Abergavenny Priory

“The Westminster Abbey of Wales.” Well, that’s what the sign outside the Tourist Information Office next door said. It’s certainly a fine, large building with a strong display of the dead (though not royalty), but I rather felt that it was both overblown and demeaning at the same time to compare it in that way with a church in London. Jesse lies majestically there, a shadow of his former colourful self, though a modern window above him goes some way to resurrecting the effect with an eclectic array of folk in his tree (I spotted Etheldreda). The church is obviously something of a hub, with a small New Monastic Community in residence, lots of artwork from local children and adults alike, and a general air of investment and care. Seeing it more or less empty of people was also therefore rather strange – and perhaps at odds with what I imagine is its vision. A place to go back to and wonder about and wonder in.