Christmas 2004

2004 quick quiz
Welcome... here are the answers to the quiz on the Baker's 2004 Christmas card.

1 Clive Wearing worked for Radio 3; who's written about him? Deborah; totally in love with Jesus and her hubby.

2 Where can you buy the book? Main booksellers in the UK

3 Is Humph on commission for Forever Today? Nope. Just glad to have been there and prayed it in. Love the title!

4 When did Dez Minto (YFriday) launch his drumming book? The summer of 2004. Highly recommended.

5 The band Titus are three Chinese Geordies; have you seen them? Fab stage presence! "There are two things you need to know about us: we love Jesus and we love rock and roll!"

6 Which churches in Harrogate have Braille song sheets? Several - all listed on the website

7 Who chaired the Harrogate Leaders' conference? His home town? See link via NEWS page; Rev Dr Ray Williamson is the General Secretary of the Ecumenical Council of New South Wales, based in Sydney.

8 Which minister made the plasticine model of his church (see front)? Alan was the first to ask for a Church Leaders' conference; his commitment to the wider church is deeper than the waters at his church!

9 Is Sophie heading for Events Management or Geology? She's won a work experience placement at the Harrogate International Centre - god for her.

10  Matthew takes size 12 basketball shoes – true or false? At least 12's....

11  Does Andy enjoy trains more than cars? Trains, especially 009 gauge

12  Have the churches in your area united their admin? Please tell us. Do, please, let us know


Offspring offerings
The education authority was unable to read Andy's writing so they insisted he use a laptop at secondary school. Of course it's a bit heavy along with everything else, but he still comes home smiling. Totally disorganised, say the school. Joining the church choir has helped a little: diction, doing things in time with everyone else, carrying heavy books, tripping over robes – all character building stuff. Screamed as he was baptised in a bath tub. Altogether an amusing year.

Matthew broke his arm two weeks after buying himself a drum rig. He's had to make up for six weeks missing out on percussion, ironing, dog walking and skiing this summer, so the band which rehearse here ( have just played a handful of gigs so far. Their Christmas special was for cash, though….

Sophie had been saving up to go on the school exchange to Australia for years. Nothing like the desolation we felt on the first day when she flew south. Bec brought with her much of the sunshine of Melbourne, and coped well camping near the Houses of Parliament with us. The evening as groundlings watching Romeo and Juliet at The Globe was a delight.

Sophie and Matthew enjoyed Greenbelt… so they'll be off again for sure

Oldies oblations
Us two mid-forties are getting better at noticing how the other has done too much… Tell-tale signs of sleeping through Sleepless in Seattle give it away. Alli tells Humph to take a rest (from what, I ask…) and wears herself out trying to make him do so.

To spread the celebrations out this Christmas we dragged Allison's wider family here – a week late for St Nicholastide, but still with various continental themes. It's made us wonder why the Boxing day sales haven't yet started. Plenty of time to lose that kilo before the next feast.

Humph continues to do not a lot (the Three Humps Music website hasn't been touched for months). He's been known to make a couple of people smile this year, so that'll save him cheering others up in 2005.

The Garden Room is tiled in marble offcuts – chosen deliberately not for their price (very cheap) but for the way slips and slides when he flies in from the garden. Most entertaining. Many sweet reminders of newly married life came out of store (at last) – the dining table, curtains and sofas from Burton Leonard make us feel very young again. We're looking for a ten foot (max) oak pew, though. Offers?

Thinking of joining us camping on a ‘Grand Tour' to Italy next summer?

Harrogate happenings
With some 45 churches here, it was said it was a miracle that almost every church leader enjoyed meeting together for a two day residential at Wydale last month. “Through a Glass Darkly” was an opportunity to draw together the gathered vision for the area; more background on the Churches Together website (

Many were inspired by the “joined up thinking” between three youth organisations: shared administration in one office for Youth for Christ, HYPeR (Christian-run secular youth club) and United Gigs (youth and leaders across Yorkshire working together, promoting quality contemporary bands). Links on

The many joys of retirement include being able to recuperate after long journeys catching up with distant family; a joy to see Cousin Joyce in Bridgwater this year especially. After two years of emails, prayer and unseen support, we were overjoyed to finally meet Deborah Wearing whose book Forever Today is published in January 2005; look out for the article in Good Housekeeping .

New Wine North: our house sitters have already booked in here, sorry. We're away anyway…. Been there, done that, eaten the stew