Monmouth Wyedean Catenians

Welcome to Monmouth Wyedean Catenian Circle 374 

Province 12

The Catenians

The Catenian Association is an international, non-political fellowship of Catholic men. We meet in faith and friendship and support one another and our families, the Church and young people.

The name Catenian comes from the Latin Catena which means chain. Each link in the chain is a local Circle which meets socially each month usually followed by a meal, often with our ladies and sometimes with a guest speaker and sometimes visiting places of interest.

There are now some 7,600 members worldwide (31 March 2023), including 5,989 in Great Britain. Membership is currently open to men aged 18 and over. 

Monmouth Wyedean 374

Contact details on the Association and Province 12 websites and below.

Monmouth Wyedean Circle (374) meets on the third Thursday each month except in December. A strong proportion of our meetings are with ladies dining. Since the pandemic, we are holding most of our meetings at lunchtime, particularly in the winter months. For times of registration, meetings and meals please see our monthly Circulars, or details on the Province 12 website

Our venue is Forest Hills Golf Club, Mile End Road, Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 7QD. It will be apparent from our Photo Gallery below that we are a social group who believe informality and keeping our costs as low as possible is the key to our survival. Our dress code is suit or jacket with ties optional. 

Bookings should be made to our Dining Secretary, contact details in our monthly Circulars and on the Province 12 website no later than 10:00am on the Monday preceding a meeting, after which menu choices may not be changed and cancellations may have to be charged. 

Visitors, who are always most welcome, should please note that we have made our meetings less formal. Among our officers, only our Circle President will wear insignia at his discretion. Visiting Officers may of course wear insignia at their own discretion. It is no longer necessary to stand when speaking. 

 About our Circle

Monmouth Wyedean Circle was inaugurated in April 2016, becoming the first new circle in Province 12 for 48 years. It is the only circle in Province 12 that serves both England and Wales. Our current roll has 20 members 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. In the wider area, we have members living in Bath, Bicester, Herefordshire and Powys.  

We visit and welcome vistors from other Circles. Our social calendar traditionally includes dining with ladies, family visits to places of interest, theatres and walks and these are open to friends. So far we 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, the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley and Tredegar House and Orangery in Newport.

In addition we have had a number of guest speakers including Gerald Davies CBE DL of the Welsh Rugby Union and the British Lions, Andrew Blake of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and representatives of various local charities that we support. We host an annual Provincial St. Patrick's Race Night in March, an annual Clergy Night for our parish priests, and annual Masses for Vocations and for Deceased Catenians.  

More recently, our Circle has spawned a musical group known as the Celtic Collectors who comprise Catenians and valued guests and ladies. They have performed a Welsh-themed lunch party following one of our meetings, and a concert for our parish and community. They can be seen in our Photo Gallery below. 

Our Circle supports the Catenian Bursary Fund which exists to support young people who volunteer to individual or group projects overseas. A young member of our parish has received a bursary together with additional support from our Circle to undertake voluntary service in India. 

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

The Coronavirus pandemic 

2020-2021 was like no other year, with no formal meetings for months at National, Provincial or Circle level other than by Zoom, when virtual meetings became the order of the day for most Circles. The arrangement did allow members to “visit” other Circles in GB, but also in Australia, India, South Africa, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Malta, Jersey and Guernsey! 

Mass was celebrated for much of the year streamed on-line without congregations. The National Conference due to take place in 2020 in Edinburgh was cancelled and in May 2021 was conducted by Zoom. There is no doubt that the pandemic has caused major problems for the Association, Circles and venues. Equally, while Zoom has held us together, there is nothing as good as meeting with colleagues over a glass of wine. Happily, we were able to resume face to face meetings at our usual venue from August 2021. However, Brexit, the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have all conspired to cause a huge challenge, in which energy, fuel and food costs have led to increases in the cost of traveling, accommodation and meals, in order to maintain being a Catenian affordable! 

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 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 of whom are parishioners of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Monmouth. The parish priest of Monmouth, Canon Nicholas James, 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 parishes, 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 Founder President and he accepted the Charter granted to the new Monmouth Wyedean Circle 374 from Great Britain National Grand President Peter Woodford on 21stApril 2016.

We have a current membership of 20 having lost five and gained 8 members.

Photo Gallery

Tour of Harvington Hall, Worcestershire, for tales of devotion and Catholic persecution arranged by Geoff Quinn, 9 July 2017

Assembling for a Royal Mint Tour, Llantrissant, arranged by Geoff Quinn, 25 November 2017

Anniversary celebration aperitifs, AGM, at Forest Hills Golf Club, Coleford, 19 April 2018

WRU and Lions Rugby legend, Gerald Davies was guest speaker at our Clergy & Ladies Night at Forest Hills Golf Club, Coleford, 20 September 2018, 

Third Provincial St. Patrck's Day Charity Race Night, hosted by Monmouth Wyedean 374 and arranged by Dave Andrews at Whitchurch & Ganerew Community Hall, 16 March 2019. 

Joint walk with Abergavenny 238 arranged by Chris Cherry and hosted by Monmouth Wyedean 374 in the Cyril Hart Arboretum, Forest of Dean, attended by 24 brothers and wives, 10 June 2021.

Joint Industrial Heritage Walk with Abergavenny 238 arranged by Larry Thomas and hosted by Abergavenny 238, starting at Llanfoist Car Park, following the disused railway line to Govilon and returning along the Monmouthshire and Pontypool Canal toepath, 29 July 2021

Visit to Tredegar House, Newport on 14 October 2021.

Joint walk with Abergavenny Circle around Llanthony Abbey on 29 October 2021.

Christmas Party at the Three Salmons Hotel, Usk, 28 January 2022, delayed by the pandemic.

Joint walk with Abergavenny Circle around RSPB Newport Wetlands, 30 March 2022.

Presidential Handover Meal at the Kilpeck Inn, Herefordshire, 24 April 2022.

Eyes down for Province 12 Royal Ascot Race Night, held at the Whitchurch & Ganarew Memorial Hall, Herefordshire on 18 June 2022

Before the deluge! Circle fielded a party of 12 to attend an open-air performance by The Lord Chamberlain's Men of "As You Like It" at Raglan Castle  on 24 June 2022. Hats off, the show had to go on to the end!

Picnic at Lydney Harbour, after the Joint Walk with Abergavenny Circle on 13 July 2022. 

Visit to Kentchurch Court & Gardens, 10 August 2022

Visit to WWT Slimbridge, 28 September 2022. 

Advent Music and Shared Supper Event, 15 December 2022.

Dr Rob Jones' presented “Stuck in the Middle with You – the Marches, Monmouth and the Forest of Dean in the Middle Ages” to 20 members, wives and visitors, 19 January 2023.

Mine host Dave Andrews at the microphone, with the winners at Provincial St. Patrick's Race Night held on Saturday, 18 March 2023, attended by over 40 Catenians, visitors, parishioners and wives. 

Presidents' Handover Lunch at the Three Salmons, Usk, St. George's Day, 23 April 2023.

Intrepid Walkers in the Forest of Dean, about to walk off the Coronation weekend festivities, 10 May 2023.

Mike Bushell, presented with his 50-year Anniversary Scroll by Province 12 President Chris Cherry at our 77th Circle Meeting held on 18 May 2023, in the presence of 38 attendees including Mike's wife, Christine and visitors from Newport and Bristol Circles and their wives.

At our July 2023 meeting, President Tony (pictured centre) welcomed Glyn Jones back into the Circle, bringing our membership to 20 in the presence of 11 visitors. During an Irish Themed luncheon with our ladies, Chris Cherry was presented with his miniature bar for his second Circle Presidency. After lunch all 43 present were entertained by the Celtic Collectors (pictured left) consisting of three Monmouth Catenians (President Tony Forster  (guitar), Dave Andrews and Glyn Jones, together with Mike Keating (mandolin), and singers Chris Lowry, Pat Stewart and Helen Quinn. Plaudits received from attendees asserted this was our best ever meeting, hopefully securing the future of the ensemble! 

The Celtic Collectors returned to perform at the with ladies' luncheon following our 83rd Circle Scottish Themed Meeting on 16 November 2023 with an attendance of 26.  

Our Presidents

Chris Cherry: 2016-2017

Geoff Quinn: 2017-2018

Rob Derricott OBE JP: 2018-2019

Dave Andrews: 2019-2020

Glyn Jones: 2020-2021

Malcolm Rebeiro: 2021-2022

Chris Cherry: 2022-2023

Tony Forster: 2023-2024

How to contact us

If you live in Monmouthshire or the Forest of Dean and you wish to enquire about our activities, membership, transfer or about joint membership, or if as a Catenian you wish to visit us as we hope you will, our Secretary's and our Dining Secretary's contact details are given on the Province 12 Website.

Thank you.