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St Nicholas Church Montgomery
St Nicholas Church

Welcome to St Nicholas Church - Montgomery - Mid Wales

St Nicholas Church Montgomery

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St Nicholas Church Montgomery

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St Nicholas Church Montgomery

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St Nicholas Church Celebrating the past – Building for the future

The construction of the parish church of Montgomery, a grade 1 listed building at the heart of the historic town of Montgomery, was started between 1223 and 1227; it is dedicated to St Nicholas – St Nicholas of Myra or Bari was a favourite saint of the Normans and 400 English churches are dedicated to him but only a few in Wales. The North and South transepts were most likely added around 50 years later as chapels or chancels – it is possible that the church was also lengthened at the same time and that the east wall once ended where the Rood Screen now stands.

The tower had to be rebuilt, as by the end of the 18th century it had become unsafe so it was demolished and rebuilt in 1816, at a cost of £1700, paid for by the Rt. Hon. Edward Herbert, Viscount Clive (later 3rd Earl of Powys).

St Nicholas’s church originally had three entrances as well as the one in the tower – a small doorway in the east wall of the south transept, one directly opposite the current main south door, together with the present south doorway. There was once a closed porch in front of this doorway with a vestry or schoolroom over it, which used to be quite common; the room was entered by a flight of steps on the west side but this was removed c.1868 when the present porch was built.

The size, splendour and central position of the church means that it has always been at the heart of the community’s cultural as well as spiritual life; its heritage is rich, resonant and culturally significant, to both visitors and the community alike

A prominent feature of the church is the double rood screen, of which that on the chancel side is a splendid mediaeval carved screen brought from Chirbury Abbey at the time of the dissolution.

Behind the chancel altar is an exceptional reredos erected in 1892 to the memory of Mrs David Lloyd, of mosaic framed in Caen stone and representing St David and St Margaret, the name saints of the couple, the four evangelists and four major prophets, four archangels, six seraphim and the pelican in her piety as well as alabaster figures by Thomas Earp.

Situated in the historic county town, the church has always served a role for the whole county of Montgomeryshire. On the East wall of the South transept is the County Book of Remembrance recording the names of the fallen from the County of Montgomery, from both world wars.

A National Heritage Lottery Fund supported project telling the stories of our beautiful, historic church here in Montgomery, Powys and the people who helped to shape its past and influence its future.

St Nicholas’s Stories was supported by the NHLF 15 Minute Heritage Fund as a way to share some of the building’s history with both local people in Montgomery and visitors to the town.

The project has been managed by members of the church and we’ve been busy:-

Creating some new panels telling the stories of famous people connected with our church Creating short films with members of our community, telling some of their own stories about the church and their connection with it. Working with composer Ian Morgan Williams and poet Pat Edwards in Montgomery Church in Wales School to create some new ballads about the town and its history. And researching more deeply into some of the historical figures connected to the church including Owain Glyndwr’s daughter Catrin and her marriage to Edmund Mortimer as well as the amazing children of Magdalene Herbert who had such a huge influence of the life and culture of their times.

We hope you enjoy exploring some of what we’ve learned through our website – and come and visit St Nicholas Church in Montgomery soon.

More information including videos can be seen on our Montgomery Wales Town Website located here:

The ‘Montgomery Lives’ project with Montgomery C in W school in June 2021 was led by composer/ Musician, Ian Morgan-Williams and poet, Pat Edwards. Pat and Ian had previously worked in the school for Mid Wales Opera during lockdown, and managed to deliver their project with children online. This time because of the change in regulations were able to work with children in school rather than on MS Teams.

Ian and Pat worked with the children in year 4,5 and 6 to share the stories of Catrin Mortimer and Magdalen Herbert, and to think about the roles they and other remarkable women had played in our history. Pat wrote a poem focussing on how we learn from our ancestors, which Ian put to music and the children learned.

The children then worked on a choice of three writing exercises:- a letter from Sir Edmund Mortimer asking Owain Glyndwr for Catrin’s hand in marriage; a poem about the view from Montgomery Castle; a speech to motivate either Glyndwr’s army or Thomas Herbert’s navy before impending battle.

My Ancestors in a Human Pyramid (after Jonathan Edwards) by Pat Edwards

Some say Adam and Eve were the first, wandering around the heavenly garden. Closer to home my mum gives a leg up to her dear old mum in woolly tights. I like how families help one another out, and the women show solidarity. Soon it’ll be my turn to carry the can, keep the generations going, that’s the plan. Up I go clinging on for dear life, admiring the view, the clean air at this height. So here comes cousin Harri, my niece baby Flo, like a dumpling on my head. And now to why we’re here, all piled up in a heap: remembering who came before always feels kinda neat, gives us something to build upon.

All words and music copyright Ian Morgan Williams and Pat Edwards and may not be reproduced without express permission for the author and composer

We hope you enjoy exploring some of what we’ve learned through our website – and come and visit St Nicholas Church in Montgomery soon.

More information including videos can be seen on our Montgomery Wales Town Website located here:

St Nicholas Church Montgomery

As you can see, St. Nicholas has had a long history of influence in the community and the world beyond.
We are an active church that has a mix of online and in-building services both here and in our Mission Area. We support a number of charities including the Food Bank, Christian Aid, and the Alzheimer’s Society. We enjoy working with other groups including those connected to the School, Chapels, and Civic groups. I think the most important part of what we do is provide an active place of welcome and worship captured in the hymn: Let Us Build A House Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live, a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive; built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace; here the love of Christ shall end divisions: All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

So, come visit us. Sit a moment and drink in the peace. May you find rest and peace for your soul within the walls of this sacred place.

 Rev. Dr Alexis Smith

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Address St Nicholas Church Church Bank Montgomery, Powys

Tel / email 01686 641992 email: smith.sparrowssong'AT'gmail.com

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