The Tintern News



Produced by the Friends of Tintern – December 2006



Christmas Lights at the Royal George Hotel on Sunday 10th December at 6.30pm.


Do come along to the switch-on of the Christmas lights at the Royal George Hotel. There will be a ‘mystery guest’ pressing the button this year and possibly a visit from Father Christmas – who always keeps his diary a secret until the last minute. Well that’s what I have been told. Personally I think it’s because he is having a problem fitting into his ‘uniform’!


Tintern Senior Citizens – Christmas Lunch – a reminder


The annual Christmas lunch for Tintern Seniors will be held at the Anchor Hotel on Monday 11th December starting at 12.00pm.  The lunch is free to those residents of Tintern who are aged 60 and over.  Ex-residents of Tintern, who are 60+ are also welcome to come to the lunch but will be asked to pay a contribution of £5.00 towards the meal.


Reservations for the lunch and transport if required, should have been made by the 1st December, but there may still be some places left if you hurry and telephone:


Janet Hill  01291 689591 or Sue Ball 01291 689629 without delay.



Candlelit Carol Service


On behalf of Barnardo’s Children’s Charity the annual Candlelit Carol Service will begin at 7.00pm on 11th December 2006 at The Abbey Hotel.  Hot snacks and mulled wine will be available from 6.00pm with partial proceeds going to Barnardo’s.  There is no need to book so just turn up on the evening.



Christmas Eve - Lessons and Carols at St. Michaels Church, Tintern


There will be a traditional candlelit carol service conducted by the Rev. Norah Hill at St. Michaels Church, Tintern on Christmas Eve at 4.00pm.  The service will take the form of 9 lessons and carols with the accompaniment of the organist who will play beautiful Christmas music to create a wonderful atmosphere for the service.


Please come along and sing all the old favourite carols. Bring the family – all ages welcome from 0 to 100 plus.


J. Davey.


Ex-local resident wins competition


Julia Bohanna (daughter of Hermoine Ford) has recently won first prize in a short story competition run by Woman and Home magazine. The story, Ghosts of Jamaica centres on Jenny and her brother, who after their father’s death go on holiday to Jamaica, leaving their strained relationship with their mother behind. But as Jenny discovers, some things are impossible to run away from.  It was reported in Woman and Home that “the judges were unanimously impressed with this accomplished and multi-layered story”. Araminta Whitley said, “It was wonderfully opaque and beautifully written”. Julia won a laptop and £2,000 prize money. Congratulations Julia. Hermoine, you must be very proud.




A Recipe for December -Mulled Wine



1 bottle red wine

60g/2oz demerara sugar

1 cinnamon stick

grated nutmeg

1 orange, halved

1 dried bay leaf

60ml/2fl oz sloe or damson gin (optional)



1. Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bay leaf and the spices.

2. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to see if you want the wine sweeter, and add more sugar to taste. (Do not boil).

3. Off the heat, stir in the sloe or damson gin if you are using it.

4. Strain into heatproof glasses and serve at once.







At our November meeting 14 members and one visitor were busy making Christmas cards and decorations.  Wonderful creations with holly, fir, ivy, candles and baubles were taken home as well as many lovely cards. An enjoyable afternoon was further helped by the delicious home made cakes on offer, a good cup of tea and plenty of chatter!


We will once again be helping at the Soup Lunch on Wednesday 6th December in the Village Hall.  Having made soup and puddings many members will also be serving out the food and washing up.  The WI will be running a Bring and Buy stall at the lunch with profits going to the Air Ambulance Service. Donations will be welcome.


For our December meeting we are going for Christmas Lunch at The Florence. We look forward to being waited upon as a change from doing the cooking and washing up.  Members are reminded that, as usual, we will all take a small Christmas present costing no more than £3.00. 




The monthly meeting of Tintern VPA was held on Friday 17th November in the Village Hall.  


