We are certainly living in challenging times with soaring costs affecting households, businesses, and churches, but we must all keep calm and carry on and consider doing whatever we can to help each other get through it all.

Here in the Monmouth Marches, we were among the first to get the doors of our churches opened after the pandemic, doing everything we could to get things back to normal as soon as possible and as safely as possible to benefit the community. It was surprising how many people appreciated being able to visit their local church just to sit quietly in a peaceful place. Most of our churches are open now during the day so why not pay them a visit?

Including St Cadoc’s of Llangattock, (also known as the Rolls’ family church) we now have 20 churches in the area, why not visit our website monmouthparishess.org for their whereabouts and see how many you can explore over the summer.

The St Michael’s churches in Mitchel Troy and Tintern have both done major work in improving the usefulness of their buildings for the local community, pay them a visit when next you get the chance, and let us know what you think of the improvements.

Some local events: St Michael’s, Mitchel Troy will be holding a Songs of Praise and Tea at 5pm Sunday August 21 and all are most welcome, whilst the church of the same name in Tintern is planning special services for Michaelmas in September and Harvest in October.

Lots of our churches will be giving special emphasis to celebrating the harvest this year and recent events in Ukraine have highlighted how important the local harvest is. You may not attend church regularly but why not make a special effort this year to celebrate the many good things for which we should be thankful.

Parents are always on the lookout for something to do with their children during the holidays and the numbers attending Tadpoles parent and toddler group at the Priory, Monmouth have tripled in the past week.

St Mary’s Priory will also be the venue for the ‘Wonderzone’ Holiday Club, it runs every morning until 1pm from Monday 15 – Friday August 19 for children 4-12 years accompanied by a carer.

For further details contact Revd Dan Damon [email protected].

There will also be a Coffee Morning at the Priory, Saturday August 6, 10am-noon to raise funds for the Wonderzone Holiday Club.

My car does not have air conditioning, so I am hoping that it is a little cooler for the St Dingat’s, Dingestow Car Treasure Hunt on Saturday 17th September, all are welcome.

The Priory at Monmouth will be supporting local artists by holding a Craft Fair showcasing their talents, there will also be coffee, teas, cakes and refreshments for sale, Saturday August 13, 10am - 3pm. (www.monmouthpriory.net)

St Mary’s, Monmouth have a new Director of Music: Mr Thomas Mottershead. The choir practises every Thursday evening and leads the Sung Eucharist at 10am on a Sunday.

Choir practices for the autumn will begin mid-September and we are recruiting now. Contact [email protected] if you would like to join us.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer.