The Tintern Village Website

Autumn 2001


Dear Friends

This time I would like to write about "faith". There is so much Jesus has to say about it, as well as what we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

We live in a very faithless bit of history - it has been very different, and it will be again. Many folk seem to be unsure that they have a wonderful future if they will only trust God. I suppose about 40 years of selfish materialism has stolen away most of the best things in life for so many. But we can live by faith in God's person and purpose. He's proved it to millions over two thousand years.

We can know about, and live by faith. The biggest problem with faith is not excess or wrong teaching but lack of true biblical teaching. Hebrews 11:6 teaches that it is essential - And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

We need to see that there are three main aspects to faith in the context of what we are teaching.

1. FAITH IS RELATIONAL (it is who you know)
It must always be rooted in and come from our relationship with Christ.

Jesus is our source of Faith Hebrews 12:2 / Galatians 2:17-21
God gives us a measure / deposit of Faith Romans 12:3
God's word develops our Faith Romans 10:17
The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of Faith 1 Corinthians 12:9-14
The Holy Spirit produces in us the fruit of Faith Galatians 5:22
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Faith 2 Corinthians 4:13
God wants us to be strong in faith Romans 4:19-25

We must get a fresh understanding and come into the full experience of what it means that "The Just (Righteous one) shall live by faith" - Habakkuk 2:4, Hebrews 10:37-38.

2. FAITH IS FACTUAL (It is what you know)
In order to have a faith rooted in Christ (who is the Living Word), it must be based on scripture (which is God's written word). FAITH is not just wishful thinking or a positive attitude etc.

It is knowing what God has said.
It is believing what God has said.
It is saying what God has said (in spite of circumstances).
It is acting on what God has said.

FAITH is having complete confidence in what God has said He will do.

3. FAITH IS FUNCTIONAL (It is what you do)
Having faith that comes from Christ, rooted in the Word of God, we can now live and act like God intended and we see what we can do by faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9 Saved by Faith
Romans 5:1 Justified by Faith
Acts 26:18 Sanctified by Faith
1 Peter 1:5 Preserved by Faith
Galatians 3:9 Blessed by Faith
Romans 5:2 Access to God by Faith
Galatians 3:14 Receive the Holy Spirit by Faith
2 Corinthians 1:21 Stand by Faith
2 Corinthians 5:7 Live (walk) by Faith
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight by Faith
Hebrews 6:12 Promises met by Faith
1 Peter 5:9 Resist Satan by Faith (salvation)
1 John 5:4 Overcome the world by Faith
Mark 11:24 Prayers answered by Faith
James 1:5-6 Wisdom by Faith
James 5:15 Healing by Faith
Matthew 6:25-34 Needs met by Faith
Matthew 17:20 Remove mountains by Faith
Mark 9:23-24 Do impossibilities by Faith
2 Chronicles 20:20 Upheld by Faith
2 Chronicles 20:20 Be successful by Faith

By faith we receive and live in the righteousness of God and therefore demonstrate the power of God.



Recently I attended the funeral of Michael Williams, or "Will" as he was known throughout the village. Not only was the church full, but some eighty people stood outside to pay their respects to this quiet, self effacing man, tragically struck down by illness at the age of fifty five.

To a passing stranger the crowd would have meant it was the burial of someone of great importance and he would have been right. But this was an importance not of the sort created by local business people or dignitaries.

Will's importance was because of the respect and affection he was held in by everyone. His skills were in his hands, his knowledge of all things practical and total understanding of the countryside he loved, coupled with his willingness to share these gifts to help anyone not fortunate enough to possess them.

Living in the Angiddy valley the only transport he found necessary was a tractor. Indeed he was "Will the Tractor" to most people. How well he will be remembered for that cheerful hail and wave from his chariot and the sight of as many locals who could find a place being offered a lift, "Back up the hill".

The setting of St Michael's Church nestling among the woods and alongside the river he loved could not have been more appropriate and interment at St Mary's, Chapel Hill, amongst family and friends, overlooking the Abbey and village of which he had been so much a part, so fitting.

Will had always been a great Bob Dylan fan and as the coffin left the church the sounds of the master's classic, "For ever young", was yet another great tribute.

The front of the service sheet read, "A man who left a footprint that can never be erased", and that says it all about someone who left such an impression on everyone who met him.

Grantley James


What a multi-faceted man he was! Many of you will have memories of him from the many different interests he had.

No one person, of all his many friends, could tell you the whole story of Grantley.
He was son to Joan, husband to Jenny and father to David and Chris as well as friend to us all.

He played rugby and excelled as an international level athlete who ran 100 yds in under ten seconds - not recently of course!!

He was a keen sailor and often crewed on ocean going yachts. I am sure we have all been regaled with stories of his sailing days. His love of sailing was obvious.

He was a musician, a drummer in particular, and played with a group called CANTICLE and musically accompanied Max Boyce for some years in the 70s.

He was a player with Caldicot Amateur Operatic Society and I know his good friend Ray Jones has a wealth of amusing stories from that era.

In the last couple of years he derived a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction from ramblings and writings. He was an after-dinner speaker, broadcaster and author of many factual yet amusing short stories.

Grantley did not fear death and had a number of close calls when he had to be taken into the Royal Gwent hospital by ambulance. In one of his last jottings he wrote "I must be close to qualifying for a debenture here now. I have just consulted the 'escape committee' and got the nod from 'Big X' and I am out again." Such was his off-the-wall humour with regard to his health.

He often joked with the paramedics and they with him - even to the point of them requesting would he please consider moving from his three storey house to a bungalow!

Regardless of how long any of us had known Grantley I am sure we would all count him as a friend. Friendships are such that it seldom matters how long people have known each other. Sometimes an instant rapport is created and you each know that the friendship will endure for a lifetime. This was usually how it was Grantley.

I have known Grantley since we were eight years old. We have shared many adventures and experiences together - most of which should not be recounted here!

The one thing for which Grantley was forever grateful to me was - I introduced him to Jenny - it was love at first sight and the love story continued throughout his life.

We should not be too unhappy for Grantley - he is now with his wife, Jenny - the greatest love of his life.

Despite his jovial persona, he has continued to think of her every day for the past fourteen years. I, and many others, often pondered on how different his life would have been had Jenny not been so cruelly taken from him all those years ago.

One thing is sure, he was dying to see her but I bet she is, even now, giving him such a 'rollicking'!

Grantley we'll miss you - God Bless You till we meet again.

Gareth Lewis


Saturday, 28th July was doubtlessly the hottest day of the year. The Wedding guests fanned their faces with anything to hand outside St Tewdric Church, Mathern, before thankfully stepping inside to rest on the cool pews inside. Just after 1 o'clock, the wait for the bride was amply rewarded, as Dawn's height, plus the beam on her face that was as broad as the sun, truly added extra elegance and presence to the stunning white lace dress that was followed by a long, beautiful train, three bridesmaids and two page boys. Ian, looking nervous but equally as happy, was also stylishly attired in a white linen suit with gold brocaded waistcoat. Attendants were themed in white and gold and arrays of hat-shaded faces bore up in the heat remarkably well.

The Rev Julian White instantly put everyone at their ease by conducting a warm (in more ways than one) and charmingly informal service. Their vows smoothly completed, the relaxed and happy couple posed for numerous photographs whilst their guests adjourned to the bar and the picturesque grounds of The George Hotel in Tintern.
The little ones let off some steam in the gardens whilst the adults sipped cool wines and mingled. Then everyone was seated in the exquisitely laid out conference room and enjoyed a delicious meal. Some playfully snapped one another with cameras, which had been thoughtfully laid at every table.

Dawn's stepfather David Ford (the editor of this magazine) who had recently broken his leg and was hospitalised, was unable to give Dawn away. However, technology came to the rescue and his speech was pre-recorded and relayed into the room as he at least raised a glass to the couple and spoke a few words about Dawn.

Every detail was perfect and every moment an extremely precious memory. By evening there were even a pair of energetic, wonderfully efficient nannies to ensure that the children were safe and entertained, allowing their parents to truly let their hair down. A disco and a hog roast ensured that everyone was well fed and happy, while the couple, now changed into something more comfortable, not to mention cooler, were serenaded to The Commodores 'Three Times a Lady' from a merry relative.

The Pearce family and their staff at the George were quietly attentive and their care and consideration ensured that guests celebrated until after 1 o'clock, when the night air thankfully cooled everyone down.

It was a glorious day, a marvellously organised wedding and a quite spectacularly happy evening.



In the beautiful church of St.Michael's in June 2000, Xavier Lagorce proposed to Julie Begnett. On July the 14th 2001 the Rev. Phil Rees conducted their marriage ceremony.

Xavier's friend Jose was the best man, Roxane (7) and Lauren (nearly 3) were the two pretty bridesmaids with Maxence (5) and Harry (2) in attendance as the pageboys.

Phil made everybody so welcome, including family and friends from France, England, Wales, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Canada.
It was a very warm and moving service, John Richards played the organ, Julie's friend Alison said a prayer and the first reading was by Xavier's godmother Liliane. Julie's cousin Paula played the flute while the register was signed, all filmed on video by Uncle Dave and cousin Shaun. To Pachebel's Canon the newly-weds walked down the aisle to be greeted by the photographers Adele and Adrian.

A wonderful reception followed at the Wye Valley Hotel where Barry, Sue, sisters and staff provided excellent hospitality and a superb five-course meal.

The welcome received by all of our guests from the people of Tintern was amazing, the parents of the bride and groom will never forget everyone concerned in making Julie and Xavier's wedding a wonderful day to remember. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this a perfect day.



At present the high standard of care of the grounds at St. Michael's and at St. Mary's is maintained thanks to the devotion of two men and one woman, all of pensionable age and none in perfect health. They use their own mechanical equipment and seek no reward. These burial grounds are peaceful places of scenic and historic beauty. They are, in fact, a trust we cannot ignore or neglect. Is there anyone out there with a few hours to spare to save our churchyards?


Please note that the closing date for the Winter 2001 issue is SUNDAY 18th November 2001.
Articles and requests for advertisements should be sent to the Editor, David Ford, Monkstone, Chapel Lane, Tintern, tel : 01291-689233

Advertisements in this magazine are charged at :
5 per quarter page per four issues
10 per half page per four issues
20 per whole page per four issues
The current print run is 250 copies

We are looking for cover illustrations for future issues. They need to be black and white on A4 or A5 portrait (ie upright) format paper. The Title etc will be added at the production stage. If you could draw a suitable cover illustration, perhaps with a Christmas theme for our winter edition, please contact the Editor, David Ford on 689233 or the Publisher, John Bathgate on 689328.

For a once only payment of 5 you can have an advert placed on the Tintern Village Web Site at . Adverts on the web can easily use colour and photographs and can be updated. Please contact the Web Site Editor, John Bathgate on 689328.

50/50 CLUB

Winners in the last three monthly draws were :

   June              July               August

1st Margaret Lock(126)Liz Klinkert(5) Frances Knight(96)
2nd Tiggy Roberts(34) M&D Cowell(66) Joan Reynolds(80)
3rd Liz Klinkert(6) J&J Bathgate(21) Catherine McEwen(124)
4th K&RM Parker(106) A&M Pearce(26) James Holloway(60)
5th M&KA Weaver(54) HG&J Hutchison(77)Dereck Stubbs(119)



This summer season seems to have been the usual mixture of sunshine and showers with rather more of the latter than we'd really appreciate. So our visit to Mr Mann Taylor's garden just outside Westbury in June was held on a dry and bright if rather cold evening.

In July, when we were invited to Jane Rhode's new garden at Beechwood in Trellech Road, the heaven's opened and only a few hardy souls donned wellies and waterproofs to wander round. This was a shame as there's so much of interest in her new planting but it did mean we had more time in which to plan for our Annual Show.

The change of date seemed to do the trick and the Village Hall, if not packed, was at least pleasantly full. (Many thanks to all who turned up on a very drizzly Saturday afternoon - we hope you found plenty to interest you - even a raffle prize to take home perhaps).

The number of entries was well up from last year and competition was strong in all sections giving the judges plenty of hard work. Eventually the trophies went to Mrs Wendy Boast in the flower section, Mr Brian Young in the vegetable section with Mrs Jean Bathgate as runner-up and Mrs Linda Simmons in the cookery section. The two memorial cups went to Mr Brian Young for his collection of vegetables and Mrs Linda Simmons for her decorated cake.

So after all that hard work we can now relax and look forward to an "Illustrated Talk" in September by Mr Colin Titcombe from Llandogo.

Don't forget we meet on the third Friday in the month at 7:30 when you would be made very welcome if you would like to join us.



Many Tuesday Clubbers have been missing this summer through illness. We hope they will soon be well enough to rejoin us. New members are very welcome to come along for tea, a natter about village life in times gone by, and Bingo.

Jean Davey 689212


The WI is still meeting on the third Monday afternoon in the month at 2:00pm. We have speakers, outings, lunches etc.

The July meeting's French style lunch with wine, cheeses, bread etc was a great success. The sun even shone!
The forthcoming programme includes an illustrated talk by Christine Evans on one of her super foreign walks. I might call them endurance tests!

So, if you have a free third Monday afternoon do come and join us and make new friends.

The WI organisation does help to improve every day lives for many. They research a range of social, environmental, rural and international issues.
The NFWI campaigned for routine cervical smear tests and free family planning, better maternity and health care, tighter controls on water pollution, and urged the government to build on brown field sites, not green. It also called for a moratorium on genetically modified crops, keeping Post Offices open etc.


Jean Davey 689212


19th September Hidcote Gardnes NT and WI tea - 9:30 Monmouth
17th October Cardiff Castle and shops - 9:30 Monmouth
21st November Bath Christmas Shopping - 9:30 Llandogo, pickup at Tintern

contact : Mrs Knight 01594-530906


On Sunday 20th May a party of ten members of St Michael's Church took part in a sponsored walk across the Severn and Wye bridges in aid of the St David's Foundation and St Anne's Hospice. 195 was raised for these charities who provide hospice care in Gwent.



After the summer break, the Circle begins its new programme in its new, permanent venue : the Rose and Crown, where David Stafford and Eleanor have redecorated the room where meetings will be held, as always on the third Tuesday in the month, from 7:30 until about 9:30 (with informal discussion continuing ad lib).

In the chair is Hatti Pegram. The main speaker is her partner, Ray Billington, who teaches philosophy for Cardiff University at both Chepstow and Monmouth Leisure Centres, and is external examiner in philosophy for the European Baccalaureate.
The meetings are relaxed and cordial, with everyone invited to contribute to the evening's topic. There is a chance to replenish glasses between talk and discussion, so that the event assumes an air not unlike any round-table discussion, whether at home or in a pub.
There is a charge of 1 to cover administrative expenses. Nobody needs to feel excluded : if you don't wish to speak, you don't have to.

The autumn programme is already lined up as follows :
September 16th : Ray Billington : The Consolation of Philosophy
October 18th : Clare Hamilton : Philosophy of Music (illustrated by the speaker on the harp)
November 18th : Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales : Topic not yet determined, but the Archbishop's previous talk on the philosopher, Hegel, was a marvel of lucidity
December 16th : Ray Billington : Religion without God (his new book of that title will be published in November) : This will be followed by refreshments and a musical/dramatic event.

"How charming," wrote Milton, "is divine philosophy!"



Most people don't realise how much editing goes into producing a church magazine. Some announcements have to be completely rewritten because, if they appeared the way they were submitted, it would lead to total confusion. Below are come examples:

"Don't let worry kill you - let the church help".

"Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community".

"For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs".

"This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Martin to come forward and lay an egg on the altar".

"Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet may come forward and do so".

"At the evening service tonight, the topic will be 'What is Hell'? Come early and listen to our choir practice".

"The United Methodist Women have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the church basement this Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.".



In 1348 Bubonic plague arrived in England, carried by rats along the old trade routes from the Middle East and India. A ship docked at Melcombe Regis in Dorset and rats came ashore. Fleas from them bit a man and within a short time he was feverish. Boils the size of cricket balls swelled up in his groin and armpits, black spots erupted on his face and body. Not long afterwards the man was dead.

The Black Death had reached England and claimed its first victim. It spread slowly at fist, but then it struck Exeter and later Bristol, where virtually the whole town was annihilated.
The following March it swept up the Wye and Severn valleys and by December 1349 almost all of the British Isles was afflicted.

In England alone it is estimate the population of five to six million was reduced to about three million. The huge loss of life had major economic and social effects. The shortage of labour meant that in many areas livestock were left untended, crops unharvested and tracts of land went out of cultivation.

People now became more mobile in search of jobs. Communities already hard hit by the plague were often now abandoned. Many buildings fell into total ruin for lack of inhabitants. Villages and hamlets like Tintern became desolate and it seemed likely many such villages would never again be inhabited.

The young and old were especially vulnerable and the Abbey Monks were not spared. Those who ministered to the dying quickly became infected themselves. The shortage of Monks became so acute that the Bishop of Bath and Wells said that people could make their last confessions to a layman.

A monk wrote that nobody could be found who would bear the corpses to the grave. In Villages and Hamlets like Tintern a common pit was dug for the dead, where families could take their dead, but after a while the stench given off made people not walk near them.

The rats also brought pneumonic plague, which attacked the lungs. Sneezing was an early symptom of the infection, hence the ghoulish origin of the nursery rhyme "Ring a ring of roses, a pocket full of posies, A-tishoo, A-tishoo, we all fall down". The plague came back repeatedly throughout the rest of the century.

Generations later due to the shortage of labour it helped fuel the most violent explosion of popular resentment in the Country's history "The Peasants Revolt". And, you never know, Tintern could have ended like Penterry.



In 1987 John Seymour (the father of self sufficiency) and Herbert Girardet (a leading local ecologist) wrote a book which they called 'Blueprint for a Green Planet'. The aim of this book was to explain 'How you can take practical action today to fight pollution'. Mr. Girardet has kindly allowed us to use an excerpt from the book, which is extremely interesting. How very farseeing their ideas were in 1987 and full of commonsense!

Our thanks to Herbie Girardet for giving us permission to quote from their book.



The hidden dangers of chemical cleaners.
Toxic cleaners and natural alternatives.
How bacteria can be beneficial.
The importance of low-chemical living.

When, in the 1860's Joseph Lister in England, and others elsewhere in the world, collectively invented the 'germ theory', they probably did not know that they were starting a multi-billion pound industry and also, in some ways, doing a great deal of harm.

Lister put his theory into practice by carrying out major operations on patients while their wounds were being sprayed constantly with strong carbolic acid. Any germs that were around at the time died, but alas, so did a good many of the patients - not from the germs but from the carbolic acid. Later, less ruthless methods of providing asepsis were invented, and no doubt, many lives have been saved by them.

But Lister and his colleagues inadvertently started a phobia among the people of the Western World. This 'germ phobia' has got right out of control, and is now heavily exploited by people out to make money by preying on the ill-founded fears of others.

Liquid and powdered bleaches are some of the most polluting household chemicals. Bleach is a very unpleasant substance. It does more than simply kill bacteria in the toilet - it keeps on killing them long after it has been flushed away. Whatever system of sewerage your house may have, it must ultimately work by bacterial action, and bacteria cannot act if subjected to constant dousing with virulent poisons.
Disinfectants are likely to interfere with the action of the benevolent bacteria that digest our sewage for us and render it harmless while large amounts of bleach may harm septic tanks. So great care is needed - and moderation.

Detergents are a very recent invention on this planet, and are at present being grossly abused. Nearly all of them contain phosphates. They all go down the drain, and not only is this a terrible waste of phosphates, but it causes great damage to water life. The rivers and lakes of industrial countries, and the plants and creatures that live in them, are being destroyed by this excessive phosphate build-up.

There are many simple and safe alternatives to the household chemicals that poison our environment and ourselves while claiming to make both more acceptable. Simply using less of them is a good way to begin. But even to take such straightforward action you first have to arm yourself against a battery of propaganda. An important step in the quest for cleanliness lies in developing a resistance not to germs, but to advertising: this would solve half the problems at a stroke.

Positive Action

*Use natural products. Whenever possible, use products which contain natural, non-toxic ingredients. These are likely to be less harmful to your health or the environment.
*Use moderate amounts. When using substances such as bleaches and detergents, be sparing with them. This will reduce water pollution.
*Avoid hazardous packaging. Think carefully about how your cleaning products have been packaged. Cardboard detergent boxes can be recycled, but products in aerosol cans or plastic bottles are difficult to dispose of and damaging to the environment.
*Read labels carefully. If a product is labelled as potentially toxic, think twice before buying it: use a harmless alternative instead.

Natural Alternatives to Chemical Cleaners

Toilet Cleaner. Chemical toilet cleaners often contain bleach that in turn contains sodium hypo chlorite. This is a highly caustic agent that pollutes water and destroys the bacteria balance in sewage.
A strong solution of a natural acid, such as vinegar, will remove most lime scale without causing water pollution.

Washing powder. Synthetic detergents in washing powder pollute water and play havoc with the skin. Many of their ingredients, such as perfume, have no practical value at all. For hand washing, soap and small amounts of soda dissolved in hot water make an effective cleaner. For washing machines, phosphate-free powders will reduce water pollution.

Washing-up liquid. Many washing-up liquids contain phosphates that are highly damaging to water life. Detergents dissolve fats, rapidly and, along with them, the skin's natural oils. In soft water areas, hot water and soap will remove grease effectively. Soda and soap dissolved in boiling water work well on more ingrained dirt.

Furniture polish. Most synthetic furniture polishes are based on synthetic silicones and solvents. They often contain artificial perfumes that pollute the indoor air.
A natural furniture polish can be made by combining 2 parts olive or vegetable oil with 1 part lemon juice. Beer, sugar and beeswax is another alternative.

Metal polish. Metal cleaners often contain ammonia, which can burn the skin, and petroleum distillates that are highly poisonous if swallowed. They may also be hazardous when inhaled. Aluminium foil in a salt solution will remove tarnish from silver. Lemon juice will clean brass and copper, and apple cider vinegar will clean chrome.

There are many simple and safe alternatives to the household chemicals that poison our environment and ourselves while claiming to make both more acceptable. Simply using less of them is a good way to begin. But even to take such straightforward action you first have to arm yourself against a battery of propaganda aimed at us by people who dispose of a large part of the money there is in this world.
To reiterate, the initial step in the quest for cleanliness lies in developing a resistance not to germs, but to advertising: this would solve half the problems at a stroke.