Dr. Stephanie Tyler from Penallt gave us an illustrated talk on River Birds in Monmouthshire.  She has studied our local birdlife for more than 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge of the subject, which was shared with us. The initial part of the talk was devoted to the Dipper and the Grey Wagtail, which, during the breeding season, are to be found along fast flowing streams such as the upper reaches of the Monnow and   the Angidy River. The Angidy has about one pair of Dippers to each 2 – 300 metres.    They are specialised birds with small wings adapted to swimming underwater like penguins to reach the fly larvae they feed on. Because of their dependence on water larvae for food their numbers are a sensitive indicator of acidification of streams due to climate pollution and conifer plantations. This has become a serious issue over the last few decades affecting the upper reaches of rivers in the Beacons and Black Mountains and efforts are now being made to counter acidification  (the Angidy has a strong population of Dippers).       


The next meeting is our Christmas Party to be held on Friday 15th December at 6.30 pm in the Village Hall (note the earlier start than usual).  Bring along some nibbles to share and whatever you wish to drink.  New members are always welcome.



Community Council Minutes – are available at the Cherry Tree shop and on the Tintern Website at



Working together to safeguard Tintern Church


It is wonderful to hear that people in the village are willing to help with cleaning the church, it looks lovely and we are really grateful. In recent years this has been a struggle for church members, alongside all the other tasks associated with a lively, active, growing congregation. Maintaining the church building and services is a huge financial commitment for the 35 families in the congregations. The Church in Wales demands £16,500 per year as a contribution towards the pay of vicars and other clergy throughout Wales. The mowing and upkeep of the churchyard is largely self-financing but insurance, lighting, heating and repairs to Tintern Church are the responsibility of the parish. In the last 3 years this amounted to over £6000. The majority of this cost is met by the current congregations, who are also responsible for similar costs at Llandogo Church building.


There seems to be some confusion about church services in the village. The service times are a little complicated (!) but are an attempt to respect the wishes of everyone in the parish, while meeting the needs of the current congregation. 


The main church festivals are always celebrated in the church buildings and

there is a service every Sunday in St Michael’s Church (even though the average congregation is two people).

This service is at 9am, (10.30 on the last Sunday in each month for those who find 9am a little early!). 

These times are clearly posted on the church door.

There are also services at 10.30am each Sunday in Tintern Village Hall (First Sunday in the month) and Llandogo Village Hall (other Sundays).


Why do some services happen in the village halls?

Quite simply a growing congregation of 70+, including 30 children of all ages, doesn’t fit into Tintern Church! Of course they do physically fit in, but there is no room to then split the children away from the adult congregation and cater for their teaching needs. After struggling for years in a damp vestry, on a rug in the churchyard and in the lounge of the Parva Farmhouse, it was move, or turn children away! Toilets, efficient heating and parking are all added benefits to those of us who attend services all year round.

Initially we divided our time evenly between the villages of Llandogo and Tintern. However, we continue to grow and when we found ourselves rehearsing a group for the Christmas Carol Service in the disabled toilet at Tintern Village hall. We decided it was time for another rethink! So now our 10.30 services are mostly at Llandogo Village Hall, although we are outgrowing even there! We have a family service once a month at Tintern Village Hall. The children stay in for the whole of this service to avoid problems with space. We also provide good business for Ginger Blue café afterwards. Everyone in the village is welcome at any of our services. Transport is always available. If you don’t want to come to a service but need help or advice contact Phil Rees 01594 530887


Kate Barnes, Geoff Smith & Mary Shipton (Church Wardens}



United Benefice of Tintern and Llandogo with Whitebrook


Church Services in Tintern (and others of interest) during December 2006 are as follows:


Sunday 3rd December
9am              Holy Communion, St Michael’s Church, Tintern
1030am         Family Service and ‘Kids for Christ’ in Tintern Village Hall

Sundays 10th & 17th December
 9am              Holy Communion, St Michael’s Church, Tintern
 1030am         Family Service and ‘Kids for Christ’ in Llandogo Village Hall

Monday 18th December
2pm              Llandogo School’s Christmas Service in St Michael’s Church, Tintern

Tuesday 19th December

6pm              Llandogo School’s Christingle Service in St Oudoceus Church, Llandogo

Friday 22nd December

6pm              A Service in ‘Celebration of Christmas’ in St Oudoceus Church, Llandogo

Sunday 24th December

(No Morning Service)
 4pm             Traditional Candlelit Carol Service in St Michael’s Church, Tintern
 11pm           Midnight Mass in St Oudoceus  Church, Llandogo

Christmas Day, Monday 25th December

1030am        Family Service in St Michael’s Church, Tintern

Sunday 31st December

1030am       Holy Communion, St Michael’s Church, Tintern
1030am       Family Service and ‘Kids for Christ’ with Holy Communion in Llandogo Village Hall
1115pm       Service to celebrate the New Year in Tintern  Pentecostal Church, Trellech Road
We will be decorating St Michael’s for the Christmas celebrations at 1030 on Saturday 16th December and would welcome any offers of help.  Please contact Mary on 689673, Pam on 689457 or Kate on 680046  




Twas the Night before Christmas


Make it Snow !


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.


The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.


The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.


With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!


"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"


As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.


And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.




He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.


His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.


The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!


He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!


He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


[also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”  by Clement Clarke Moore (1779 – 1863)







Parva Farmhouse Hotel


Are pleased to announce that owing to popular demand they will, in addition to their current advertisement be offering:


Christmas Day Lunch £45.00


Reservations only


Tel: 01291 689411




Personal Notices


Happy Birthday to Glenys Luff on 4th December.


Sarah Addison and Martin Woodford would like to wish a big Happy Birthday to their children Helena who will be 18 on the 21st Dec. Victoria Eve will be 9 on the 24th Dec. and Alistair who will be 15 on January 3rd.


Tintern Village Events

Wednesday 6th December   7.30pm Bingo at the Anchor Hotel

Sunday 10th December 6.30pm – Christmas Lights Switch On at the Royal George Hotel

Monday 11th December, 12 noon – Tintern Senior Citizens Christmas Party at the Anchor Hotel.

Monday 11th December – 7.00pm - Carols at Tintern Abbey – assemble at the Abbey Hotel.

Friday 15th December – 6.30pm – Village Hall – VPA Christmas Party


Catbrook Village Events

Saturday 9th December 7.30pm  - Dougie Watts Singing Duo. Supper Dance. BYO Drink. Tickets £7.00 per head.
Sunday 17th December at 3 p.m. - Carol Service with Monmouth Band. Refreshments afterwards
Friday 15th & 29th December - Whist Drives.  7.30 p.m.
Wednesday 20th December  -  7.30pm The Narth Singers with mulled wine and mince pies.
New Year's Eve – Cabaret Evening with suppoer. Tickets £15.00 per head. Not suitable for children under 14.

Friday 19th January – Fashion show.
Friday 9th March 2007 - Ceilidh.
Coffee Mornings held in the hall on the third Tuesday of each month at 10.30 a.m.
Yoga Classes held every Tuesday, 7-9 p.m. and Thursday, 10.30-12.00.  Call Ruth Routh for details on 01600-860648.
For details of all other events or to hire the hall contact Rosemary Stevens on 01600-860451.




Final meeting for 2006 will be on

 Wednesday 6th December 6.30pm –8.00pm

Sports and Well-being


The Village Hall




Items for the Newsletter – dates for the January 2007 edition


Items for the Tintern Newsletter from home or abroad can be sent by email to delivered to Wye Barn, Tintern, or tel 01291 689456.


Advertisements for the January edition should be received by 22th December 2006.


All other items should be received by 27th December 2006


The Tintern Newsletter is sponsored by the Lower Wye Area Committee.




A note from the Editor


The Tintern News is a vehicle for the expression of opinion by all members of the Tintern community. While it does not necessarily endorse the views of any particular contributors, it does wholeheartedly support the promotion of lively debate on the development of the village and of freedom of speech in general. However, it will reserve the right to edit any contributions in order to preserve moderation and a spirit of good intent in the presentation of arguments. Thoughts from everyone in our community will continue to be very welcome. ER