The Tintern Village Website

Winter 1998


Dear Friends

Just a line and most sincere note to thank all those who were involved in the farewell arrangements for myself and Kate.
Leaving the Parish after twelve years was an emotional time for us and your kindness, expressed in so many ways, deeply touched us.
Your financial generosity enabled us to purchase two antique rugs which look absolutely superb in our Victorian lounge. These items will be treasured and will certainly accompany us wherever we happen to move in the future. They will be a lasting reminder of the special warmth and affection we were fortunate to experience during our time associated with Tintern.
Many of you supported my Induction Service at Mathern with your most welcome presence. To see you at the "change-over" period was greatly appreciated and you can be sure that we will be delighted to see you if you find yourself in this area.
Thank you once again for your friendship and kindness which Kate and I will not forget. We wish you every happiness for the future and feel confident that the Church of St. Michael will go from strength to strength.
With Blessings

Julian and Kate.


We are pleased to be able to report that the Reverend J. P. W. Rees MA BD has been appointed as our Rector from 1st February 1999.
Phil Rees was born in 1941 in Rhymney where he was brought up and attended Grammar School, leaving with eight "O" levels and two "A" levels. He went on to St. David's College, Lampeter, Wycliffe Hall and Linacre College, Oxford where he gained BA degrees in Philosophy and Theology. Later he was awarded a Master of Arts degree at Oxford and a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Cardiff, University of Wales.
Ordained Deacon in 1964 and Priest in 1965 he held appointments in Reading, the Isle of Man and Pontypool before being appointed Area Secretary for the Church Missionary Society (Dioceses of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford) for five years.
From 1975 to 1991 he was Vicar of Bream in the Forest of Dean. During this period he was much involved also in a variety of Diocesan committees and other duties. After Bream he did Mission work in London and then was appointed Vicar in the Rectorial Benefice of Glyn Corrwg and the Upper Afan Valley in the Diocese of Llandaff from where he comes on being appointed to the Parishes of Llandogo with Whitebrook and Tintern Parva.
Phil Rees married in 1964 Valerie who died in 1967 leaving him with two sons. He married secondly Kate, who took him and his two sons on and bore him two more sons, and comes to the Parishes with him. Their four sons are now grown up and married.
We look forward to welcoming Phil and Kate Rees to our midst and feel that they too are looking forward to being amongst us in this beautiful Lower Wye Valley. May God Bless Phil's ministry in Llandogo, Whitebrook and Tintern.



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


Sunday 20th December, 6.00pm Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at St. Michael's (no morning service)
Christmas Eve Thursday 24th December, 11.30pm Holy Eucharist at St. Odoceus, Llandogo
Christmas Day Friday 25th December, 11.00am Holy Eucharist at St. Michael's


Please note that the closing date for the Spring 1999 issue is SUNDAY 21st February 1999
Articles and requests for advertisements should be sent to the Editor Mrs K Heron, Hillcrest, St. Anne's Lane, Tintern, 01291-689328


The "Talk" in September by Mr Colin Titcombe was a fascinating one. He took us on a photographic tour of Gwent churchyards, showing how some of the larger ones are being deliberately managed in order to provide an attractive habitat for rare plants and animals. We were delighted when a slide of St. Michael's appeared on the screen as apparently the trees by the lych gate are an unusual species for this area.
Our County Harvest Festival was held this year at St. Peter's, Nantyderry. The weather was rather damp and dismal and really dark by the time we eventually found the church, but inside it was warm and beautifully decorated with the rich colours of Autumn. The service was followed by supper at Goytre Village hall and an auction of garden produce, the proceeds going to the St. David's Foundation.
In October, an illustrated talk, "Navigation on the Wye" was given by Mr Jim Simpson. It's always fun to welcome a local speaker and Jim gave us a wonderful evening, constantly surprising us by the size of boats built in many yards along the river as well as the tonnage carried by these craft. One of his slides showed men towing a boat by a rope tied to the top of the mast! - you see the oddest things in a gardening club.
And then, also in October, the County A.G.M. was held at Usk Agricultural College. This is always well attended because after the business meeting, cups and trophies are presented and this year in the Summer Garden Competition Mr Brian Young beat entries from all other VPAs to win Best Vegetable Garden - many congratulations to him.
On which high note we had better end and hope for further glory in 1999.


50/50 CLUB

Recent winners are :

1st 2nd 3rd
Sep. H Cresswell(87) Mrs W Boast(96) Mrs J Davey(37)
Oct. Miss J Bartholomew(75) Mrs J Davey(38) Mrs C McEwan(28)

See advertisement page (17) for an application form for 1999.



We are still meeting on the third Monday of the month at the Royal George Hotel at 7.30pm. A warm welcome awaits you.
We are planning a super programme for next year. Some of the items planned by Catherine McEwen are: "Everything a Woman wants to know but is too embarrassed to ask". Susie Vaughan who makes lovely baskets from all kinds of hedgerow materials. Visits out. Suppers. So if you have never been to a WI Meeting, give us a try. You never know, you may enjoy yourself.
The WI holds great influence with government and other organisations. At a recent meeting to which all WIs sent representatives, a motion was proposed and seconded that poor countries should have their debts cancelled. A letter was sent to No. 10. Even they listen. So join and help change the world.
The WI is about FUN and FRIENDSHIP. On a cold winter's night when there is nothing on the television, the Royal George is warm and cosy, the coffee and tea are superb. How about it?
We are hosting a lunch in aid of the St. David's Foundation on the 1st March 1999 at the Village Hall.
Jan Gibbard would like to thank everybody who came to the NSPCC Lunch in October. About 200 was made.



We are still plodding along and enjoying our natter over cups of tea. Daisy was congratulated on her Newport Bingo win, she gets plenty of practice at our meetings.
We are looking forward to our Christmas Lunch at the Anchor on Tuesday 15th December.
I don't know if she has told Julian, but Kate has asked us to tea when and if the weather improves next year.



Michaelmas Day, Tuesday 29th September was, as usual, marked by a special service of Evensong at St. Michael's Church. However, this year was different in that instead of repairing to one of our local hostelries for an evening meal, the congregation adjourned to the Village Hall for a buffet supper to mark our official "farewell" to Julian and Kate shortly to leave us for the wilds of Mathern.
In the hall the regular worshippers were joined by representatives of all aspects of village life, over eighty in all, that in itself an eloquent tribute to the esteem and indebtedness felt by all for our Rector's twelve year ministry.
The centre-piece of the hall was a vast and colourful buffet table produced and organised by Judith Russill. More than enough for all and all highly appreciated.
In a witty (and at times quite irreverent) speech, Churchwarden David Cowell looked back over the past twelve years and reviewed all that had been achieved in St. Michael's and the village in that time. He paid particular tribute to Julian's gift of eloquence which always provided thoughts for the week which were both down to earth and uplifting to the regular worshippers. Tribute was also paid to those more personal gifts in the realm of help and understanding in the many crises which afflict all families from time to time. Many a nervous bride will have fond memories of him for that as well as the worried parents and godparents not too familiar with the ancient ritual and verbiage surrounding the act of Christian Baptism.
These many talents will be sadly missed and as a mark of appreciation by the whole community the presentation of a cheque was made by Rose Jones, widow of former Churchwarden Sid Jones, and now one of our more senior residents. Rector's Warden Des Carter endorsed all that had been said and presented a personal gift while Kate was the recipient of a floral tribute of her own. In response, the Rector also looked back over the past very happy years in which the month of September seemed to have had a particular significance, not least for his marriage to local girl Kate. The memories of that day were, it seems, coloured by a realisation that Bishop Clifford Wright - with no recent experience of such matters - missed his way in the conduct of the Service. However, all was well!
On a more serious note, Julian was unstinting in his thanks to all Churchwardens past and present and to all members of the Parochial Church Council who gave so much in ability and leadership and would shoulder an increasing burden of responsibility in the days to come before the appointment of his successor.
In the meantime they would not be far away in Mathern and Kate would still be at the Abbey as its Curator, hopefully remembering to turn left instead of right on leaving for home.
In the future, archaeologists may well puzzle over the attractive brass pipe rack just inside the West door of St. Michael's. Perhaps we should add a commemorative plaque?



Most of us were eating again in the Village Hall only four days later on Saturday 3rd October when we sat down to the traditional Harvest Supper, organised by Madge Cowell and her willing band of helpers. Once again the hall looked at its best with the tables attractively laid with new green gingham cloths kindly loaned by the Tintern Women's Institute.
The fare was traditional ham and tongue, a good selection of mixed salads, hot potatoes and pickles, washed down with flagons of cider. Apple pies, fruit salad and trifles followed with a mountainous dish of whipped cream. There was even cheese board after that for those who had left room.
One change was made this year: the "Entertainment" was limited to the raffle (excellent prizes including a dinner for two at the Royal George donated by Mr and Mrs Pearce) and an extended opportunity to just sit and talk. This we all did quite happily until turning out time so the pattern may well have been set for the future.



The "Thanksgiving" service on Sunday 11th October was Julian's last with us and proved entirely memorable. With no food convoys running this year we reverted to the traditional flowers, fruit and vegetables though packages and tins were still welcomed and in evidence. As ever, our flower arrangers dressed the church to perfection but the greatest impact on Sunday morning (especially for late-comers) was to find St. Michael's absolutely packed with even the choir stalls taking the overflow.
The reason for this was the substantial influx of delegates and friends who were attending the Annual General Meeting in Tintern of the Church Lad's and Girl's Brigade Association, reported elsewhere in this issue. Their impact on the singing had to be heard to be believed (didn't Adrian look happy?). We may not have literally lifted the roof but at least some of our somnolent bats must have had quite a shock. It was wonderful to have them with us (the delegates, not the bats).
The service was unique in quite another way because it was all recorded for television by the B.B.C. Natural History Unit from Bristol as part of a weekly series on the Wye Valley to be screened later on next year. We shall be advised of the dates in due course, so "watch this space".
They actually started filming in and around the church on the Saturday evening and as a result some of our lady members will be needing to join "Equity".
The gifts were all packed up on Monday morning and gratefully received by our local Cheshire Home at Llanhennock.



Recently a Tintern resident was approached by a travelling builder with an offer to repair a hole in a drive and to take the moss off the roof for a small sum. This was cleverly escalated into a much larger job painting the roof with a bituminous compound for a sum involving thousands of pounds. At the end of the work we found that the roof needed urgent repairs!
A chat with a close by Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator resulted in the Police becoming interested and culminated in the "builder" being arrested for criminal damage. No doubt he has now fled from Gwent.
Our resident has avoided the hassle of dealing with the very large bill and the Neighbourhood Watch and Gwent Police have satisfactorily dealt with an upsetting situation.
If you do not have the support of a Neighbourhood Watch, you may wish to consider starting one in your area.
Our local tradesmen are also a good starting place if you need a quotation for any work on your property.



I was there! At 10.30am on the 2nd September, the "last bus to Bristol" arrived at the bus stop opposite the Royal George Hotel. There were six passengers (including one man from Bristol who was making the round trip, Bristol - Monmouth - Bristol). Two joined at Tintern and two more at Bulwark. The bus arrived at the bus station at 11.20am after being delayed by road works on the M32.
For the return trip, the bus left eight minutes late at 2.52pm. There were eleven passengers including two for Bulwark, four for Chepstow and two for Tintern. The bus arrived at Tintern at 3.35pm.
Thus, the history of the "bus to Bristol" can now be written and I can say "I was there".



It's not often that Harvest Thanksgiving is augmented by 75 visitors from Blackburn, Manchester, Liverpool, Litchfield, Norwich, Lincoln, London and Bristol dioceses and the whole service is filmed by B.B.C. Television. Talk about "Bringing in the sheaves", St. Michael's was bulging!
And all this happened on the Rector's - Revd Julian White - last Sunday sung eucharist in Tintern parish.
Our visitors were members of the Church Lad's and Church Girl's Brigade Association, the body which, for thirty years has supported the work of the Brigade physically and financially throughout the U.K. and overseas.
Our Monmouth Diocesan Branch played host for the Annual General Meeting, booking the Beaufort Hotel, the Wye Valley Hotel and guest houses to accommodate them.
On Saturday, 10th October, the guests had lunch served in the Village Hall by our Branch members and volunteer helpers. This was followed by the A.G.M. during which Des Carter was elected Hon. Chairman for the next three years term of office.
Following the A.G.M. the lads and girls of the Monmouth companies, Chepstow and Griffithstown, gave an hour long programme of entertainment, games, sketches, music and finally a traditional rapper sword dance in which we involved members of the audience. It was great fun and well appreciated.
On Saturday evening the whole assembly enjoyed the annual dinner served in the Beaufort Hotel. On a sad note, Kate, the Rector's wife who was to give the after dinner talk on Tintern Abbey, took ill. Valiantly, however, Julian used her notes and, with the projector, gave a terrific performance which everyone enjoyed to the full.
On Sunday, following the Harvest service, we served a farewell lunch in the Methodist Riverside Centre before our guests departed for home. Most had never ventured into this part of the country and were captivated by the beauty of the valley. Many declared they would one day return for a longer stay. One couple wondered why they bothered to go to Austria!
The Monmouth Branch of the Association wish to thank everyone who helped in any way to ensure the success of the weekend.
Next year, 1999, the Association Annual General Meeting will take place in Durham. St. Aidan's College, Durham University has been booked for the weekend, 25th-26th September. We hope as many as possible might be able to go.


Some local children (Gemma Hayward, Marcus & Kirsty Rastell, and also Kay Browning from Llandogo) attended our Summer Camp at Wath on Dearne, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire during the Summer holidays.
The children were split into teams for competitions and groups for duties such as tidying and washing up (nothing changes). For some it was the first time away from home and this meant that home-sickness was present.
On Sunday there was a service in the chapel followed by a roast lunch and then a scavenger hunt for materials to be turned into a collage entitled "The Outdoors". We also went on to play football and netball and finished the day with a beetle drive.
On Monday we got wet and had our share of minor injuries on the lake and assault course at the Scout Activity Centre nearby.
Tuesday saw us at a butterfly farm and at Ladybower Reservoir with a music and TV quiz to round off the day.
We went to take part in the water activities at Doncaster Dome on the Wednesday with a shopping trip to the centre of Doncaster to follow.
Thursday took us to Rotherham and Halifax. Ten pin bowling and a look around the Eureka "hands on" Museum were included. In the evening we had a jewellry making session.
Friday was our last day at Wath and we looked around the parish church which held much of the history of this area. Ice cream, a swim, and then a treasure hunt was held around the area. We had a fancy dress party in the evening.
We returned to Chepstow on Saturday. As always the unsolved mystery of the camp was the ability of the smaller male to wash every day and yet keep his face cloth dry and his soap in its sealed wrapper for the whole period. Perhaps going swimming twice makes all the difference.



Not everyone's idea of a little light read, perhaps, but just occasionally they come up with a real gem. One recent example, we feel, deserves the ultimate accolade of being quoted in the "Tintern Parish News".
A Mr M. Diddams writes,
"Sir, Another humiliation for English sport: a German wins the Men's World Conker Championship. Is there no end to the decline in our sporting endeavours?
No doubt the national press will demand the head of the English Conker Team Manager, stress counselling for our vanquished heroes, and the English Cricket Coach contracted to deliver motivational talks to the team and produce one of his home-made motivational videos for them."
Splendid stuff.



When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept.
When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.
When I became a full grown man, time ran.
And later, as I older grew, time flew.
Soon I shall find while travelling on, time gone.
Will Christ have saved my soul by then? Amen.



New medium size dog basket 4 tel : 689408


The telephone number shown in Mary Plunkett's advertisement on page (2) of the adverts is incorrect. The number should be : 01291-689571.