be greeted with shouts of ‘Hosanna!’ as the crowds welcomed him as a king. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and the crowds waved branches of palm leaves to salute him.

Our Palm Sunday service begins with the blessing and distribution of palm crosses, which are given to each member of the congregation to carry in a procession into church in honour of Jesus.

  • 8.00am Low Mass at St Martin’s Church
  • 9.30am Blessing of Palm Crossses at St Martin’s Church Hall and Procession into Church and Sung Parish Mass at St Martin’s Church
  • 11.15am Blessing of Palm Crossses  and Sung Parish Eucharist at St Mary’s Church

Monday and Tuesday in Holy Week

Two days of quiet contemplation at the start of a busy week.

  • Monday, 7.30pm Compline and meditation at St Martin’s Church
  • Tuesday, 7.30pm Compline and meditation at ST Mary’s Church

Wednesday in Holy Week

On the Wednesday in Holy Week, 12th April, will be holding a Christian Passover in St Martin’s Church Hall, starting at 6.00pm. An event for the whole United Parish of Haverfordwest and Camrose.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to experience something of the traditional Passover meal within the context of the Christian faith. In simple terms, it tells the story of the Jewish history and their salvation from slavery in Egypt, and for us Christians also puts into context the event of the Last Supper, which Jesus shared with his disciples. It is a joyful occasion, a family meal, and we hope that everyone will feel welcome and able to join us. There is food and drink, music and a little storytelling! All welcome.

  • 6.00pm Passover Meal at St Martin’s Church Hall

Maundy Thursday (13th April)

Maundy Thursday marks the occasion when Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples, at which he instituted the Holy Eucharist. Jesus took bread and wine, blessed them, broke the bread and shared the bread and wine with his disciples, saying that they were his body and blood, given for them. Just as the bread was broken and the wine poured out, Jesus body would be broken on the cross and his blood poured out.

Following the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he spent time in prayer, in great anguish, before he was arrested and taken to his trial on Good Friday.

Our Maundy Thursday service in St Martin’s begins at 7.30pm with a great celebration of the Eucharist, recalling the Last Supper. It is followed by the Watch of the Passion, a time of quiet prayer and meditation, reflecting on Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Watch continues until 10.00pm, and although it is not compulsory to stay in church for this time of prayer, we are encouraged to stay for at least a short time, as we recall Christ’s anguish.

  • 7.30pm United Parish Mass (Eucharist) at St Martin’s, followed by the Stripping of the Altar, and the Watch of the Passion (optional) until 10.00pm

Good Friday (14th April)

Good Friday is the most somber day of the Christian year, as we reflect on Jesus’ trial and death on the cross. Our churches are stripped of the usual embellishments and ornaments, and our worship is much more subdued and reflective than on other days.

Our services on this day are at:-

  • 7.30am Morning Prayer and Litany at St Martin’s Church
  • 10.30am Stations of the Cross at St Martin’s Church – A traditional, meditative service, reflecting on the events of Christ’s journey to the Cross, as we walk around the church, reflecting and praying at each of the 14 ‘stations’ which represent the points on Jesus’ walk to the cross.
  • 11.00am Stations of the Cross at St Ismael’s Church, Camrose
  • At 12 noon we will be joining with the other Churches Together in Haverfordwest for a walk of witness around the town centre, starting at Castle Square.
  • 2.00pm Holy Hour at St Mary’s Church – The traditional Liturgy of the Day for Good Friday. Prayers and readings, and the Veneration of the Cross.

Easter Eve (Holy Saturday)

Traditionally, this is a much quieter day than the earlier part of Holy Week, with very few services taking place during the day. During this time, we reflect on how Jesus body rested in the sepulchre, or grave.

However, from the evening we begin the great celebration of Easter, as we mark the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ who rose from the dead.

  • The first celebration of Easter is at the Easter Vigil, which begins at 7.30pm at St Martin’s Church – a service for the United Parish of Haverfordwest and Camrose. This beautiful and joyous service begins with the lighting and blessing of the first fire of Easter, as a small flame is lit, representing the light of the risen Christ. From this flame, the large, Paschal (Easter) Candle is lit, and processed with great celebration through the church, as we proclaim, “The Light of Christ – Thanks be to God!”. Gradually, the light is spread through the church, as more candles are lit from the Paschal Candle. On this evening, we traditionally renew our baptism promises, as it is in baptism that we get to share in the promise of Christ’s Resurrection. Our Easter Vigil service then reaches its climax in the joyful celebration of the Eucharist, which is the First Mass of Easter.

Easter Day

Our celebrations of the resurrection continue on Easter Day, with great joy and splendour. We hope you will join us for at least one of these Easter services, which celebrates the central and most important event of our Christian faith.

  • 6.00am A Sunrise Service at Plumstone Mountain, near Camrose
  • 9.30am Sung Parish Mass for Easter Day at St Martin’s Church
  • 10.15am Sung Parish Eucharist for Easter Day at St Ismael’s Church, Camrose
  • 11.15am Sung Parish Eucharist for Easter Day at St Mary’s Church.


Passover Meal

Parish Passover Meal

On the Wednesday in Holy Week, 12th April, will be holding a Christian Passover in St Martin’s Church Hall, starting at 6.00pm. An event for the whole United Parish of Haverfordwest and Camrose.
This will be a wonderful opportunity to experience something of the traditional Passover meal within the context of the Christian faith. In simple terms, it tells the story of the Jewish history and their salvation from slavery in Egypt, and for us Christians also puts into context the event of the Last Supper, which Jesus shared with his disciples. It is a joyful occasion, a family meal, and we hope that everyone will feel welcome and able to join us. There is food and drink, music and a little storytelling! All welcome.
For further information, or to book tickets, please contact St Martin’s Vicarage on 01437 762303.

St Martin’s Fabric Update

It is now 17 months since parishioners were asked how best to use the proceeds from the sale of Lambston Church on the fabric of St Martin’s. I am sure that many of you are wondering what the outcome of the survey was and what is happening now. Nearly 40 questionnaires were returned, and I am grateful to everyone who took the time to consider what could be done to maintain our wonderful church. The following is a list of the tasks given highest priority:-

  • Redecorate the church interior
  • Replace the boiler
  • Seal the boiler room walls
  • Replace the carpet / restore the tiled floor
  • Upgrade the organ
  • Replace the curtain in the Lady Chapel

Faculty Applications

No work can be undertaken within the church without the authority of the Diocese in the form of a Faculty signed by the Diocesan Chancellor. Three Faculty applications were submitted to the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) in June 2016. One combined the first four tasks listed above together with an additional task to repair a leak from the roof down the interior church wall. The other two were for the last two items on the list above. The Faculty form runs to eight or so pages and is relatively simple to fill in; it is the accompanying specifications and technical drawings, following numerous meetings with architects, builders and consultants that take the time.

The DAC approved the latter applications but required additional information (another 40 pages!) on the major tasks. Final approval was given towards the end of 2016 with the DAC advising the Chancellor to sign the Faculties, with one amendment. We were unable to give full details of what we wanted to do concerning the floor tiles and carpet. The carpet is stuck to the tiles, and where we are able to lift the carpet we can see that the tiles are badly cracked and damaged. This element of the faculty was withdrawn, however we have permission to investigate further (in the presence of an archaeologist, – you never know what we might find under the tiles!) and then to re-submit the faculty application at a later date.

So what next?

Over the next few months the road outside St Martin’s and the church path around the church will be dug up to install a gas supply to the base of the tower. The loose plaster will be removed from the interior church walls to complete the drying out process. Detailed specifications for the new gas boiler and controls will be compiled prior to going out to tender for the boiler installation. Once the old boiler is switched off at the end of April it will be decommissioned and then removed together with the oil tank and chimney. All the pipe work and radiators, which are in good condition, will be flushed through and then the radiators removed for sandblasting prior to repainting. The boiler room will be cleaned and re-pointed if necessary prior to lime painting. A new boiler will be fitted and connected to the gas supply and pipe work. Finally the church will be redecorated. Hopefully the funds available following the sale of Lambston Church will be sufficient to cover all the costs of this work. This will all take time, will be messy and will need everyone’s co-operation whilst work is in progress. It may be necessary at times to hold services in the hall.

Organ Screens

It is not possible to fund the work necessary on the organ, or the replacement of the curtain in the Lady Chapel from the proceeds of the sale of Lambston, as these are deemed non-fabric work. The new oak screens in the Lady Chapel will be funded by The Friends of St Martin’s and hopefully will be in place in the next month. Any work on the organ will require major grant applications and specific fundraising. The work required is estimated at £25,000. More of this next month, together with an article on the organ.

900th Anniversary

I hope that this has provided, in simple terms, an idea of what is happening concerning the fabric of St Martin’s. If anyone requires a more detailed explanation or sight of some of the paperwork, you only have to ask! All this work will get the Church in good working and decorative order, which will be easier to maintain. With everyone’s help I hope we can maintain its good looks for a while as in three years time St Martin’s will be celebrating its 900th Anniversary. Is it too early to start planning?

Brian Body (Parish Warden)

Annual Vestry Meeting

The Annual Vestry Meeting for the United Parish of Haverfordwest will take place on Sunday 2nd April at 5.00pm in St Thomas’ Church Hall on St Thomas’ Green. During this meeting, the annual report on the United Parish will be received, and the churchwarden and members of the Parochial Church Council will be elected for the coming year. All members of the Parish Electoral Roll are entitled to attend and vote, and should make every effort to be present.

Mr Brian Body will not be eligible for re-election as Parish Warden this year, having served the maximum number of years for a continuous term of office. We are very grateful to Brian for his many years of faithful and diligent service as Parish Warden. It will therefore be necessary to elect a new Parish Warden at this year’s Annual Vestry Meeting, and nomination papers, giving details of the criteria for election, are available from both churches, the parish clergy, the churchwardens, or from the PCC secretary.

Pre-Vestry Meetings

Prior to the Annual Vestry Meeting for the United Parish, the individual churches of St Martin’s and St Mary’s will hold their Pre-Vestry meetings, at which sub-wardens and members will be elected to the respective District Church Council (sub-committees of the PCC for that individual church). Members of the Parish Electoral Roll should make every effort to attend the Pre-Vestry meeting for the church they normally attend, to exercise their responsibility to nominate and elect wardens, DCC and PCC members.

St Mary’s Pre-Vestry Meeting
Sunday 12th March at 12.15pm, in St Mary’s Church
following the 11.15am Parish Communion Service
St Martin’s Pre-Vestry Meeting
Sunday 19th March at 10.30am in St Martin’s Church,
following the 9.30am Parish Mass

Both the Pre-Vestry meetings and the Annual Vestry Meeting are open meetings for everyone in the parish, and new members are very welcome to attend. Nomination papers for Parish and Sub-wardens, PCC and DCC members are available from both churches, or please ask one of the clergy or wardens. Nominations and voting may only be done by those whose names are included on the Electoral Roll for the United Parish of Haverfordwest.
The current Parish Electoral Roll is on display in each church. Please check to see if your name is correctly entered. Application forms to be entered on the Electoral Roll of the parish are also available in both churches and from the parish clergy and wardens, or can be downloaded here:-

Electoral Roll Application Form

Parish Prayer Walk

To mark the joining of the Parish of Camrose in the grouping with the United Parish of Haverfordwest, we are planning to walk from Haverfordwest to Camrose on Saturday 4th March. The walk will be a symbolic act of our joining together.

We will begin at St Mary’s Church at 10.00am, and will move to St Martin’s by 10.30am aiming to leave Haverfordwest at 11.00am with the intention of reaching Camrose by 12.30-1.00pm. There will be a short act of worship in each church, with coffee served at St Mary’s at the beginning of our journey and a light lunch of soup and sandwiches served in Camrose.

Unless it is raining very heavily, we will be walking, but if anyone feels unable to walk or wants to come for part of it, then feel free to travel by car between the churches. We will have a couple of cars in Camrose for the journey home to Haverfordwest, for those without transport, but otherwise please arrange your own transport back.

Parish Grouping

Bishop Joanna, the new bishop of St Davids, will be visiting the Parish on Thursday 9th March for a special service to mark the grouping of the United Parish of Haverfordwest with the Parish of Camrose.

St Ismael’s Church, Camrose

Fr Nick will be licensed as Priest in Charge of Camrose, in addition to the United Parish of Haverfordwest, and Revd Heather Cale will be commissioned as Focal Minister for Camrose Parish. Heather will also be licensed as an Associate Priest in the diocese, having served as a curate for the past three years, and will continue to minister as Associate Priest in the United Parish of Haverfordwest as well as Camrose.

The service of licensing and commissioning will take place in Camrose Church on Thursday 9th March at 7.00pm, and it is hoped that there will be good support from parishioners of both Haverfordwest and Camrose for this special service for both parishes.

Lent 2017

Dear friends,

March this year begins on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, which will continue through the whole of this month, and up to Easter Day on Sunday 16th April. The forty days of Lent (not counting the Sundays) recall the forty days (and nights) that Jesus spent in the wilderness, in a period of testing and reflection, before he began his public ministry. This would have given Jesus some considerable time and opportunity to contemplate what that ministry was to be, and what was God’s plan and purpose for him.

Traditionally the church keeps the season of Lent as a time to take on certain ‘disciplines’, in our own ‘wilderness experience’, as we reflect on Jesus’ time in the wilderness. For many people, those disciplines include some sort of fasting (even as simple as giving up chocolate or alcohol during Lent), but more importantly they should include some sort of reflection on our Christian life and ministry. This could be by reading one of the many Christian books which are produced specially for Lent, or by attending a Lent study group, such as the ‘Life Balancecourse we will be holding for our Local Ministry Area each Wednesday during Lent at Prendergast Church Hall.

Jesus was able to overcome the temptations of the Devil, which he experienced during his time in the wilderness, by keeping his mind and thoughts focused on God, and what was His plan for his life. In the same way, we should try to focus our thoughts on what God wants us to be, and Lent is traditionally a time to spend a little more time in prayer with God, and to be a little more regular in worship.

This is often a busy time of year for many of us, but I hope that amid all the ‘busy-ness’, we will all use this Lent well, and try to take on some of the traditional disciplines of fasting, spiritual reflection, prayer and worship, so that we may draw closer to God and be strengthened in our spiritual lives.

I wish you all a holy Lent.

Yours in Christ Jesus,




Lent Lunches

Lent Lunches will be held once again on three Fridays during Lent, with all proceeds going to good causes outside our normal Sunday
giving. All lunches start at 12 noon.

  • Friday 3rd March at St Martin’s Church Hall for Shalom House Palliative Care Centre, St Davids
  • Friday 17th March at St Martin’s Church Hall for UK Sepsis Trust
  • Friday 7th April at St Mary’s Church for St Marks VA School


And something else to try in Lent …..

Lent is often seen as a good time to give up something. But it can also be a good time to do something extra. One thing that that we can do is to make some more time to be able to pray. One resource that can be really useful and might be worth trying this Lent is an internet resource/app called Pray As You Go. This is a recorded reflection on a Bible reading that you can listen to, introduced by a piece of meditative music to help lead you into prayer. Pray As You Go takes around 15 minutes a day to do, so it doesn’t take very long, and it’s the sort of thing that you can listen to with earphones if sitting on a bus, sitting in a waiting room or just going for a walk. One of the great advantages of it is that it means that you don’t have to think about what to pray about. You simply let the recording lead you. Maybe this might be something to give a try this Lent.

Life Balance – A Five Session Course on Rest, Work and Play for Lent

Life Balance – A Five Session Course on Rest, Work and Play for Lent

21st century living is hectic. Getting the right ‘life balance’ between rest, work and play seems almost impossible. Our Lent study course this year for the United Parish of Haverfordwest and the Local Ministry Area of Haverfordwest will be looking at how we can try to restore some balance into our lives.

In five interactive sessions, Life Balance aims to help us to explore: How to build Sabbath time into the crazy pressures of everyday life. How ‘Sabbath attitudes’ can transform the way we spend our time. Each 90-minute session will include group study, interactive activities, questions for discussion,  and ideas for practical action.

Coming Soon

Starting on Wednesday 8th March, Life Balance will be led by the Ministry Team of the Haverfordwest Local Ministry Area, and will be held each Wednesday for five weeks from 7.00-8.30pm at Prendergast Church Hall, Prendergast, Haverfordwest. An invitation is extended to anyone who would like to join us for any or all of the five sessions.

  • Wednesday 8th March – Time to Pause
  • Wednesday 15th March – Time to Celebrate
  • Wednesday 22nd March – Time to Rest
  • Wednesday 29th March – Time to Play
  • Wednesday 5th April – Time to Liberate