Christmas Newsletter for 2017

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 2017 Newsletter.
Click to download a pdf version of our Christmas 2017 Newsletter (500 kb)

Earlier years: 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000
2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010
2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

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

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

Colin & Elizabeth

In August this year Colin & Elizabeth celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary with a party in the Waldegrave Room of St Mary's University. It was a perfect day with lovely weather, excellent food and good company. The only downside was that we could not invite everyone we wanted to invite.

In March, Colin & Elizabeth went on holiday to Sri Lanka. The hotels were amazingly varied including a modern lakeside eco-hotel, one based in an old tea plantation bungalow and another in a seaside mansion.

Everyone enjoyed our August holiday in France last year so much that they wanted to go back to the same house. As last year, we were joined for one week by Ruth Helen, Sony and family from Toulouse. The journey south to the holiday house was a lot smoother than last year because Colin & Elizabeth had finally traded in their old Rover (which broke down on the trip last year) and replaced it with a nearly new Skoda Octavia.

On the way south, Colin & Elizabeth took Miriam and JJ to Futuroscope. - a theme park near Poitiers in France which explores many different aspects of film. There are lots of very realistic 3D rides, one of which had us almost believing we were flying over the pyramids with our legs dangling dangerously!

Colin & Elizabeth are still active at Teddington Baptist Church and Colin with the London Baptist Association and the Teddington Society. Elizabeth is still Secretary of Churches Together in Teddington (CTT). In May Colin & Elizabeth organised the local General Election Hustings under the CTT banner and this Christmas they are organising CTT's Christmas Day lunch for people who would otherwise be alone that day. Elizabeth is still making quilts - this year the money she raises is going to React - a charity working to improve the quality of life for children with life-limiting illnesses.

Colin & Elizabeth have continued walking the tributaries of the Thames but also this year graduated to walking the Thames downstream from Hampton Court. Having reached Greenwich so far, they plan to carry on downstream as far as they can and may then start walking the North Downs Way.

Click the photos in this panel to see larger versions in a resizable window

Wedding photo (26 August 1967) Colin and Elizabeth
(26 August 1967)

Playing Mr and Mrs (27 August 2017) Playing Mr and Mrs
(27 August 2017)

Colin and Elizabeth in Sri Lanka (March 2017) Colin and Elizabeth
in Sri Lanka (March 2017)
Our family (August 2017)
Our family (August 2017)

Rachel, Richard & Jasper

Jasper (now 20) walked the Pennine way in mid-July this year before going with Rachel & Richard to work on their house in France. He is getting on well with his driving and drove quite a distance in France when he came with Rachel to join us in the holiday house. Jasper has received several offers from universities to study English literature and creative writing starting in autumn 2018. He has not yet decided which one to accept. Before this summer he was working at a local fish and chip shop but since September he has been working at Waterstones in Kingston.

Richard was working in central London until this November but is now based in Kingston which is much more convenient. That leaves Rachel as the commuter - she travels on the train from Hampton Court to Clapham Junction each week day near where she teaches in a Christian school.

Jasper, Rachel and Richard (27 August 2017) Jasper, Rachel and Richard
(27 August 2017)

James, Joanna, Miriam, JJ & Caleb

Miriam (now 16) took her GCSE exams in summer 2017 has now started her A-levels (Maths, Further Maths, Physics, and Music). This autumn she was awarded an Arkwright Scholarship, intended to encourage young people to consider careers in engineering. At the beginning of November, Colin went with Miriam and Gwyneth to the award ceremony at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in London.

JJ (now 13) is still head chorister for the boys' choir of Croydon Minister - we are waiting for his voice to break!

Caleb (now 9) was promoted from probationer to full boys' choir member on 26 October this year.

Joanna is now in her second year of teaching. Having changed schools, she is now working fewer hours and only teaching chemistry to A-level classes. During the year she used her training to help lead a Duke of Edinburgh expedition. In early May, James finally gave his much delayed inaugural lecture as a Professor of Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Although on his specialist subject of "missing data", it was surprisingly comprehensible even to non mathematicians!

Joanna & James also had to change their car this year - their old Volvo estate being too tired to continue was replaced by another slightly younger Volvo estate.

Caleb (Autumn 2017) JJ (Autumn 2017) Miriam (Autumn 2017)
Caleb JJ Miriam

Other Family News
Bridesmaids with Groom and Bride (27 August 2017)
Golden Wedding Reunion
(27 August 2017)

Heather is no longer living in India. She plans to concentrate on her higher degree studies in Oxford although that will mean her going to India from time to time to take forward her research. Heather has sold her flat in Birmingham and is about to buy one in Oxford.

Heather is in the Golden Wedding photo (at left) with Colin's sister, Elizabeth (at right). This photo reunites the bride and groom of 1967 with their two bridesmaids - 50 years on!

e-mail and website addresses

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

Colin's web site: