THE Archbishop of Wales will lead a commemorative service at St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny, next week to celebrate the life of the late Church in Wales lay minister David Meredith.

Mr Meredith died suddenly on Sunday, September 29, aged 81.

“David’s sudden death was a great shock to all in the parish, where he had served so faithfully for decades as a licensed lay minister,” Canon Mark Soady said. “Our prayers are with the family at this time”

Born in 1938, Mr Meredith was brought up in Old Cwmbran.

He was an active member of the community as Cwmbran evolved during the 1960s, buying and running the family general store business and helping to arrange for some of the biggest pop groups of their time to come to Coedeva Community Hall, including Jerry Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Hollies, and Freddie and the Dreamers.

Mr Meredith also rose through the rugby referring refereeing ranks to first-class level, refereeing Pontypool, Ebbw Vale, Abertillery, Cross Keys, and Tredegar – as well as Newbridge RFC during the side’s 1964/65 championship-winning season.

After moving to Abergavenny, he maintained his ties to his home town as an active member of St Gabriels Church, where he ran the Sunday School.

Later, he began working as a lay minister in the Abergavenny area. To celebrate this work, St Mary’s Priory Church will hold a celebration of Mr Meredith’s life on Monday, October 21, 4.30pm.