The Tintern Village Website

Winter 2002


Dear Friends

I begin with two quotations from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. "A Christian is someone who shares the sufferings of God in the world", and "We must regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer".

Both of these thoughts can only make sense in the context of a friendship with Jesus, God's only Son. In the general experience of suffering in our lives, we see its origin in the activity of Satan. He is our enemy and will always seek to hurt and harm us. He is responsible for physical death and longs to kill us spiritually, if we let him. So most suffering is, in a way, needless and wasteful and evil. We get angry with it in ourselves and others, as Jesus got angry when he saw it gripping people.

But there is an answer - a spiritual re-birth from God which always overcomes spiritual death, and gives us the Life of God which never can die.

John 3 v 16 says "He gave His only Son". Have you thought about the suffering of God in giving us His only Son? We can only use our imagination. He let Jesus, a baby at the first Christmas, come from the ultimate in safety and beauty and pass into a rotten, sick, frightening life, here with us.

I do not want to take any risk with my sons. I would, if I could, protect them from all harm, and keep them always in a perfect place. How much more must God have wanted to keep Jesus where he always should be. But because he loves you, and me, He got to the point of accepting all the pain of giving Him away.

The first Christmas, and the thirty three years that followed, were full of pain for our Father in Heaven. We celebrate the broken heart of God as He gives Jesus up for us, because He's also broken-hearted about our state.

And the words of Bonheffer are true when we follow Jesus, because in a wonderful way, we become, at least in a little, like Him. And when we encounter all the manifestations of sin in the world, and all the suffering it brings, near to us and far away, we know that Jesus is always there still. We have also, in our hearts and minds and spirits, to go there with Him. If we are His, then we go there where He is in our fallen world and we cannot not be there, if we belong to Him.

Remember the Suffering of God this Christmas as we gaze on the baby in Bethlehem.

Yours Phil

TREVOR BAYNTON 1916 - 2002

Trevor was born in Earlswood on the 27th November 1916. He moved to Tintern in 1938 when he married Edna and lived in a cottage adjoining Tintern Abbey.

He served in the second World War in India and Burma, and was invalided out in 1945. He had various local jobs including working for the Railway and both the Livox and Tintern Quarries. He eventually went to work in the Forest of Dean as a self-employed Timber Feller where he stayed until he retired. He was a keen gardener and loved the outdoor life. He was always involved in village activities, but his great love was the local football team. His services were still required after retirement to substitute for Santa at the local school, play groups and village children's parties.

In 1952 he and his family moved to the first council house to be built in Tintern and lived there until 1964 when he moved to Crown Cottages at Brookside. He moved to Chepstow in 1986.

He suffered ill-health for the past five years and after months in several hospitals he died on the 24th August in a nursing home at Abergavenny.

He leaves a wife, 7 children, 10 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.

Mrs. Baynton and family want to express their thanks to everyone for their kind concern, cards, telephone calls and tributes, also to those who attended the funeral. Thanks also to Revd. Rees and Mr. Blatchly, who made this very sad time a little more bearable.


St Michael's
Every Sunday at 11:00am
First and Third Sunday in the month is Family Service
Other Sundays, Holy Communion

Tintern Pentecostal Church
Every Sunday at 11:00am and 6:00pm
Every Wednesday at 7:30pm


Rector : Rev J P W Rees M.A. B.D.
The Rectory, Llandogo
Tel : Dean (01594) 530887
Churchwardens :
Mrs M K Mills : Tel : (01291) 689673
Mr G H Smith : Tel : (01291) 689457
Eucharistic Assistant : Mr D J E Carter M.B.E.


On Thursday 14th November a prayer and healing meeting was held at the Millennium Hall, Llandogo. The hall was packed to capacity and it was a joyful and happy meeting. The speaker was Roger Forester and the singing was superbly led by Mike and Jackie Evans. Many people went up for prayer and healing after the meeting, after which light refreshments were provided.


Please note that the closing date for the Spring 2003 issue is
SUNDAY 16th February 2003.

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 format (ie upright) paper. The title etc will be added at the production stage. Please discuss any suggestions with the Editor, David Ford, on 689233, or the Publisher, John Bathgate, on 689328.


Autumn always sees us back in the Village Hall for our series of illustrated talks. In September, Mr Peter Ralph came from the Dean Heritage Centre to give us a fascinating insight into the work of the Centre with such enthusiasm that a visit to Cinderford next summer was planned there and then.

At the following month's meeting, Mr Steve Hunt gave a talk on "The Woodlands of Gwent" and here again a visit to his garden has been arranged for next year.

Also in October, a county-wide V.P.A. Harvest Festival was held at Llantilio Pertholey followed by supper in the Hall at the Mardy. This is now the only occasion on which the various V.P.A.s meet during the year - so we make the most of it.

November found the Village Hall in chaos due to the improvement scheme so, rather than remain homeless, Christine and Bernard Bradshaw invited us to their home in Parva Springs, for which we were very grateful. We were quite a large number but chairs appeared as if by magic and we sat spellbound through a series of slides presented by Mr David Lewis of Raglan, whose evening with us is always a treat.

And so the year has come, rather soggily, full circle and it is time to give everyone our very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.


ps : the V.P.A. Christmas Party is on Friday 20th December at 6:30, hopefully at the Village Hall. If the Party has to be held somewhere else, members will be informed.


The Tuesday Club has had an enforced holiday whilst the work has been taking place in the Village Hall, but we are looking forward to our lunch at Abbey Mill



The W.I. is looking forward to its Discount Shopping Day at Cardiff's top store - David Morgan.

By fair means or foul the Christmas Lunch, prepared for members by the Committee will take place in December, hopefully in the re-furbished Village Hall.

Meetings are usually held at 2:00pm in the Village Hall on the third Monday of the month.

The W.I. is small but beautifully formed. If you are free on a third Monday and want fun and friendship, do come.

Jean Davey 689212


The Bazaar in aid of the Village Hall has had to be postponed, but it is still hoped to have it before Christmas. Father Christmas is poised in his workshop ready to come when he has the date.

Watch the shop's board for further information.

If anyone has anything suitable for the Bazaar - toys, bottles, books, bric a brac, etc - please save it. CAN YOU HELP?

Jean Davey 689212


At 7:00pm on the 6th December at the Millennium Hall at Llandogo, Tony Nam will be preparing a Chinese Banquet.

Proceeds are to go to the Well Centre at Cwmbran and Mr. Nan has been raising funds in this way for many years.


Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup


Char Sui (Honey Roasted Pork)
Stir Fried Seasonal Vegetables in Oyster sauce
Mixed Seafood Foo Yong (Omelette)
Stir Fried Turkey with Onions and Peppers in Black Bean Sauce
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Boiled Rice


Fresh Fruit Platter

Bring your own favourite tipple to accompany the meal.

Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children. To book please ring Mary Mills on 689673



From September 2001 the law governing day care for children under eight changed dramatically and the responsibility for registration and inspection transferred from local councils to Ofsted.

On September the 18th BROCKWEIR PLAYGROUP welcomed an inspector (and a trainee inspector) into the group for our transitional inspection. We had expected them to be thorough but I think the inspector was possibly trying to make a point to the trainee because nothing was missed out, no question was unanswered and Bal the Play leader even had a forty minute personal interview!

The inspector gave us our feedback that morning and we were totally thrilled to be told she was unable to find ANY action required as we were already meeting fully all fourteen standards. She said our practice was exemplary and that she was extremely frustrated that she had no way to record this as her forms and our report has no spaces for star grading or even comments!

Isn't it good to know that a small, parent-run rural group can compete with the big flashy nurseries and come up trumps!

We meet every Wednesday and Thursday morning in the Mackenzie Hall, Brockweir.

Val Mackey, St. Briavels. Tel: 01594 530648


Wyred Cinema comes to Tintern at the Moon and Sixpence Inn on the 15th December at 8:00pm.

Wyred is the name given to a mobile touring cinema showcasing stunning short films at venues along the Wye Valley, Wales.

The short films of talented directors can now be seen in rural locations without cinema facilities. A follow up of film workshops is planned for next year, make your own film!!

The programme includes Oscar nominated and Bafta award winning short films shown nationally and internationally, both live action and animation. Exciting, shocking, and funny, the films provide a taster of great work by emerging Welsh film making talent. Each screening will include a talk given by one of the featured film makers. To avoid disappointment Book now at the Moon & Sixpence, themed meals will be available on the night!! 01291 689284

WYRED contact Irene Rogan on 01291 689763 or 07747060916
Made possible by a grant from the Arts Council of Wales and, Monmouthshire Council with support from Chapter Arts, Cardiff, SgrÓn, Cardiff and The Watershed, Bristol


Should you travel to Ireland via Rosslare and County Wexford, you enter that country very close to the Irish Tintern Abbey. The Irish Abbey is close to the village of Saltmills and stands on the bank of the Tintern Stream, which then runs under Tintern Bridge into the tidal Bannow Bay.

It was in 1200 that William Marshal, Lord of Leinster, was threatened with shipwreck off the south coast of Ireland. He vowed to found an Abbey if he was saved. He landed safely in Bannow Bay and bequeathed a large area of land to found a Cistercian abbey. The Abbey is consequently sometimes called "Tintern of the Vow".

The monks came from Tintern in Monmouthshire to colonize the new Abbey, building the Abbey to be the third richest Cistercian abbey in Ireland by the time the dissolution arrived in 1536.

The Abbey then became the property of the Colclough family through Anthony Colclough, an officer in Henry Vlll's army. They developed the abbey, building many battlemented walls on the site and introducing weaving and flour-milling industries. In the 1790s, John Colclough converted the nave of the church into a residence and the family lived there until Miss Lucey Colclough left in 1959.

Since then conservation works have removed much of the house to reveal the plain design of the nave. Today the Abbey is managed by Duchas, the Heritage Service of the Dept of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands.

The Other Tintern Abbey is open from mid June to late September, daily 9:30 - 18:30

For me one of the attractions of coming to live in Welsh Tintern was the known link with Irish Tintern, which is only eighteen miles from my family home and which was always considered the nearest and best place for summer holidays.

The historic and beautiful coastline was accessible by horse drawn vehicles or, if young and energetic, by bicycle, in a matter of two hours. The beautiful beaches were often deserted, except for local fishermen going about their business.

I remember, at an early age, taking tea, accompanied by my father, in Miss Colclough's drawing room and not considering the location rather unusual.



Churchyards, many of which have lain relatively undisturbed for centuries, support a wide variety of animals and birds. Each plays host to a unique breeding bird community.

When the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) did a census of fifteen churchyards in England from 1971-98, they found that a total of 43 species held territory in them. A further 30 species were noted as passage migrants or casual visitors coming to feed. These unscheduled nature reserves offer virtually the last remnants of ancient, herb-rich grassland in many parishes. With the decline of many common bird species in farmland and woodland, church grounds have become even more important.

Churchyards typically include a collection of habitats which, though modified by human intervention, mimic those found in more natural places. Tree-lined pathways and boundary edges, for instance, are favoured by doves, mistle thrush, goldfinch and spotted flycatcher. Chemically untreated areas of short grass are good feeding rounds for starlings, thrushes, wagtails and finches

The BTO, an independent bird research organization formed in 1933, is a unique partnership of 30,000 volunteer birdwatchers and 70 staff. Annual surveys monitor the status of many of our bird species across a range of habitats. Volunteers are always needed to help with bird studies and the easiest survey to take part is the one called Garden Birdwatch. The top ten species spotted in gardens last year were Blue Tit, Blackbird, Robin, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Dunnock, Woodpigeon and Chaffinch. Starlings lost their place in the top ten, while the Song Thrush was seen in only 21 per cent of gardens compared with 28 per cent in 1995. On the other hand, goldfinches and nuthatches are increasing in number.

If you would like to get involved with the UK-wide Garden Birdwatch project, send for a free information pack to GBW/Church News Service, BTO, The Nursery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU (participants are asked to subscribe £12 towards the cost of the scheme).


* President Lincoln was elected to congress in 1846
* President Kennedy was elected to congress in 1946
* Both their wives lost children whilst living in the White House
* Both Presidents were shot on a Friday
* Both Presidents were shot in the head
* Both were shot in the presence of their wives
* The Secretaries of each President had warned them not to go to the Theatre and Dallas respectively
* President Lincoln's Secretary was named Kennedy
* Both presidents were assassinated by Southerners
* Both Presidents were succeeded by Southerners
* Both successors were named Johnson
* Andrew Johnson who succeeded Lincoln was born in 1808
* Lyndon Johnson who succeeded Kennedy was born in 1908
* John Wilkes Booth who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839
* Lee Harvey Oswald who assassinated Kennedy was born in 1939
* Both the assassins were known by their three names
* Booth ran from the Theatre and was captured in a Warehouse
* Oswald ran from a Warehouse and was captured in a Theatre
* Both Booth and Oswald were killed before coming to trial

Amazing coincidences submitted by Marjorie Spencer-Jones, August 2002

Three more coincidences pointed out by Stephen Fry, Actor:-

Both assassins had names composed of 15 letters -
John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald

One week prior to being assassinated, Lincoln visited Munroe in Maryland. One week prior to being assassinated, Kennedy visited Marilyn Monroe.

Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theatre and Kennedy was shot while in a Ford Lincoln.


Julia Ford

Lenny Butterman, for whom burglary was second nature, was anticipating an exceptionally busy night. At Christmas, transient relatives and the careless bonhomie that surrounded the festivities made other people's homes open up to him like succulent pearl-laden oysters. The owners should have tied them up with ribbon; it was really that easy.

The first of the evening looked the most promising: a detached Georgian house in a lonely country lane. He could tuck his Astra van out of sight behind a tall hedge and knowing the place to be temporarily empty, then take his time. He decided against turning on the lights though, no point in drawing unnecessary attention to himself. His breath turned to dissolving mist in the sharply chilled air but by breaking a window in the back door of the kitchen, he was in quickly. Sweeping his torch greedily around the downstairs' rooms, he whistled at the luscious array of antique furniture. Then he found a treat; the dining room had an enormous tree. At the foot of a Norwegian pine whose branches groaned under the weight of silver and purple baubles, was a mouth-watering collection of presents. The tree was lit and Lenny tutted to himself. It was a fire hazard all right and as his good deed for the night, he would turn it off before he left.

He was just considering the irony of this magnanimous gesture, when soft feet began to pad down the stairs. Thinking at first it must be a cat, he was then startled by the sight of a small boy in Harry Potter pyjamas, who looked at him boldly. The boy had a crumpled yellow blanket in one hand, which trailed along the luxurious deep pile blue carpet. He squinted at the tiny apparition, not yet used to the semi-darkness out of which he came.

'Are you Farver Cwistmas?' the boy whispered.

Lenny put down the large gold parcel he had been examining. He may not have had many advantages in his life but the ability to think on his feet came naturally. He put on a friendly smile.

'Yeah, that's right,' he said

'Where is your cwothes den?'

Lenny tried to quell the panic that rose in his dry throat. The dirty red jumper, black leather jacket, scuffed jeans and market stall trainers were hardly designed by elf tailors.

Damn. This family was supposed to be at their in-laws over Christmas. Now it was complicated. Here was a boy of about four who had seen his face or worse still, would suddenly realise that he was not the benign earthly incarnation of St Nicholas.

'Don't tell anyone,' he said slowly, careful not to shine the light in the boy's eyes and frighten him. 'But I decided to shave off my beard this year and wear ordinary clothes. Does your daddy shave?'

The boy was not immediately convinced but the reference to his daddy seemed to find favour. He giggled and cocked his head to one side. For a split second, Lenny saw in the expression of curious amusement his own son Callum, several years earlier.

Pull yourself together, he told himself. If he could manage to get the lad to return upstairs to his bed, he would cut his losses and leave.

Yet the little boy seemed to have no intention of missing out on all the excitement. He put his blanket on the sofa and came over for a closer look. There were a smattering of freckles on his nose and a glint in his greenish eyes that showed the spirit of youth. He really did remind him of Callum and there, in the pit of his stomach began a stirring emotion. The feelings for the son he hadn't seen for three years, a wife abandoned.

He had to get a grip.

'The thing is,' he said carefully. 'Children really shouldn't be up at this frighten them reindeers and they get all skittery. You wouldn't want us to go before we've delivered the presents, would you?'

The boy shook his head solemnly.

'Don't you like your pie?' He was pointing to a blue and white willow pattern plate on the mantelpiece. It had a mince pie with a sprig of holly on top and a tall glass of milk.

'Course I do,' said Lenny with another forced smile. He took a bite. It didn't taste like the cheap supermarket packet variety, but had rich crumbly pastry and oozed with orange peel, cinnamon and plump pieces of fruit. It washed down pleasantly with a large swig of milk. The boy was smiling now. This seemed to confirm in his mind that this was indeed Santa Claus.

'So what have you got me? '

Now he was growing cheeky, trying to peer into the empty sack into which Lenny was intending to pile the parcels. He smelt of fabric conditioner and strawberry shampoo, reminding him of the laughter, cuddles and bedtime stories of the past. Suddenly he felt like Tom in The Water Babies, grubby and out of place. He placed one hand briefly on the child's head. The hair was soft and suddenly the aching memory of his son was almost too much to bear. What was he doing here?

The little boy, trusting him now completely, had climbed onto the sofa and was yawning. His eyes, growing heavy, had finally closed. Picking up a throw that was covering an old chair, Lenny gently laid it over him and left by the kitchen door.

Lenny had a bit of a cry in the car, his first for many years. Why was he robbing other families of their Christmases, just because his own was so sour? Thieving was all he knew; what sort of future did that give him, what kind of poor father did he make?

There had to be changes made, for Callum's sake.

He started to drive, certain of one thing for the first time in his life whatever the consequences.

He was going home.


We met, we married, a long time ago,
He worked for long hours and wages were low,
No telly, no radio, no bath; times were hard,
Just a cold water tap and a walk up the yard.
No holidays abroad, no carpets on floors
We had coal on the fire - we never locked doors,
Our children arrived - no pill in those days,
And we brought them up without the State Aid,
No valium, no drugs, no LSD,
We cured our pains with a good cup of tea.
If you were sick you were treated at once,
Not fill in a form and come back next month,
No vandals, no muggings, there was nowt to rob,
In fact you were rich with a couple of bob.
People were happier in those far-off days,
Kinder and caring in so many ways.
Milkmen and paper boys would whistle and sing,
And a night at the flicks was a wonderful thing.
Oh, we had to face our share of troubles and strife,
But we had to face it, that was life.
But now I'm alone and look back through the years,
I don't think of bad times, the trouble and tears,
I remember the blessings of our home, and love,
We shared them together, and I thank God!