Family Newsletter for 1996


Each year we send out a Christmas Newsletter to family and friends. The text below is a slightly edited version of what we sent out for Christmas 1996

His name shall be Emmanuel - "God with Us"


Wedding of the (New) Year!

Joanna Hicks marries James Carpenter
on Saturday 4 January 1997
at New Road Baptist Church, Oxford

Joanna danced in the 1996 Oxford v Cambridge match for the Oxford team against her old Cambridge friends. She hopes to finish her Oxford DPhil in 1997.

James recently completed his Oxford DPhil in Statistics and is now doing research in the Oxford Department of Statistics. Joanna and James met at New Road Baptist Church where James is the organist.


Holidays We went to Cornwall for a week in August, staying in Truro and touring around. On the way down we stayed for the night with Rosemary and Mike Newberry - Rosemary being a friend from Exeter when we lived there in the early 1970s. On one day we flew over to the Scilly Isles for a day-trip in a tiny eight seater plane.

A later short holiday was spent during October half-term in Bonn visiting David and Caroline Bacon. We went sight-seeing with them in Linz and in Cologne. The sightseeing highlight for Colin and the other kids was a visit to a chocolate factory especially when the chocolate flooded out all over the floor (Deutsche Technik). For the rest of the time, while Elizabeth read her book, Colin gave Rosie and Andrew Bacon lessons in table-tennis 4, Cheat (a card game in which the winner is the best cheat), and taught them how to do Round the World with the yoyo.


Visitors We have had a number of house guests during the year (as usual these days): Paul Unsworth is staying with us for nearly a year - he is part of a Frontline team of young people organised by the Oasis Trust. From time to time Tear Fund workers have stayed the night, sometimes just before they fly out to an African trouble spot to begin relief work. We still have students and others for Sunday lunch each week.
Birthdays Last year's readers may remember that Colin and Elizabeth celebrated their joint 100th birthday in 1996. Many friends and family we see all too rarely came to celebrate with us on 25 May. At the party we raised £800 for the Baptist Missionary Society - many thanks to those who contributed so generously to the BMS instead of giving us presents.

Although we had said "No presents please", there was a great surprise for Elizabeth at the party - our children (including our children-in-law) gave her a voucher to go flying in a hot air balloon - one of her lifetime ambitions. An even greater surprise for Colin (who knew about the hot air delight) was a present to him of a day at Thruxton learning how to drive a racing car. We used both our vouchers in August - a good time was had by all.

Elizabeth ended up in her hot air balloon desperately trying to find somewhere to land as they drifted towards London at dusk, pursued by a police car. She loved it all. Colin burnt up the race track proving (to himself at least) that he had not lost the touch from his years on the Go Kart track.


Despite last year's uncertainties, Colin is still in same job at DTI now entitled Director - Environment. He is now wondering what 1997 (an election year in the UK) will bring.

Colin has continued working on the family history now using the Internet extensively. We found time to do some family history researches in the Cornwall record office in August. Then in October we had an enjoyable dinner party with some of Colin's fellow family history researchers including Dick and Elizabeth Nellis who were on holiday from the USA.

An innovation for Colin during the year has been developing WWW sites: his own (URL over the page) and experimental sites for TBC and the London Baptist Association. This newsletter will be available on his WWW site - have a look!


TBC (Teddington Baptist Church) has started looking for a new Minister following the departure of Andrew Willis for Brixham at the end of 1996. The Church is in good heart with lots of plans for 1997 but having no Minister puts (and will put) extra work on Colin and the other Elders. As Mission Secretary, Elizabeth coordinates the work of TBC related to mission beyond the immediate area, including the care and support of our five missionaries (two couples and a single lady) abroad.
Elizabeth has a class of 7-8 year-olds still at the same school (St Mary's and St Peter's CofE Primary School in Teddington). She gets amused by the regular swings of the educational pendulum but the children remain the same as ever - a mixture of delight and devilment, for the most part eager to please and to learn.

In November, Elizabeth finally completed a patchwork bedspread which has been in the making for 25 years (since Jamaica)!


Rachel and Richard are doing more cycling together and Rachel has a super new mountain bike. She remains a busy teacher, like her mother teaching junior children.
Family Elizabeth's sister, Heather, is home for four months from Nepal and will be at Joanna and James' wedding. This sabbatical will be a very different life for her - for the past year she has been living two days walk from the nearest road.

Elizabeth's Mum is getting more and more forgetful - not always remembering who we are when we visit her. Dad remains in good health and with help from daily visitors is able to live at home by himself. For the first time, this year we had Andrew (Elizabeth's brother who suffers from Down's Syndrome) to stay with us in July while his residential home was closed for its annual holiday. Andrew was very well behaved and usually looked after himself.


e-mail addresses
e-mail to Colin and Elizabeth: 100255.170@compuserve.com
e-mail to Joanna: hicks@physchem.ox.ac.uk
e-mail to James: carpente@stats.ox.ac.uk