Order of St Ethelbert

The Ross Benefice offers its congratulations to Derek Glover and Mark Sanderson who were awarded the Order of St Ethelbert by Bishop Richard in Hereford Cathedral on Sunday afternoon. The award is given for long and distinguished service to the church and community and both Derek and Mark are shining examples of such dedication.

Derek and Mark pictured with the Dean of Hereford, the Very Revd Sarah Brown, the Bishop of Hereford, Rt Revd Richard Jackson, the Lord Lieutenant, Mr Edward Harley OBE and other recipients of the award and below left with the Bishop and right with the Rector of Ross, the Revd Sean Semple.

St Thomas’s Way – An invitation to join Nick & Janet on their pilgrimage.

On Saturday 14th August, Nick & Janet will have reached Usk on their pilgrimage following St Thomas’s Way. Meet them at 11am at St Mary’s Priory Church (nearby free car park) for a 2 hour walk (no stiles) through the Welsh countryside with open views, woodland paths, trickling streams, the River Usk and railway relics. Take a picnic to enjoy back at St Mary’s Priory. Have a look around the pretty town of Usk with its beautiful flowers – it regularly wins the Wales in Bloom award – before you go home. Alternatively, visit the museum of country life, enjoy a coffee or walk down to the river and join us for the picnic at approx. 1pm. Please note that the castle is closed.

Come for Coffee – 19th July

St Mary’s is looking for people to welcome visitors to St Mary’s Church during the week. All you need is a little bit of time and a willing smile. If you would like to find out more, do come to St Mary’s on Monday 19th July at 10.30am for a coffee and we will answer any questions you may have. Whether you can spare a couple of hours a week or just an hour a month, we will be delighted to welcome you as a welcomer!

There will also be an opportunity to look around the church as though you are a visitor and perhaps see the building in a new light. You do not have to be part of the congregation to join us but if you have an interest in history or like meeting people or would simply enjoy spending a little time in the peace and quiet of St Mary’s, this could be for you.

St Mary’s Annual Meetings

St Marys will be holding its annual meetings on Wednesday 12th May at 7.00pm via Zoom.

Following a meeting to elect churchwardens for the year (all those on both the churches electoral roll and the civic parish register of electors are eligible to vote), the Annual Parochial Church Meeting will include a review of the many aspects of the church and church life in 2020 as well as electing the PCC for the coming year.

Advent Sunday

Sunday 29th November marks the first day in the church’s year and the start of our Advent journey which leads us to Christmas. From 1st December, you will find Advent Calendar doors around the town and here online. Check out each door as it opens.

Thank you, Oak House Nursery School, for providing us with our first advent window and singing for us.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star
Mary sings to the angel Gabriel, Thank you for choosing me.

Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, God of our ancestors:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
You called the patriarchs to live by the light of faith
and to journey in the hope of your promised fulfilment.
May we be obedient to your call and be ready and watchful to receive your Christ, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path;
for you are our light and our salvation.
Blessed be God for ever. Amen

Meet Bishop Richard

Put your questions to Richard Jackson, Bishop of Hereford 

Meet Bishop Richard live via Zoom on Wednesday 15 July, 7.30pm. Get to know more about him, discuss the future of your parish and put your questions directly to him.

Ross and Archenfield Rural Dean Mark Johnson along with Lay Co-Chair Patrick Darling will be interviewing Bishop Richard and putting your questions forward.

As the church prepares to open its doors once more it’s a timely opportunity to take a fresh view, have an input into how you want your church to develop and make your views known. Contact Marion Lyons at randadeanerysec@gmail.com to receive log in details for the Zoom meeting

Lockdown Creativity, a Virtual Gallery

Take a look at our Virtual Gallery and upload your images or videos by submitting the form.

We are collecting poetry, short stories, sound recordings, photographs, or photos of your pictures, sculptures, handicrafts, woodwork, garden or anything else you have created.  The only criteria is that you created or completed it during lockdown. We welcome submissions from all ages and from anyone with connections to the Ross-on-Wye area.

There is also the opportunity for visitors to the exhibition to make a donation, ans you will be asked to name a charity of your choice when you upload your exhibit. You may choose St Mary’s Church, but if you have any other charity you wish to support, then please give its name.

At the end of lockdown, we are planning to bring our virtual exhibition to life in St Mary’s Church and are hoping to work with other Ross organisations to display some of the work around the town. We want this to be a community effort supporting the things local people care about.

Rector to climb Table Mountain in Cassock

St Mary’s fundraising committee has challenged Sean to a virtual climb of Table Mountain in his cassock to raise funds for St Mary’s.  The height of the mountain is 1085m above sea level but as Ross Rectory is already 60m above sea level he only has to climb 1025m!

He will be beginning his climb (using the rectory stairs) at 7.30am on Monday 11th May and in order to raise some money, you are invited, when you have sponsored him (1p per meter will raise £10.25) to have a guess at how long it will take (in hours and minutes).  Whoever’s guess is the nearest, will win a bottle of wine. 

You can donate here via Paypal. Then use this easy online form to tell us the number of hours and minutes you think he will take. (The form also allows you to register for Gift Aid so that your donation will be worth a further 25% to us at no cost to you.

Once Sean has completed the challenge, we will publish here how long he took, how much he has raised and who the lucky winner is.

Poems and pictures, crafts and creations

Is lockdown getting you down?   Then why not get creative with us?

St Mary’s Church invites anyone in Ross to pick up that pen or paintbrush, get out your craft tools, and find inspiration from our wonderful town or its surrounding countryside, its people or its churches, your home or your garden.

We hope to collect poetry, short stories, sound recordings, photographs, or photos of your pictures, sculptures, handicrafts, woodwork or anything else which you have made.  The only criteria is that you created your piece during lockdown.

Full details on how you submit your piece will be published here soon. We would then like to make a virtual exhibition which will begin once we receive our first exhibits and we will add to it whenever a new piece is submitted. There will also be an opportunity visitors to the exhibition to make a donation.

At the end of lockdown, we hope to bring our virtual exhibition to life in St Mary’s Church.

In the meantime, get creating!

Fun and Fundraising

We have come up with one or two ideas to raise both a smile and funds for St Mary’s. Look out soon for details of how to watch our own Celebrity Chefs, save the evening of Saturday 23rd (not Monday as preveiously adverised)) for our Virtual Safari Supper, start thinking about how you can be creative and last but not least, be prepared to sponsor Sean as he takes on a surprise challenge!


Please note that the Annual Meetings which were to have been held in April in all our churches have been postponed until such time as it is possible to hold them.