Family Newsletter for 1997

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 1997

"We have seen his star in the east"

Joanna and James
Wedding of the Year!

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

James and Joanna

Joanna and James spent their honeymoon in Jamaica (where Joanna was born). They came back home via Trinidad with a brief visit to Barbados. They met Dad's two brothers (Will and John) plus other West Indian family members while in Trinidad and Barbados.

Joanna hopes to submit her Oxford DPhil thesis in late 1997 or early 1998 and then expects to take up a London based Civil Service fast-stream post with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

James takes up a lectureship in medical statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London) on 1 February 1998. Joanna and James will probably move to London from Oxford during 1998.

Colin and Elizabeth
Holidays We went to Sorrento on holiday during May half-term. While there we visited Capri, Herculaneum and Pompei (a long awaited ambition for Elizabeth). We also scrambled to the rim of the crater of Vesuvius and tried to see the lava within.

We flew to Sweden in August (with Joanna and James) to attend the wedding of our friends Marit (Swedish girl) and Řyvind (Norwegian lad). After three days in Stockholm in the middle of a Scandinavian heatwave, we headed for the wedding which was in a village in the middle of the country. The wedding was a blend of traditional Swedish and Norwegian costumes and customs. A unique and unforgettable experience for all concerned, with a Swedish style reception which went on until 2am - we did not last the pace, unlike the bride and groom. But we were there when they opened their presents with their two families the following morning.

Visitors Paul Unsworth is staying with us for another year at the end of which he hopes to start a youth ministry course with Oasis Trust. We have continued to host some overnight visiting Tear Fund workers and associates - including people travelling to and from Burundi, Zaire, Liberia and Afghanistan. In addition we still have a crowd of young people for Sunday lunch each week.

Colin has had a right royal year. In February he attended a reception at Buckingham Palace where he met the Queen, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew. In March, he led an Environmental Trade Mission to India during which he twice went on the Royal Yacht when it docked in Bombay and Madras as part of its final tour. Then in October he went to a reception given by Prince Charles at Highgrove.

Colin's family history research has continued when time allows but that has been increasingly difficult this year as the demands of his job (DTI's Director-Environment) have continued to rise since the General Election in May.

Colin now runs official WWW sites for our Church, the London Baptist Association, and a couple of local church organisations. This newsletter and access to all those sites will be available through our WWW site (URL overpage).

Elizabeth has a class of 7-8 year-olds at the same school (St Mary's and St Peter's CofE Primary School in Teddington). Most(!) of the children are a delight. She has been busy at school, at home (with so many guests staying), and in talking on the phone to her two daughters about the fresh excitements in their lives!

TBC (Teddington Baptist Church) has had a new Minister, Richard Littledale, since September 1997. Colin continues as an Elder but Elizabeth finished her term as Missionary Secretary at the elections in March 1997. The Church had a difficult August with three unexpected deaths (including two younger people who died very soon after diagnosis). But we all drew together during this time and during the Church holiday weekend.

Rachel and Richard ( + Jasper)
Jasper 1 day
Birth of the Year!

Jasper Owain Evans was born to
Richard and Rachel Evans on
11 November 1997 (9 lb 6 oz)

Jasper 18 days
Jasper 1 day Jasper 18 days
Jasper's birth came two weeks later than expected which allowed the decoration of the nursery and refurbishment of the bathroom in Richard and Rachel's flat to be completed in time. For the nursery, Elizabeth made the curtains plus a hanging and some pockets all decorated with parrots. During the difficult birth (culminating with an emergency Caesarean) Rachel and Jasper picked up an infection which meant they were kept in hospital for a week. Since then all has gone well with Jasper feeding well and quickly recovering his birth weight. He is a strong baby with a shock of black hair - the very image of his father - the photo was taken on 29 November.

Before starting her maternity leave, Rachel completed the school year at the end of July.

Rest of the Family
Elizabeth's Mum died on 14 March after a rapid decline during February and March. Mum had become very forgetful during 1996 but, to our surprise, when Heather (Elizabeth's sister) came home from Nepal in December 1996, Mum still recognised her. However, during the early weeks of 1997 even that memory faded. Then Mum declined very quickly and she slipped away quietly over the few weeks up to 14 March. James played the organ for the funeral at Northfield Baptist Church in Birmingham - finishing the service with a triumphant final verse of Amazing Grace.

Dad went to Trinidad and Barbados on holiday in October where he also saw both his brothers. He found the West Indies hotter than he expected after years of acclimatisation to the UK.

Colin's family are all well with Jasper being his Mum's first great-grandchild - but Jasper is the third great-great-grandchild for Colin's grandmother who was 94 this year.

e-mail addresses
e-mail to Colin and Elizabeth: or
e-mail to Joanna:
e-mail to James: