The Tintern Village Website

Summer 1998


Dear Friends
As this edition of the Parish News was on the point of going to press, I received confirmation of my appointment to the living of the Mathern group of parishes.
By the time I leave to take up new duties (scheduled for October 1998) twelve years will have passed since my arrival in this parish. Time and space does not permit me to reflect at length upon this period and I am certain that a more appropriate setting will be found for the purpose of "stocktaking".
It is enough to say, on a personal level, that I have experienced great happiness in this parish during my incumbency. Whilst my taste in motor vehicles has gone to the dogs over the past decade, I have been recompensed in terms of having the undeserved good fortune of being married to an exceptionally gorgeous wife (she is dictating this section to me). Both Kate and I deeply appreciate the warmth and friendship that has surrounded us at all times and we sincerely thank you for it.
At the least, I venture to suggest that this group is no worse off now than it was prior to 1986. I go further and make so bold as to claim that Llandogo, Tintern and Whitebrook have, in many respects, achieved genuine and lasting goals which are to the credit of the parish as a whole.
The Church of St. Michael, Tintern has been gently transformed from a struggling and near destitute community into one that boasts the highest number of regular attendances within the group, a fully repaired building and a financial position that makes a chance encounter with the bank manager in the street an agreeable experience.
No individual can claim credit for these uplifting achievements. I am fully aware that they have come to pass through the time, effort and perseverance of many. Of that number some have gone from us to well deserved rest, but to all - living and departed - we can apply the the biblical validation "Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant". The word "community" is much over- used these days, but here it is true to say that the good state of our expression of faith is attributable to Community Commitment directed by the Grace of God.
Now that the news of my impending departure is public I feel, in some ways, like "Yesterday's Man". It is only natural that the Parish, having tolerated me for twelve years, should get excited about the prospect of who the "New Man" may be.
It could well be that the "New Man" will, in fact be a woman. As for any speculation in this direction is concerned I can only say, with complete honesty, "I haven't a clue".
The appointment to this Parish will be made at Diocesan level, but I have every confidence that your Churchwardens will play a sensitive part on your behalf in the selection process. I ask only that you give the generous support to David Cowell and Des Carter, your Wardens, and your Church during the Interregnum (ie the time the Parish is without a Rector) and the same degree of friendship and assistance to the new priest, when he or she is appointed, from which I have benefited so much.
I wish you all every happiness and blessing and assure you of a warm welcome should you find yourselves in Mathern Parish from October onwards.
As evidence that parishes can well survive (indeed flourish) without a Rector, the Church Events Programme scheduled for this year will continue undiminished. This includes the previously advertised Confirmation Course (all ages) which will commence in the near future. Please contact me at the earliest opportunity if you wish to be included.

With my Thanks and Affection
Julian E Ll White (Rector)


St. Michael's
Every Sunday at 11:00am - Choral Eucharist
except for joint service on the 4th Sunday

Tintern Methodist Church
Every Sunday at 11:00am
except for joint service on the 4th Sunday

Tintern Pentecostal Church
Every Sunday at 11:00am and 6:00pm


Please note that the closing date for the Autumn 1998 issue is SUNDAY 16th August 1998
Articles and requests for advertisements should be sent to the Editor
Mrs K Heron, Hillcrest, St. Anne's Lane, Tintern, 01291-689408


So far, the programme for 1998 seems to be progressing without a hitch despite the absence in March of the Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer!
The last time that happened the Speaker failed to arrive but this time all was well and we have enjoyed slide tours of David Lewis' garden in Raglan and of very different gardens, this time in Japan, conducted by Jonathan Mitchely.
Now that the evenings are lighter (and warmer), we journey farther afield and the month of May found us in a garden just outside Ross, the home of Michael and Sophie Hughes. It was a perfect evening and we met early to avoid the mosquito's supper time, so we were able to wander round in the evening sunshine and admire the water gardens and sunken grotto with walls made of wine bottles - we all decided that that was a D.I.Y. project with definite possibilities.
June and July will see us out and about again, but in the back of everyone's mind is the Annual Show to be held this year on the 8th August in the Village Hall, as usual.
Do please come and support us, particularly as it will be opened and the awards presented by Rev. Julian White, who is well known for his ceaseless toil in the Rectory gardens.
There will be reminders of this event around the village nearer the time but please mark 8th August in your diaries and we look forward to seeing you on that Saturday afternoon.



The results of the last few monthly draws are as follows :

1st 2nd 3rd
March Heather Mather(26) John Wait(45) Rosemary Beak(86)
April Wendy Boast(94) Betty Hoskins(22) Kay Heron(19)
May Catherine McEwan(28) Catherine McEwan(29) John Wait(43)



The WI meets at the Royal George Hotel on the third Monday of the month at 7:30pm. A warm welcome awaits you, we are very friendly. Don't be put off by thinking you have to join straight away - you can come as a visitor for a meeting or two.
We are looking forward to touring the Abbey with Kate in June. Our next meetings are :
20th July Flower arranging
August Garden party
21st September First Aid with the Red Cross
19th October Interior Decorating
16th November A.G.M.
21st December Christmas Dinner

Jean Davey 689212


Llandogo have seats for their outings if anybody wishes to go. You DON'T have to be over 60. They are as follows :
17th June Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A really lovely garden laid out by Victorians. A very good cafe.
15th July Salisbury and Wilton House
19th August Swansea and the Mumbles

Jean Davey 689212


Tuesday Clubbers had a lovely lunch at the Montacute Arms in Sling, rather large portions for most of us. We managed to stay awake and toured the Forest of Dean to admire the masses of bluebells under the trees. Our driver took us to places very few of us had been before. The sun came out and a lovely time was had by all.
We are pleased to welcome back Pat Robinson and hope that Mrs Margaret Jones will soon be back with us.

Jean Davey 689212


This highly popular event will be held at "Wye Barn" by kind invitation of Judith Russill, on SUNDAY JUNE 21st. The capital letters are intentional because in our last issue the date was wrongly shown as June 25th, which is of course a Thursday.
So, after morning service on JUNE 21st please, and we look forward to meeting you.



The Bank Holiday Monday 25th May was a busy day in the village. The morning was warm and sunny. The Raft Race was taking place during the morning and watchers were waiting all along the river frontage. Parking was at a premium, particularly near the Abbey. The Church Cake Stall was set up in the Anchor's garden and by 12:30 had sold out to the many customers. The stall raised 139 for Church funds. A very successful morning for the cooks and sales-persons.



In 1991 the Community Council provided five notice boards in which Council minutes and other information could be seen by Tintern residents. Now the boards are worn. The Council are to provide new notice boards at a cost of about 1000. The Rights of Way Partnership with the County Council still continues. At a meeting on the 27th April the Council renewed the maintenance contract on a 50/50 basis.
The registration of the footpath from the Cherry Tree to Orchard Cottage was applied for in 1994 with written proof of use provided by four residents. Recently the Council was approached by an architect with the object of demolishing the Old Globe and applying for planning permission to build on the site. When Monmouthshire County Council were asked about our application to register the footpath it emerged that they had done nothing about it for four years. The Community Council have re-applied and are determined that the footpath will remain open to residents and visitors.
Traffic calming still remains a problem in Tintern. the Council asked for a monthly report on the success rate of the speed cameras. We still await a reply. Councillors attended a meeting with the Highways and Transport Committee and put forward complaints and requests. Mr Dale Roberts agreed to deal with these.
Representatives of CADW met the Community Council and outlined their plans to enhance the Abbey and its surrounds. These included the re-scheduling of the Abbey Precinct Wall. The Council have asked CADW and the Welsh Office for clarification and still await a reply.
The Annual General Meeting of the Community Council was properly advertised and was held in the Village Hall on Friday, 24th April. Only four residents bothered to attend. Is the Council so good that no one has cause to complain?



Monday, 4th May 1998 saw Tintern Football Club's annual Duck Race, an event when the sanity of mankind is tested. The tide was predicted to turn at approximately 2pm, at which time 1000 yellow plastic ducks were released into the River Wye from Brockweir Bridge by Committee Members. Villagers and tourists alike lined the river bank and watched with baited breath for the first duck to come around the final bend before the home straight and over (or under!) the finishing line.
There was all to play for, with the winning duck yielding a prize of 150.00. There were cries of encouragement to the men on the river to "fish out" the winning duck, preferably theirs! People leaned over the railings trying desperately to read the numbers written in black ink on the duck's bottoms. A duck broke away from the flock and, sailing on its side, headed for the finish line to be netted by Jim Simpson who declared the winning number as "338". A second duck came under the line shortly after, number "956" having a prize of 100.00. The battle for third place and a prize of 50.00 was on, with two ducks travelling in tandem down the river. One took the lead only to be pipped to the post by the other, number "91".
With the winning ducks now safely netted and prize money won, the crowd dispersed as the other 997 little yellow ducks finished in their masses and the men in the boats were left to net and bag them for safe return.
Many thanks to those involved, both on the day and in the selling of "ducks" before the event. A total of 560 was raised for the Football Club. The winners were confirmed as :
1st Prize: A. Jackson, High Wycombe
2nd Prize: Scot Morgan, Catbrook
3rd Prize: Dermott c/o Lisa, Tintern

Here's to another successful race next year.



Have you ever walked across the Severn by way of the Severn road bridge (opened 1966)? It has been possible to do so since it was opened but most people seem to cross by vehicle of some description. However walking across is an interesting experience and doing so as a sponsored event is a good way of raising money.
On Sunday the 17th May a small group of members of St Michael's Church took part in such a sponsored walk organised to raise funds for the St David's Foundation and St Ann's Hospice, both of which provide care in the County.
The weather was perfect for the event, warm and sunny with a gentle breeze. About twenty five walkers of all ages, shapes and sizes set off at 10:30 from the Thornwell car park along the track which led under the motorway to the footpath and cycle track which runs parallel to the main crossing. A gradual climb takes you across the Wye, over Beachley Barracks and up to the centre of the main suspension span. After this the track descends until the English end of the crossing is reached. Here walkers were refreshed with mugs of squash before retracing their steps back over the same track to Thornwell. The whole walk took about one hour and forty minutes and was five miles long.
Our little group of six (whose combined ages totalled 428 years) collected a total of 276 from friends and neighbours.




On the 7th March, the two Monmouth Diocesan Companies, St Mary's Chepstow and St Hilda's Griffithstown were hosts for the C.L.& C.G.B National Cross Country Championships.
Pontypool Park and Leisure Centre was booked for the event which was staffed by officers, helpers, parents and friends. They acted as judges, route marshals, starters, recorders, umpires and providers of refreshments. St John's Ambulance Brigade were in attendance but had little to do; very few casualties! Teams came to South Wales from Blackburn, Chester, London and Manchester dioceses and a special welcome was given to the teams from Ulster.
Sponsorship by the Trustees Savings Bank enhanced the final presentations. In addition to the national team and individual trophies, extra gifts were presented. Girls from St Hilda's, Griffithstown in national dress carrying baskets of daffodils added to the presentations. Each Diocesan formation Sports Officer received a gift of Welsh slate with a painted daffodil and the words of the Welsh National Anthem engraved upon it. In all, Monmouth Diocesan Battalion should be proud, having received national acclaim in the Brigade Annual Review.




Now that I've just about recovered from the culture shock, it's fascinating to look back on the two very different Churches which the Bathgates and I visited during our recent holiday in America. One was a Southern Baptist Church in what is known as the "Bible Belt" in Texas and the other was an Episcopalian Church in Pueblo, Colorado.
The Baptist Church seemed to be roughly the size of the Albert Hall, it's parking lot would have covered most of our village and yet they still needed mini-buses to ferry worshippers from outlying car parks!
We attended the second service of the morning. Apologies were made for the lack of an orchestra which was only present for the first and third services, so we had to make do with a sixty strong choir. The service itself wasn't conducted by the Minister (Pastor) but by the Leaders of Music and Drama. When the Pastor eventually came to address the congregation everyone made notes of the salient points on the answer sheets handed out.
Money was being raised to build a bigger and better "Worship Centre" ($20 million) so that all members could attend one service instead of taking three 1800 sittings. Better facilities were also being provided for the large number of staff needed to run such an undertaking. Current income is about 5 million dollars per year.

It was like coming home then, to attend the Episcopalian Church on Palm Sunday. We arrived early and went downstairs into a large room which provided for various study groups, served coffee and cakes and generally became a meeting place for the parishioners. Speaking parts in a dramatisation for Holy Week were given out and then we all went upstairs into the Church proper for the service during which children distributed palm leaves (which the Vicar's son surreptitiously made into crosses for us during his father's sermon).
True, there was an interval for "getting to know your neighbor" which meant hugging complete strangers - "Why can't they just shake hands?" asked John - but all in all it was a service with which any member of the "Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" would have been quite familiar - in fact the first of the intercessionary prayers was for the Archbishop of Canterbury!
Our Easter Day service in St Michael's seemed so peaceful after such "foreign" experiences but how wonderful if we as well could have larger congregations week by week.



Many thanks to all those who have continued to save their papers over the past year.
Although the price has been falling steadily and is now down to 20 per metric tonne, between the three parishes we collect more than that in a month, so it is definitely still worth the effort.
If anyone else feels that they could add to this quantity (no shiny paper or stapled paper please) collection can be arranged by ringing me, Judy Bartholomew, on 689421 or just leave the bundles at Glen Roy, Trellech Road.
Our thanks again to one and all.



Three members of the family at University at the same time, it certainly wasn't planned.
This is probably the most important choice of your life.
Mature students are always welcome.
What qualifications have you got?
Perhaps we should come to your open day!
We have been all over the country looking at various courses and college facilities. One of the priorities is to show parents the halls of residence. I enjoy being shown around the laboratories and lecture halls as I fall asleep during promotional lectures and videos. Universities usually have good sports facilities and the beer is cheap in the student's union.
Life at home takes on seasonal fluctuations; overcrowded with insufficient storage in the holidays and an unusual taste of freedom in term time. You give up cooking, while preaching to the children to look after themselves. All too soon you become used to less washing, but find it difficult to take advantage of the free time, collapsing in a heap after work.
There are new roles - Post Mistress, all journals, bank statements, etc seem to be addressed home. Financial adviser - grant into accommodation won't go "and you expect me to buy books?" (thanks to the Bradford Fund, some books were bought by Richard, Ruth and Adam). Above all be a good listener to personal problems, both emotional and course related, thank goodness for the telephone. This is an old-fashioned means of communication for your offspring. Their natural means of communication is by E-mail and research is carried out by surfing the net; a generous up to date source of information. There are regular crises, studying over Christmas and Easter for exams. Each year is more important than the last. Husbands require support as well. No sneaking off to bed now, it's only 2:30 am. Thanks for proof-reading my project, but we (you) haven't put it in order yet (both copies). But I have to go to work in the morning!
When providing a taxi service for scouts swimming, little did we know it was an apprenticeship for luggage porter, furniture remover and house clearing. Have you got your new address yet? It's not all chores, travelling backwards and forward at the end of term becomes a good excuse for a day out. Devon is a lovely county, and the upper reaches of the Thames are very pretty. We had a holiday in Northern Germany when Ruth spent her sandwich year with a civil engineering firm near Hamburg. The courses were chosen for the unusual elements that reflect the character of the student. Ruth took up commercial diving. Alan spent a fortnight in Tobago studying more coral reefs. Adam provides information for the weather man whose job it is to stand around all day noting the changes.
Ruth and Alan are now in their final year studying Civil Engineering at Plymouth and Biology at Cardiff respectively. Adam is in his second year studying Physics with Meteorology at Reading.
I wonder if the same outfit will do for both degree ceremonies?

The Parker Family


Cliff Randall, Head Chef at the Royal George Hotel, and Robert Hill, one of his motley crew came first in the resurrected Tintern Pancake Race. They fought off stiff opposition to bring home the much coveted cup.
Another member of staff found herself first in the queue on opening day of the new prestigious shopping mall at Cribb's Causeway, and for her sins appeared on an HTV interview with Bob Crampton.....she wishes to remain anonymous.

Mrs Pearce


Electrolux table top refrigerator:
as new, half price o.n.o.
tel : 689408


A Few More Clues
Everything hurts - what doesn't, doesn't work.
You feel like the morning after, but haven't been anywhere.
Your house is too big, but your medicine chest is too small.
Your children look middle aged.
You stick your teeth into a steak and they stay there.
You sit in a rocking chair, but can't make it go.
You need glasses to find your glasses.
Your knees buckle, but your belt won't.
You just want to live long enough to be a problem to your offspring.