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On the water

14 March 2014

CANALS have always been part of his life. The Revd John Collier (second from left) was born close to a canal at Griffithstown, played by it - and sometimes in it -and his daily walk to school was along the towpath. Now, as NSM at Mamhilad, he has also been licensed by the Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Revd Richard Pain, as chaplain to the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust. The licensing took place at a service of thanksgiving for the work of the trust in St Illtud's, Mamhilad. Mr Collier is now the first chaplain to canals in Wales.

It was a chance conversation with a trust member at the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre, in Newport, that led to Mr Collier being invited to be chaplain, and he hopes that it will be a means of forging a stronger relationship between the trust and the church.

Bishop Pain believes that Mr Collier's appointment will also be a reminder of the importance of tourism in Monmouthshire. "People need to relax, and the tranquil waterways of our canals provide an opportunity to reflect and find space. The church offers a similar sanctuary in life, and I hope that locals and visitors alike will also discover the peace of our ancient and beautiful churches."

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