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.
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. The Art Group will be putting on a new Art Exhibition soon, so we’ll keep you posted!
Open from Easter to October 2019
Our daily opening for visitors in 2018 came to close with the grand finale of the Gwledd Conwy Feast on 28th October 2018. Daily opening for visitors will resume next Easter all the way through to the end of October. There will be a group of volunteers working together over the Winter to prepare for the 2019 visitor season. If anyone wants to consider volunteering or organising a group booking for next year, please contact us.
See what other visitors have said here
Christmas Wreath Making Saturday 24th November
Make your own Christmas Wreath at St. Mary’s in Conwy on Saturday 24th November (1pm-4pm). We have an experienced teacher, and all the materials are provided. A donation of £5 will go to the Friends of St. Agnes Graveyard. There will be plenty of tea and coffee for you, and it’s going to be lots of fun!
Armistice Day Services Sunday 11th November
The Remembrance Day Parade and Service started at the Conwy Cenotaph in Bodlondeb at 10.40am, where there was wreath laying, and a parade to St. Mary’s Church in Conwy for the Armistice Day Communion (2004) at 11.30am. There was an Act of Remembrance at St. Agnes Graveyard in Conwy at 2.30pm, and a Bereavement Service at St. Mary’s Church in Conwy at 6pm for all living with loss.
Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday
Paint a Poppy Saturday 10th November
Generations of families came to St. Mary’s Church in Conwy to honour our heroes by painting poppies on canvas. They were painted with so much love for all those that have served:-
Gwledd Conwy Feast October 2018
St. Mary’s Church embraces the visual arts, and partners with Gwledd Conwy Feast. Sblinterau o’r Nefoedd Splinters of Heaven is a video that Andy McKeown made of his Spectacular Projected Light Show with live music from the Church choir and top local musicians. VisitConwy posted a video, and Reflections on our Stories – Seeing Differently is a thought-provoking presentation made by the Reverend Susan Blagden.
2 Corinthians 3:17-19
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
These are the photographs taken by Mark McNulty:-
2018 is 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!
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.
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 DavidParry@esgobaethbangor.net
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