The Tintern Village Website

Spring 2002


Dear Friends

I thought it might be the right time to say something about unity.
Jesus prays, yearns, longs and has a passion for the unity of his people. If we know the heart of Jesus, if we spend time, even for only a few minutes a day, at the heart of the Almighty, listening to him, we cannot avoid the fact that the passion of the Lord's heart is the same as it was two thousand years ago: "Father, I pray that there may be one..." (JOHN 17: 21). Unity lies at the very heart and depth of God's being.

The unity we are talking about is not the unity of an Islamic god or a Buddhist god or any other monistic god. It is the unity which is uniquely Christian: Father, Son and Holy Spirit - at the heart of the universe, sharing together, enjoying one another together, never at variance, the Son doing the Father's will but knowing that if he asks for twelve legions of angels the Father will change his will because they work together in their intimate unity. That is the kind of unity we are talking about when we speak of the unity of God's people.

When we talk about building unity or working for unity it's almost an insult. We cannot create unity, we cannot invent it, we cannot add to it. It's something that God gives us - and when he gives it to us and we gladly and willingly receive it, the world sees something that it has never seen before. Unity is a gift that God gives us.

It's not surprising therefore that our unity is going to be one of the most important areas of defence for us and one of the most strategic places for attack from the enemy. The enemy is bound to attack your relationship with the persons you are closest to, the people you are working alongside. He would be a fool not to. We have got to discover how to live not in the naturalness of our own unities, within our churches and across the boundaries of our denominations, but in the gift that God gives us of love for one another, for the household of God as well as for the whole human race.

We don't work for unity, it is a gift. This doesn't mean to say we shouldn't seek the Lord to find out how that oneness is expressed in us. Of course we must do. Personally speaking, I don't worry about the 22,000 denominations in the world! They give us first of all an opportunity to understand the God who is a unity but a diversity, who has a variety within himself, father, Son and Holy Spirit and yet in himself is a unity. You see any sort of unity we could achieve for ourselves would be rather bland and insipid, if it is without variation. That's not the sort of unity that the Church is meant to have. There are bound to be differences and varieties.

We want this variety because Jesus said Baptists can love Baptists and Anglicans can love Anglicans because tax collectors can love tax collectors without any grace at all, without any charis (LUKE 6: 32-4, MATTHEW 5: 42). It's when you meet somebody different from yourself that you demonstrate whether you have grace or not. It's when you love across the barriers of sameness into different ness. That's the demonstration of the grace of God and that is why it's a grace that God has to give us to love one another. You can't love people without meeting them, can you? You do have to spend some time with people and get to know them if you are going to love them. We need to obey the Lord and to love one another across those boundaries. Outdo one another in love. I don't owe anyone anything but to love them. Jesus is longing to see masses of different people in different movements in different expressions of Christianity so loving one another that they join hands and refuse to budge until they see at last this Good News carried into all the world and then the end shall come.

This unity is not unanimity, that is an agreement with every single jot and tittle of our minds. No human being will ever be completely and utterly in agreement with anybody else because we are in this great variety that God has made. It would not be healthy for us to be a clone exactly thinking the same as every single other person. That is not spiritual life, it is by disagreement and further understanding that we break through into new insights. We will not always exactly agree.

Neither is it a uniformity, that is a similar pattern that is institutionally imposed upon us all. Of course we all break bread but isn't it interesting that we are never told in the Bible how to take communion? It just says, do it. Was the cup passed round first or second, did it go round twice? Or four times like at the Jewish Passover Feast? We are not quite sure. When the Lord said, "Do this in remembrance of me", he just said, "Do it". And we all do it in different ways.

It is a relationship or family unity - your Father is my Father. If we have a common Father, we have the same life, his. Are we going to fall out? Now that Father is defined in the terms of His providence and care for us, for apart from anything else He has given us His Spirit. Father goes on giving the Spirit to those who go on asking. And so if we all have the gift of the Spirit from the Father and all equally have a claim as children upon that Father, that is the oneness we begin with (LUKE 11: 13). Father gives to his children what is best for each - why should we be envious and fight? We can always share.



Please note that the closing date for the Summer 2002 issue is
SUNDAY 19th May 2002.

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

JOHN MILLS (1948-2001)

John died at his home, Hillside Cottage, after a valiant battle against cancer. His funeral, which took place at the Church of St Michael on the 11th December, was attended by a large number of friends and colleagues with whom he had served as well as the standard of the Royal Naval Association and members of the Association.

John was born at East Leake, a village near Loughborough. He joined the Royal Navy at the age of fifteen and duly became a member of the Safety Equipment and Survival Branch of the Fleet Air Arm.

During his twenty five years of service he was stationed at most of the Naval Air Stations in the United Kingdom, most notably RNAS Lossiemouth in Scotland, where he met his future wife.

John was in HMS Albion at the evacuation of Aden and in HMS Fearless during the Falkland Campaign.

When he left the Navy, making use of his extensive knowledge and skills obtained during his service, he joined a marine safety company.

John enjoyed life but was a consummate professional who set high standards and would never compromise safety of life for personal ease or gain.
John was a quiet unassuming man who was completely reliable and devoted to his wife, Mary, and children, Kate and Tim, who were his pride and joy. Those who knew him found him a man of integrity, good humour and wit.

During his illness, which he bore with dignity, he never complained that it was not fair or that the pain was too great.

The turnout at his funeral reflected the high regard in which he was held.


To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, a group of villagers have come together from all areas of Tintern to form a committee to prepare a Jubilee Day Party for the rest of the village.

It is hoped that all residents of Tintern will take time to support the efforts of the committee and come and enjoy the facilities offered along with their families and friends.

The "Party" will be centred around the Village Hall and Sports Field with , it is hoped, all the trappings of a Fun Day with Bouncy Castles, Tug of War (Teams needed), Races - Three legged and others, Stalls , Tea and Cakes, Duck Race and much more. If you like music then it is hoped that the pubs will be holding a music festival with different music in each, who knows we might even find another "Pop Idol" in our midst?

There will obviously be much more going on, including Floats, so why not keep your eyes open for even more updated information on the event so that you and your family can get the best from the day.

All profits from the day, after all legitimate costs have been paid, will be used to promote the structure and facilities of the Village Hall and to the provision of Christmas lighting for the village.

Anyone wishing to offer assistance or advice should contact Tony Parsons on 01292-689446.

Chairman, Tintern Jubilee Committee

I look forward to receiving any information about any village events that you would like publicised in the magazine. My telephone number is 689233 and I would welcome your call. David Ford, Editor, Parish News

Similarly if you have any information you would like to place onto the Tintern Village Web Site at , contact the web site Editor, John Bathgate, on 689328 or through

50/50 CLUB

The results of the final four draws are as under :

December Annual 1st J&J Davies (127) Joan Reynolds (80)
2nd Jane Parrett (75) Mary Edwards (113)
3rd Elsie Coleman (92) Frances Knight (96)
4th J.R.Coleman (90) K.M.Parker (106)
5th M&D Cowell (61) Gail Reynolds (55)

January February
1st S&J Mitchley (102) J&M Dearnley (118)
2nd Sharon Browning (132) V.Thomas (41)
3rd C.A.Heron (71) Sylvia Smith (16)
4th T.W.John (36) Ann John (84)
5th B.C.Rosewell (103) Sarah Gaunt (130)


We held our Christmas Party on a gloomy 21st of December in the Village Hall. We had a couple of dozen people attending including five visitors from Trellech. We made a start around six and finally got the hang of the Film Star Quiz. Match the star's real name to their picture, Pauline Collins was easy enough, but do you know the screen name for Constance Frances Marie Ockleman, or remember what she looked like? We missed our secretary, at home nursing her broken leg. We broke up just after nine having enjoyed a convivial evening. JMB

The A.G.M. in January was very well attended and details of the programme for 2002 were quickly finalised. All the Association's Officers remained in place for the forthcoming year although the Secretary gave warning of her retirement at next year's A.G.M.

Our first speaker in the New Year was Mr David Edwards (Chairman of Llandogo V.P.A.) who gave us numerous tips on how to improve the staging of produce at our Annual Show. This, by the way, will be held in the Village Hall on the 17th August, so please mark that date on your calendar in readiness for the great event! February's meeting ended with our Speaker judging the monthly competition of a pot of marmalade, which was won by Mr Bernard Bradshaw.

Next month's Speaker will be Mr Vaughn Fleming from Lower Lydbrook and anyone who would like to join us to learn more about the subject of "Fungi" will be made very welcome on the 15th March at 7.30pm. JAB

nb : Miss Ockleman became known as Veronica Lake.


Numbers are going up again as we all recover from Winter ills and chills. New members are always welcome

Jean Davey 689212


The W.I. meets at the Village hall at 2.00pm on the third Monday of the month.
Members enjoyed their Christmas lunch prepared by the Committee. They also enjoyed their Christmas discount shopping at David Morgan, THE Store in Cardiff, along with a delicious lunch.

Madge Cowell gave a most interesting talk on porcelain at the January meeting and Christine Evans is talking on her trip to Egypt in February.

Future meetings will include visits to (hopefully) the rhododendrons, azaleas etc at Lydney Park with either lunch or tea out and other places of interest.

We are a small but very friendly branch and new members are always welcome. Why not give us a try, you don't have to "sign-up" straight away.

Jean Davey 689212


3 at the Village Hall.

The Soup and Pud lunches are a great success. Over 400 has been raised so far. All the delicious home made food and time is donated by the Members of Tintern W.I. to help with the refurbishment of the Village Hall. The Village hall Committee is also applying for grants.

Future dates :
6th March, 10th April, 8th May, 12th June, 12.30pm - 2.00pm

All are welcome from the very young babies and toddlers and their mums and dads. Don't sit at home watching the rain come down. Make friends at the Village Hall.


Spring 2002

Spring Term began on 17th January and by early February all games equipment, stationery and Arts and Crafts materials supplied by Central Supplies Organisation was delivered, in all valued at 470.95.

Our thanks to SportLot via Monmouthshire County Council, Community Chest and the Welsh Church Fund for the entire grant aid.

We are now equipped to enjoy the benefits of the Llandogo Millennium Hall and entertain and train our young people in netball, uni-hockey, quick cricket, five-a-side football, rounders, badminton, agilities and lots of indoor games, arts and crafts, drama and music.

Membership in the Young Boys and Young Girls Corps - seven to ten years and the Junior Training Corps - ten to fourteen years has increased.
The Company Roll now numbers 29. But we have failed utterly to recruit Martins - five to seven years, even with a recruiting drive in school with reception years one and two.
However, by asking for adult helpers, we now have volunteers, Mr. Alan Carter and Mrs. Rosemary Dagger to work with the Y.B. and Y.G.C. and J.T.C.

Spring term will end on Maundy Thursday, 28th March. We hope the children will make Easter Gardens to place in St. Michael's and St. Oudoceus; perhaps also Easter banners or posters.

Looking ahead to Summer Term, we will be organising away days, a weekend visit to is St. Paul's, Cheltenham, which is a very successful Company, as well as National Competitive events around the Country.

The Staff are gradually building up a successful C.L. and C.G.B. company, even though we have only been established for two years.

D. Carter


On behalf of all pensioners who received Christmas parcels and vouchers, I would like to thank those who organised and distributed these welcome gifts, and gave up their time to carry on the tradition which makes Tintern the caring village it has always been.



If you stand in the buttery, African sun
with your raw, dusty throat stretched out,
You see the sight of rain in a cracked, brown land
brings fevered joy - too hoarse to shout.

So why then do we curse beneath the storm
with pale and weighted sighs,
Hunger for warmth and winter's end
with sad, pale dampened eyes.

The river fills and burst its' banks,
coughs out a muddy child,
The errant babe it tumbles still,
Untutored, fast and wild.

House pass pouring less
through every low, grey street,
Debris and filth and chocolate silt,
Leaving its choking mess.

Angiddy's child has left its mark
in village quiet and stained.
We clean up now, the damage done
and curse the day it rained.

Julia Ford


Over ninety years ago the Postman was a 'Persona Grata' performing many duties not directly associated with his calling.

Leaving the local Post Office on foot, he proceeded to serve all the houses on right and left of his route, which in several cases necessitated diversions of many hundreds of yards. At the end of his morning delivery, he was entitled to a rest in a hut provided by the Post Master General, fitted with a stove, a table and a chair, until 5.00 p.m., when he was due to start the return journey to the Post Office.

No calls to make or letter-boxes to clear this time, but a whistle (supplied) to blow as he passed each house so that the inhabitants could bring out any letters which they wished to send. Stamps could be purchased from the good man and parcels weighed on a Spring Balance, carried in his bag, so that there could be no mistakes in postage due.

Several people in those days were unable to write so the good Postman not only delivered their letters, but read and wrote replies. As stated, the Postman was entitled to a rest in his hut from the time he completed his delivery until he started his collection, approximately seven hours.
But in Summer he was often found helping with the Harvest and at other times working as a labourer on a building site.

One of these stalwarts carried on this strenuous routine for some thirty years and lived to be over ninety. Although he did not use a bicycle on his round (it was forbidden by the Post Office), he arrived with one one morning winning the admiration of the young men and some old ones as well. The machine was known officially as a 'Safety' and nicknamed a 'Boneshaker', and fitted with broad solid tyres.

This was the start of the postal delivery we see today, only now four wheels are used.


Tonight the moon rides high
In a starlit sky, and all is still,
Time was, if silence fell, one said
'An Angel passes by'.
Now, for good or ill, another spirit rules -
Daylight will break the spell, with traffic noise and fumes
And we will say:
'The Devil, himself, could not cross the road today'.



Bob is taking a walk when his foot gets caught in some rail tracks. He tries to pull it out, but it gets wedged in tighter. Then he spots a train bearing down on him. Panicking, he starts to pray, "Please Lord, get my foot out and I'll stop drinking." But the foot is still stuck. As he struggles to free himself, he prays again, "Please! Help me and I'll stop drinking and swearing." Still nothing.
"I'm begging you, Lord." Bob pleads. "Let me live and I'll stop drinking, swearing and I'll give all my money to the poor." Suddenly, his foot slips free and he lunges to safety as the train thunders past. "Whew". he says. "Thanks anyway, God, but I took care of it myself."


"I think my wife's going deaf", Joe told their doctor. "Try testing her hearing and let me know how bad it is", the doctor said.
So, that evening, when his wife was preparing dinner, Joe stood 15 feet behind her and said, "What's for dinner, darling?". No response. He moved to ten feet behind her and asked again. No response. Then he stood five feet behind her and tried again, but still got no answer.
Finally, he stood directly behind her and asked, "What's for supper?".
She turned round. "For the fourth time - I said chicken."


A man applied for a job with a bus company. "Right," said the supervisor, "take that bus out on a route and let's see what you can do."
Minutes later the man was still sitting in his cab. "I'm waiting for the conductor", he explained. "This is a one-man bus," said the supervisor. "The driver collects the fare."
Half an hour later the supervisor was told that a bus had crashed. Arriving at the scene he saw the man standing by the wreckage. "What happened?" demanded the supervisor.
"How should I know?" replied the man. "I was upstairs collecting fares at the time."


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
as everyone of us sometimes learns,
and many a failure turns about,
when he might have won had he stuck it out:
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seems worst that you must not quit