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Our church, St Mary's, dates from the eighteenth century, but Catholicism has much deeper roots here. Monmouth is an ancient town, and its situation at the confluence of two rivers has given it a history of strategic importance. Romans and Normans occupied it. Henry V was born in Monmouth castle.

For long after the Reformation Catholic practice remained exceptionally strong in this area, and local people are still proud of that recusant tradition - as our history link shows. The martyr John Kemble, whose relics are kept in the church, is held in special regard by today's congregation.

Of course, we understand that honour paid to our catholic past should not make us backward-looking. We are currently engaged in a project to renew and develop our buildings, but we know that the most important renewal must take place in us. With fellow believers of every time and place, we recognise that we ourselves are called the Church's "living stones".