St. Mary’s Church originated as a Cistercian Abbey in the 12th Century and was the original burial place of Llywelyn the Great. Dechreuodd yr Eglwys Blwyf y Santes Fair a’r Holl Saint fel Abaty’r Mynaich Gwynion yn y 12fed ganrif ac yma oedd man claddu Llywelyn Fawr yn wreiddiol.
St. Mary’s Church is located in the very centre of the town of Conwy, a beautiful, medieval-walled town, set in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the county of Conwy. We are very much a town centre Church, with a great teaching and musical tradition which draws people from far and wide.
Sunday Worship 11am
A warm welcome is guaranteed, with thought-provoking sermons and beautiful worship in our stunning historic setting. St. Mary’s is a growing and diverse community and we have a young children’s area. Our music includes a Church choir of adults, a junior choir of children, a talented worship group of varied instruments at All-age Services, and an art group. Click here for details about our upcoming Services and Events.
Wednesday Communion 11am
This Bro Celynnin Communion is a peaceful way to reflect and to reconnect with God in the middle of the week. It’s only half an hour, so come along to this midweek Communion to spend some time with God in this beautiful Church.
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St. Mary’s is a special place of historical and spiritual significance. If you want to organise a group booking, please click here for more information.
Open Morning 27th February
St. Mary’s will be open on Thursday 27th February (10am – 12pm) for people who are interested in volunteering for the new season, which starts on Saturday 4th April, when the Church reopens to visitors. Please think about people you know who would like to be part of our Visitor Welcome Team, and invite them along to enjoy cake and coffee with the rest of the team!
Carols around the Trees
We pay our thanks to everyone who came along to sing Carols around the Trees on Tuesday 3rd December.
Christmas Tree Festival
These are just some of the beautiful trees created by local Businesses, Organisations and Schools at the St David’s Hospice Conwy Christmas Tree Festival, in association with Daisy Chain Floral Design. The Festival was held from Monday 2nd December to Sunday 8th December.
People made beautiful wreaths for Advent and Christmas on Saturday 30th November, with experienced teacher, Trisha Hughes, in aid of the flower-arranging fund.
Remembrance and Bereavement Services
The font was beautifully decorated with poppies on Remembrance Sunday, in honour of the millions of people who lost their lives, or were wounded in battle, so that we can enjoy freedom today.
We are so grateful to Peter Barnes Sculpture for bringing the ‘Hand at Peace’ to the Remembrance and Bereavement Services on 10th November. The sculpture provided a gentle and powerful presence.
Conwy Art Weekend
There was a Feast of Art and Music on 25th and 26th October, with an Art Exhibition of sculptures and prints by Dr. Pascuzzi, where he used techniques from the Renaissance period. ‘Discover your inner Michelangelo’ workshops were fun and interactive, and taught the techniques of fresco painting. The ‘Becoming Michelangelo’ lecture explained the artistic origin of Michelangelo, and how he became an artistic genius.
Saturday evening provided an opportunity to view the artwork by Dr. Pascuzzi and local artists, as well as the work produced in the workshops. There was live music, that was both gentle and relaxing, in the atmospherically lit, medieval Church.
The Harvest Festival Evensong Gosber Diolchgarwch was on Sunday 29th September. Everybody enjoyed a wonderful evening with Laudes Choir, St. Mary’s Church Choir and conductor Graham Jordan Ellis.
The North Wales Camerata Gogledd Cymru gave a fabulous performance on 14th August.
The Conwy Classical Music Festival, which ran from 20th to 27th July, was a great success this year. There were some wonderful performances, including an evening on piano, violin and saxophone on 23rd June:-
Ian Watson (Violin), Christina Mason-Scheuermann (Piano) and Steve Summers (Saxophone) at St. Mary’s Church Eglwys y Santes Fair, Conwy (2019)
The Côr Meibion Goronwy Male Voice Choir gave a wonderful performance on 15th June. Annette Bryn Parri played the piano, and Dylan Cernyw played the harp:-
The Cantamus Choir presented a wonderful programme of music on 8th June:-
The Asaph Ensemble of London presented Eclectic Classics on Ascension Day. The programme of music included performances from Handel, Vivaldi, Marcello, Mozart, Charpentier, Morricone and Purcell. It truly was a concert to refresh the soul:-
The Menai Wind Quintet Pumawd Chwyth y Fenai and Gary O’Shea presented a wonderful programme of piano and wind music on 11th May, which included the first performance of Wind Quintet No. 1, by Colin Tommis, as well as works by Prokofiev, Ligeti, Poulenc and Arnold:-
There is an Art Exhibition in the Church, and the St. Mary’s Art Group has produced some beautiful pieces of art work, with various interpretations of Creation. Click here for more photographs.
There was a nationwide tolling of bells at 7pm on Maundy Thursday. Chris Roberts, our Musical Director, was tolling the bell to mourn the loss of parts of the Cathedral of our Lady (Notre Dame), and to show solidarity with our French neighbours.
Services and Events
Click here for upcoming Services and Events.
Click here for 2018 Services and Events.
Click here for 2017 Services and Events.
For its history alone, the Church is widely acknowledged as one of the most significant in North Wales, older than Conwy Castle itself! Click here to watch the development of the castle over the centuries. St. Mary’s Churchyard is an interesting place to visit and includes the grave associated with William Wordsworth’s poem ‘We Are Seven‘.
St. Mary’s originated as the church of the Cistercian Abbey of St. Mary and All Saints in Aberconwy, and it was founded by Llywelyn c. 1190. It was the principal religious centre of the Princes of Gwynedd during the last century of Welsh Independence. Llywelyn died at Aberconwy Abbey and was buried there.
Following the conquest of King Edward I, the Abbey was moved up river to Maenan near Llanrwst and was called Maenan Abbey. St. Mary and All Saints’ was rebuilt to become the Parish Church of the new fortified borough of Conwy. Llywelyn’s stone coffin was moved to St. Grwst’s Church in Llanrwst.
In the porch of St. Benedict’s in Gyffin there are two intriguing tomb slabs that date back to the 13th century. The Latin inscription on the smaller one translates to:-
“Llywelyn ap Iorwerth lies here”
Llywelyn the Great Llywelyn Fawr was the first Prince of Wales. His tomb was removed from Aberconwy Abbey by King Edward I. The slab at Gyffin is too small to cover the Prince’s stone sarcophagus located in Llanrwst.
Just outside the town walls, is the St. Agnes Churchyard, where Reverend Morgan is buried. A small iron church dedicated to St. Agnes was built in 1875 and was demolished c. 1972. Reverend Morgan was the vicar of St. Mary’s for over 30 years until 1870. During his time as vicar, the town experienced major changes with the arrival of the Railway, which was completed in 1848. The replacement National School in Rosehill Street was opened c. 1840 soon after he became vicar. Reverend Morgan and Conwy’s Chapel Ministers had great respect for one another, and the East Window at St. Mary’s is a memorial to him.
Click here for more historical information and the treasures of St. Mary’s Church.
Vicar: Reverend David Parry
firstname.lastname@example.org 07403 635510 and (01492) 593402
Local Church Wardens: Heather Addison (01492) 572924 and Vivien Wakely (01492) 593499
Church Hall Enquiries: Vivien Wakely (01492) 593499
Musical Director: Chris Roberts (Choir and Conwy Classical Music Festival)