St. Mary and All Saints Parish 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.
Gwledd Conwy Feast October 2018
We are very much a town centre church, with a great teaching and musical tradition which draws people from far and wide. St. Mary’s embraces the visual arts, and partners with Gwledd Conwy Feast.
It’s the ‘Year of the Sea‘ for the Cymru Wales Brand. A celebration of the country’s outstanding natural beauty, where there is a dedicated footpath running the length of the coastline, and popular with pilgrims. Wales is the first country in the World to provide a Coast Path, and it’s 870 miles long!
There are 230 beaches and 50 islands to explore, with many boat trips, including those around Puffin Island to see the seabirds and the seals.
You may even spot a pod of porpoises or dolphins!
Saturday 27th October 2018 (Free Admission)
We begin with music:-
12.15pm – 12.45pm Concert by the combined choirs of Coastal Voices and the Bangor Community Choir.
1pm – 1.45pm Classical concert with Callum (Cello) and Ellis Thomas (Piano).
An afternoon full of family activities:-
2pm – 4pm Work with an artist and potter, enjoy craft-making and story-telling.
Available throughout the day:-
11am – 4pm Free refreshments, an art exhibition and the chance to learn more about this beautiful, ancient church and the new Culture Centre being built in the town.
Running into the evening:-
5pm – 10pm Splinters of Heaven Sblinterau o’r Nefoedd will be a spectacular moving light projection by Andy McKeown, that will fill this ancient church. It will be accompanied by a full programme of music, with choirs and musicians. A truly awe-inspiring light and sound experience:-
Sunday 28th October 2018 (Free Admission)
11am – 12.15pm Morning Worship service.
1pm – 1.45pm Harp Recital concert by Dylan Cernyw, with free refreshments.
Afternoon Tea October 2018
Parishioners from the Bro Celynnin Ministry Area enjoyed afternoon tea in the Church Hall in Conwy on 13th October 2018. There was a quiz, and lots of singing, with old 78rpm records playing on a Dansette record player!
Classical Music Festival July 2018
St Mary’s hosted a hugely popular annual Classical Music Festival in July. A special thank you to our Director of Music, Chris Roberts, and the many musicians and volunteer stewards who made the 2018 programme possible.
Feast of Light October 2017
In 2017, we took our participation to a whole new level with a Feast of Light inside the ancient church. Take a look at the slideshow:-
Click here to experience the light and sound that we all found so awe-inspiring last year. We hope that you can join us at St. Mary’s Church for a virtual immersive sound and light experience during the 15th Gwledd Conwy Feast at the end of October this year.
Multimedia enhances the senses, and provides both visual and audio experiences similar to the AURA in the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal in Canada. The Feast of Light 2017 transported us to a place where we could celebrate its beauty.
We are open daily for visitors
Monday 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 12pm – 4pm (Midweek Communion Service at 11am)
Thursday 10am – 4pm
Friday 10am – 4pm
Saturday 10am – 12pm
See what other visitors have said here
Join us for worship
Sundays at 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. We’re pleased to have just installed a new young children’s area. Our music includes a church choir of adults, a junior choir of children and a talented worship group of varied instruments at all-age services. Click here for details of forthcoming services and events.
Wednesdays at 11am
Communion – a peaceful chance to reflect and re-connect with God in the middle of the week.
St Mary’s is such a special place of historical and spiritual significance, that in 2018 we are set to make our opening hours more consistent for the thousands of visitors who come and experience all it has to offer. Being on the Visitor Welcome Team is a great way of making friends and meeting people from all over the world. Why not consider joining our team? Details here.
A brief history
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.
Things to see
This ancient church has lots for visitors to see. Our great band of volunteers open the church over the summer months, and enjoy showing visitors (who come from all over the world) such treasures as a medieval processional cross, the stunning 15th century delicately carved rood screen, the font dating back to early Tudor times, beautiful stained glass windows (including two from the workshop of Pre-Raphaelite artist Burne-Jones) – and a 17th century slab inscribed to a Nicholas Hookes, his father’s 41st child!
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 each other, and the East Window at St. Mary’s is a memorial to him.
Vicar: Rev David Parry 07403 635 510 – (01492) 593 402 firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Wardens: Heather Addison (01492 572 924) and Vivien Wakely (01492 593 499)
Church Hall Enquiries: Vivien Wakely (01492 593 499)
Choir and Conwy Classical Music Festival: Chris Roberts (01492 592 166) ChrisRobz03@aol.com