News Archive

Fr Philip retired as from 1st November 2015

Philip 2Fr Philip, who has been priest in charge of the parish of Ewenny and St Brides Major for the last ten years, has retired.

We wish him and his wife, Sheila, a long and happy retirement.

Diocesan Press Release

News Report in Croeso Autumn 2015

PM2                                              Fr Philip with Archbishop Barry

Oh Brother, pupils taste priory life

St Brides Y6 at Ewenny Priory

Thirty new ‘monks’ were ‘admitted’ to the Order of St Benedict at Ewenny Priory Church, vowing to keep silent at all times and to work hard.

However, they could not remain at the Priory for long as they had to return to school for their afternoon lessons.

The Year 6 pupils of St Brides Major Church in Wales Primary School were visiting Ewenny Priory as part of the Ewenny 900 Schools Project. Greeted by the ‘Prior’, Father Philip, they experienced something of the life of the Benedictine monks 900 years ago. As they processed into the church dressed in monks’ habits, they heard monastic plainchant, then were read part of the Rule of St Benedict, and told about the life of prayer, study and work they would lead as monks of the Priory.

‘Prior’ Philip showed the new monks the monastic end of the Priory Church, with the spiral staircase by which they would enter the church, the Presbytery, with its wonderful acoustics for singing, and painted wall decoration, the oldest in Wales.

‘Mistress’ Marion Elliot told the monks stories and legends of the Priory and the surrounding area. Before returning to school, the monks ate their medieval lunch of bread, cheese and apple, which they had wrapped in cloth.

The Year 6 pupils had begun their day with a visit to Ewenny Pottery and the Stained Glass Workshop. Caitlin Jenkins demonstrated how the medieval tiles in Ewenny Priory Church were made, and showed the pupils the commemorative tile she has designed for the Ewenny 900 celebrations. Christian Ryan showed the techniques in designing and making stained glass through the commission for Llandaff Cathedral School.

Pottery 2Schools from the Bridgend area have been invited to the Priory Church in the autumn for similar visits, which will be backed up by teachers’ and pupils’ project material for class work.

The celebrations for the 900th anniversary of the building of Ewenny Priory Church are continuing in July with a Flower Festival from Saturday 11th July to Monday 13th July. The arrangements are by members of the various organisations and activities connected with the Priory Church today. The Church will be open for viewing from 10am to 5pm each day.

On Sunday 12th July the Ewenny 900 Eucharist will be held in the Priory Church at 11am. The preacher will be the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, with music by the St Donat’s Chamber Choir. At 6pm there will be Songs of Praise.

On Saturday 18th July a Medieval Fayre will be held on the Priory House Archery Field, running from 10am to 5pm.There will be a medieval camp with medieval re-enactors, archers and battlers, a display of owls, a craft corner of potters, stained glass artists and willow basket weavers. There will also be music and dance, various stalls, activities for children and food and drink.

Pictures show

New ‘Monks at Ewenny Priory Church with ‘Prior’ Philip

Caitlin Jenkins with Year 6 pupils at Ewenny Pottery

Pupils create mosaic of church year

mosaic 2 web

A new mosaic depicting the church year has been created by pupils at a Vale school.

Each of the 200 pupils at St Brides Major Church in Wales Primary School near Bridgend had a hand in helping to create the stunning 20ft by 14ft artwork which was made from broken tiles.

The mosaic was made in conjunction with artist-in-residence Kate Derbyshire from nearby St Nicholas, who spent a month working with pupils at the school.mosaic 3

It was officially unveiled and blessed by the Assistant Bishop of Llandaff, David Wilbourne during a service at the school this week. A new altar donated by nearby Ewenny Priory Church, replicating the church’s own altar was also unveiled at the service.

Headteacher Duncan Mottram said, “We were taking down some old drapes while redecorating work was carried out in the hall when we decided it would be nice to have a more fitting backdrop to worship in the hall.

“We wanted something that would follow the church year and we wanted something that was more modern than the drapes that had hung there previously.

“We are delighted with the finished result which every single child in the school played a part in creating. The children are very proud of it – it has really captured their imagination.

“Their faces when they came into school after half term and saw it finished were full of awe and wonder.”

The mosaic illustrates the various stages of the church calendar of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity. Each sphere is framed in the matching liturgical colour.

Bishop David, who blessed the mosaic and the new altar said, “The mosaic is absolutely brilliant, using the talent of every child in the school, along with Kate Derbyshire, the resident artist, who produced an arresting take on the chief parts of the Church’s year, coinciding with the major events in Jesus’s life.”

Bishop David spoke to the children about how as a child he used to think that the Wise Men gave Jesus things they happened to have on them at the time – a real sacrifice as it made their return journey very hard indeed with no gold to pay their way, no frankincense to improve the smell and no myrrh for a proper burial.

He talked about gifts that could be offered to Jesus where we really put ourselves out and how the best gift of all was something that would warm another child of God.

Parish priest and Archdeacon of Margam, the Venerable Philip Morris said, “The mosaic is fantastic and is very visible from outside particularly when the sun is shining when it is reflected outside as a symbol in the community.”

Pictures show (left to right) Archdeacon Philip Morris, Duncan Mottram (head), pupils Anna Roberts, Andre Joseph, Elin May and Bishop David.mosaic 5

mosaic 7
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mosaic 10mosaic 9

Three Canons from one parish

3 wise men

When Canon Mike Komor was installed as a Canon of  Llandaff Cathedral on Sunday 14th December 2014, history was made as he became the third of three incumbents of one small parish to join the prestigious Llandaff Cathedral Chapter.

Canon Komor, a former incumbent of the parish of Ewenny and St Brides Major joins another former incumbent Canon Mark Preece and the present incumbent, the Venerable Philip Morris, Archdeacon of  Margam on the Chapter.

“We think this must be unique in the whole Anglican Communion for two former and the present incumbent of a parish to serve together on a Cathedral Chapter,” said Archdeacon Morris. “Ewenny and St Brides Major is only a small rural parish, so it feels very proud to have its clergy honoured in this way.”

Canon Komor was Vicar of Ewenny and St Brides Major from 2000 to 2005 before moving to his current post of Rector of Coity, Nolton and Brackla. Canon Preece, was Vicar of Ewenny and St Brides Major from 1992 to 1999. He is currently Rector of Canton and was installed as a Canon of the Cathedral in April of this year

Archdeacon Morris who was installed as a Canon in 2000, took over as Vicar of Ewenny and St Brides Major from Canon Komor in 2005. As members of the Cathedral Chapter they oversee the running of the Cathedral.

Picture shows (from left to right) Canon Komor, Archdeacon Morris and Canon Preece

Parish celebrates 40th anniversary of Philip’s Ordination to the Priesthood

15The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, was the preacher at the Parish Eucharist for SS Peter & Paul’s Day in St Bridget’s Church on Sunday 29th June. This was also the 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood of Fr Philip, priest in charge and Archdeacon of Margam.

Philip was ordained priest by Bishop Stephen Thomas in Llandaff Cathedral on 29th June 1974, and served as assistant curate in the parish of Aberdare for three years, before being appointed assistant curate of Neath with responsibility for SS Peter & Paul’s Church, Cimla. In 1980 Philip became vicar of Cymmer and Porth, in the Rhondda Valley, and in 1988 was appointed Diocesan Missioner by Bishop Roy Thomas. In 2002 he became Archdeacon of Margam, having been Residentiary Canon of Llandaff Cathedral for the previous two years, and although living in Llantwit Major, looked after the parish of Kenfig Hill until 2005 when he became priest in charge of Ewenny and St Brides Major.

In addition to these appointments, Philip was also a Diocesan Inspector of Schools for ten years, a tutor on the Llandaff Ordination Course for twenty years, and Diocesan Communications Officer for four years. He chaired a number of Church in Wales Sectors and Divisions in the Board of Mission, and currently chairs the Church in Wales International Group and Churches Tourism Network Wales. Philip is the editor of Highlights, the report of the Church in Wales Governing Body, and the co-ordinator of the Church in Wales Jubilee Fund, which currently funds the running of a mobile dental clinic in Gaza.

The music for the Eucharist was led by two of the parish’s organists, Elizabeth Morgan and Margaret Irons, and a music group, which included violins, flutes, recorder, clarinet and harp. Some of the members of St Brides Major Church in Wales Primary School sang before the service and during the administration of Communion. Eurof Evans and Allison Felton read the Readings, and Tony Davies led the Intercessions.  Philip was assisted by Hazel Norfolk, parish reader.

The Eucharist was followed by lunch in St Brides Major Church in Wales Primary School.


Archbishop Barry’s Sermon

Ewenny Priory Church welcomes first Royal visitor for 600 years


Ewenny Priory Church tucked away in the Vale of Glamorgan welcomed its first Royal guest for more than 600 years when HRH The Prince of Wales visited today (Dec 13).

The Church, which is the most complete Norman church in South Wales and is still a thriving centre of Christian worship, welcomed the Prince during his visit to Wales.

The Prince followed in the footsteps of his ancestor, King Henry IV who stayed at the former Benedictine Priory in 1405. Another famous visitor was the artist JPW Turner who painted a watercolour of the transept of the Priory church in 1795.

POW7The Archdeacon of Margam and priest-in-charge of Ewenny, Philip Morris, greeted the Prince and showed him around the church which was built between 1115-1126. Today, the building is in two parts – the nave, which is used for worship today and the presbytery which has been restored by Cadw.

During the visit, the Prince met several of the parishioners. They including:

  • The Jenkins family, who have been making the internationally-famous Ewenny Pottery for eight generations. Ewenny Pottery is the oldest family working pottery in Wales and  some pieces made there are at Llwynywermod, the Welsh home of The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. The Prince met Alun Jenkins, who is also churchwarden at Ewenny, his wife Jayne and their daughter Mrs Caitlin Davies. Mrs Davies displayed some of the pottery and presented the Prince with a traditional Ewenny Pottery Wassail Bowl;
  • Prince Charles Prince of Wales visiting Ewenny Church on 13.2.13
  • Michael Felton, publisher at Seren Press, who presented the Prince with a copy of the book The Harp in Wales, by Bruce Cardwell, which features Royal harpists;
  • Dr Eurof Evans OBE,chairman of the Ewenny Priory Church Preservation Trust and the Cadw appointed Key Keeper for Ewenny Priory. Dr Evans led the Prince around the Priory section of the Church, which is cared for by Cadw;

 The Prince also met:

  • Jeremy Picton-Turbervill and his family. The Priory House has been owned by the Turbervill family, since the Priory was dissolved in the 16th Century;
  • Artist Alexander Beleschenko, based in Swansea, who designed the Pulpitum Screen at Ewenny Priory Church, which was erected in 2006 to divide the two sections of the building, and is currently working on a design for a glass door for the church;
  • Jonathan Berry, senior inspector of Ancient Monuments and Archaeology, Cadw;

Prince Charles Prince of Wales visiting Ewenny Church on 13.2.13Before leaving the church, the Prince listened to carols sung by children from the choir of St Brides Major Church in Wales Primary School, led by their headteacher, Mrs Claire Matthews. The children presented him with a lovespoon for his new grandson, Prince George, and an “Og” , a doll of himself made locally from recycled materials. And before signing the visitors’ book the Prince received a loaf of traditional “bara brith” homemade by parishioner Mrs June Evans.

Archdeacon Philip said, “This was a lovely occasion. The congregation was delighted that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales made a special visit to Ewenny Priory Church. Ewenny Priory is one of the hidden treasures of Wales, a remarkable example of Norman architecture and very much a living church today. A highlight of the visit was the carols sung by the children of St Brides Major Church in Wales Primary School, many of whom live in Ewenny.”

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport said: “Ewenny Priory is almost 900-years-old, and is one of the many remarkable historical monuments we have in Wales. Our aim is to conserve our monuments to ensure they’re around for many generations to come, so that our children and their children can learn about the fascinating stories of our past, and connect those stories to actual places across Wales.”