Monmouth Wyedean Catenians

Welcome to the web site of Monmouth Wyedean Catenians, Circle 374 of Province 12

About the Association

The Catenian Association is an international and non-political fellowship of Catholic men.

The name Catenian comes from the Latin Catena which means chain. Each link in the chain is a local Circle where we meet socially each month usually followed by a meal and often with our ladies.

There are more than 10,000 members worldwide, 6,730 in Great Britain and membership is open to Catholic men aged 18 and over.


About our Circle

Monmouth Wyedean Circle was inaugurated in 2016, becoming the first new circle in Province 12 for 48 years. It is the only circle in Province 12 that lies in both England and Wales. Our current roll has brothers drawn from a wide and largely rural area centred on Monmouthshire, the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.

We also have members living in Bath, Bicester, Herefordshire and Powys. After four years our membership stands at 21. We visit and receive vistors from other Circles. Our social calendar traditionally includes visits to places of interest, theatres, walks and these are open to families and friends.

So far our members, families and friends have visited Harvington Hall in Worcestershire notable for its seven priest-holes, the Royal Mint at Llantrissant, the seminary at St. Mary's College Oscot, and the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley. In addition we have had a number of guest speakers including Gerald Davies CBE DL of the Welsh Rugby Union and British Lions, Andrew Blake of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and representatives of various local charities that we support. For the past four years we invite our members, families and friends to an annual Provincial St. Patrick's Race Night in March.

Our Circle supports the Catenian Bursary Fund and a young member of our parish has received a bursary together with additional support from our Circle to undertake voluntary service in India.

With the exception of restrictions under the Covid-19 pandemic (see below), we meet at the Forest Hills Golf Club, Mile End Road, Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 7QD, on the 3rd Thursday of each month (except December) at 7.30 pm. Our short meetings are followed by dinner. Our dress code is suits/jackets; ties are optional.

Unless otherwise indicated, our Register opens at 7.00 pm and our meetings commence at 7.30 pm. Exceptions are our Annual General Meeting when the Register opens at 6.30 pm and our AGM starts at 7.00 pm. Visiting Catenians from other Circles wishing to attend should book with our Dining Secretary, whose contact details are included in the Association's Directory and in our monthly Circulars.

We would love to welcome any visiting Catenians and on Ladies Nights with their ladies, and to hear from any gentlemen interested in joining or hearing more about us (details of how to contact us below).

2020: The year of pandemic

On 31st January 2020, the first cases of Covid-19 were reported in the UK and on 28th February the first cases were confirmed in Wales. By 11th March, the WHO declared the world was facing a pandemic. The UK soon experienced the suspension of non-urgent NHS appointments, the closure of churches, schools, cafes, public houses, bars and restaurants, and on 20th March the closure of Churches. On 23rd March, life was no longer normal when the UK was put into lockdown with residents told to stay at home. Mass continued to be celebrated by parish priests but without congregations and soon Mass was live-streamed over the internet. At Monmouth, we took the opportunity of lockdown to undertake essential maintenance and redecoration of our church. Priority deliveries of food, milk, groceries and prescriptions became the norm.

Most Catenian Circles including ours began to meet virtually using Zoom. Monmouth Wyedean Circle developed a telephone tree, a WhatsApp messaging group and a weekly Zoom chat group to keep in touch. Stradling the England/Wales border, our Circle faced the challenge of two differing sets of national guidelines, particularly around travel restrictions, the wearing of face masks and social gatherings. As things began to return to a new normal in July and August, fears were expressed about a second wave of the pandemic and the anticipation of other strains of influenza associated with the winter months. As September 2020 drew to a close, those fears were realised with large parts of the UK placed under local lockdown for the second time.

Meanwhile, any "visiting" Catenian wishing to join one of our continuing Zoom meetings, or to check if we are meeting socially again, should make contact with our Secretary for joining details; His contact details are in the members section of the Catenian Association website. You will be most welcome. Our Zoom meetings last about 40 minutes and are followed by a social chat to which the ladies are invited. We pray that we will meet socially over a meal again before too long.

Background:

Our Formation as Monmouth Wyedean Group 932

Our journey began on 9th March 2015 with the first meeting of a project team set up to consider the potential for membership growth in the parishes of Monmouth, the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean.

Initially the project team consisted of four members of Abergavenny Circle 238: Chris Cherry, Robert Derricott, Geoff Quinn and Dave Andrews, all parishioners of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Monmouth. The parish priest of Monmouth and the then Provincial Membership Officer, Gervase O'Donovan, were invited to join the project team and pulpit presentations were held in Monmouth, Chepstow and the Forest of Dean and a social evening was held for interested parishioners to learn more about the Catenian Association.

In all just seven monthly meetings of the project team were held, and Monmouth Wyedean Group 932 was inaugurated on 15th October 2015 by the then Provincial President, Pat Burbidge, with 12 founder group members including the four Abergavenny brothers who formed the project team, plus four more Abergavenny brothers, and one brother from Hereford 190 and another from Bath 192.


Our Inauguration as Monmouth Wyedean Circle 374

Within six months of the Group being recognised by Province 12, our membership had increased to 17, including four new Catenians and a brother from Bicester 360.

Chris Cherry was elected President and he accepted the Charter granted to the new Monmouth Wyedean Circle 374 from GNB Grand President Peter Woodford on 21stApril 2016.

Two of our new Catenians did not renew their membership but three more new members joined, together with two new joint brothers from Ascot & Sunningdale 319 and Hereford 190.


Our Presidents


Chris Cherry: 2016-2017


Geoff Quinn: 2017-2018


Rob Derricott OBE JP: 2018-2019


Dave Andrews: 2019-2020


Glyn Jones: 2020-2021


How to contact us

If you live in Monmouthshire or the Forest of Dean and you wish to enquire about membership or from anywhere about joint membership, our contact address is:

monmouthcatenians@gmail.com

If you are a visiting Catenian and you wish to visit us, as we hope you will once things return to normal, our dining/bookings officer contact details are contained in the Association’s Directory and in our monthly Circulars.

Thank you for visiting www.monmouthwyedeancatenians.com