Christmas Newsletter for 2009

from Colin and Elizabeth Hicks

Each year we send out a Christmas Newsletter to family and friends.
The text below is a slightly edited version of our Christmas 2009 Newsletter.
Click to download a pdf version of our Christmas 2009 Newsletter (210 kb)

Click to see Colin and Elizabeth's eChristmas Card to You!

The Family in September 2009

family in 2009
The photo above was taken on 19 September 2009 - the day Carole Hicks (our sister-in-law) had a surprise birthday cruise on the Thames (under Tower Bridge) with over 150 relatives and friends.

"We have seen His star in the East" Matthew 2:2 (KJV)

Colin and Elizabeth
International Trips

Colin and Elizabeth's big trip of the year was to Israel at Easter with a party of Christian friends including many from Teddington Baptist Church (TBC). The highlights were Easter Sunday morning at dawn in the garden around the Garden Tomb, as well as walking where Jesus walked in Galilee and Jerusalem. They will never read the Bible stories again without visualising the places in which the stories are set. At the end of the trip the group went across into Jordan to visit Petra an ancient city which is absolutely amazing.

It was a privilege that this trip was led by Rev Roger Martin (TBC's Minister back in the 1970s). Roger died suddenly and unexpectedly soon after returning from Israel. Although he had been unwell in Israel, it was thought was this was an adjustment to recently diagnised diabetes but it turned out to be pancreatic cancer. He died within a week of being given the diagnosis. This was only a fortnight after his election as Vice-President of the Baptist Union at the annual Assembly which Colin and Elizabeth attended.

Disneyland Paris
Colin and Elizabeth took Jasper and Miriam to Disneyland Paris at the beginning of August on the way to the French holiday home. They all had a wonderful three full days there especially enjoying the Disney Studios and the wide range of rides. Then they all went on down to a holiday house in Burgundy where they were joined by Joanna, James, JJ, Caleb, Heather, Robert and Gwyneth. Richard and Rachel were working on their house in the Charente.

Other Trips
Colin is still President of Eurisy having been elected for a second three year term in June this year. So he continues to have solo trips to Paris and Brussels plus other European capitals like Prague. Colin and Elizabeth went on Eurisy trips to Budapest, Paris and The Hague.

Budapest was a special event celebrating the 20th anniversary of Eurisy and there was a grand dinner in one of the halls of the old royal palace in Budapest. Colin and Elizabeth stayed in the Budapest Hilton which is built inside the walls of an old monastery on the castle hill. They had a tour of the magnificent Hungarian Parliament building and gazed in awe at the massive war memorial left by the Russians.

In both Budapest and The Hague, Elizabeth followed an Art Nouveau trail finding astonishing buildings while Colin was chairing various Eurisy meetings. The Hague was really lively with a pink veteran car parade and an open air rock festival the same weekend the rock stage outside the Escher museum made its floors and windows shake, rattle and roll.)

Colin and Elizabeth overlooking Jerusalem
Overlooking Jerusalem

Baptism in River Jordan
Roger Martin (right)
conducting a baptism
in the River Jordan

Disneyland Paris in August 2009
Disneyland Paris
in August 2009

Colin and Elizabeth
Other News

Earlier this year Colin was elected to the Trustee Board of the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB). This autumn he is developing a new website for the London Baptist Association (LBA) for launch in January 2010. He usually writes websites in raw HTML code using a Notepad style editor and then maintains them himself. But this one uses the Joomla Content Management System because the world moves on and others (say they) need to be able to edit the website pages! You can have a sneak preview of the new website by clicking here.

Colin and Elizabeth had lots of house guests throughout the year, especially a continuing flow of people visiting Tearfund, many of them coming back for return visits. They were especially delighted to welcome Wayne and Liz Eichler with their twin daughters Rachel and Sarah in July. Colin and Elizabeth had stayed with Wayne and Liz when visiting New Zealand a couple of years ago and it was a pleasure for them to host the family during their trip to Europe.

At church Colin and Elizabeth have (hopefully) come to the end of a two year long series of redecorating and refurbishment projects. The final phases were the carpeting of the Worship Area (overseen by Elizabeth) and the replacement of the boiler (overseen by Colin).

The BIG Top at our Church is an August Holiday Club which Colin organises and which has nearly 150 children attending. This year it was a real family affair with Colin, Elizabeth, Rachel, Joanna and Jasper as leaders and helpers, while Miriam, JJ and Caleb were attending as children.

Rachel, Richard and Jasper

Rachel is still loving her work at Esher College. Richard had great fun (and hard work) this autumn playing (and singing) a part in the Molesey musical theatre group's production of Calamity Jane.

Jasper was 12 this November. He has been attending dancing classes for the last two years. This summer won a massive trophy for the "Best Effort" in the whole of the dance school over the last year. Vincent Cable (our MP) attends the same school and was in the audience (presumably being one of those "bested").

Jasper is enjoying his new secondary school (Esher High). Due to pressure on secondary school places he only got to the top of the waiting list for their preferred school a day or so after the start of term. So, in September, he had the joy of two different secondary school uniforms in three days.

JJ, Jasper, Caleb and Miriam in Sept 2009
Four grandchildren
on 19 Sept 2009

James, Joanna, Miriam, JJ and Caleb
Caleb in September 2009
on 19 September 2009

James is much in demand as a lecturer at seminars on medical statistics all over the world. Joanna is continuing to write and edit articles for various science publications. She was one of the first UK science journalists to interview Lord Drayson when he was appointed UK Science Minister.

Miriam loves reading. She is also dancing, singing in a choir and learning to play the piano, flute and recorder.

JJ is working hard at his reading and during October learnt to ride his two wheeler bike.

Caleb, born at the end of July 2008, is now walking well and into everything he can reach. So far he doesn't say much other than "Thank-you", often at inappropriate moments, but he has developed a wide range of Harpo Marx style hoots to draw attention to what he wants. When he sees food he literally shakes and hoots with excitement until it is in his mouth.

You can see more grandchildren photos on the grandparent pages.

e-mail and website addresses

e-mail to Colin:
e-mail to Elizabeth:

Colinís web site:

e-mail to Richard and Rachel:

e-mail to James:
e-mail to Joanna at home: