Christmas and New Year message from the McKnight family. December 2003.






I have to admit it, I am now officially old. My old faithful driving licence, which I had had for years, has been surrendered for a new one that lasts only three years. Why? Because it has been the big “O” for me, 70 years old, (and looking every day of it, according to my passport photo!). I had planned to have a quiet birthday, Kate and I having arranged to be on vacation at that time on the island of Kos, one of the Greek islands. We reckoned without our daughters, who both decided to have their vacations at the same time – in the same place. They made sure that every taverna in the area knew I was celebrating. Yes, we had a good time, and I am lucky to have such a caring family.


This was our third trip to Kos; and it had been three years since our previous visit. We were astonished to find that so many people remembered us; after all we were just two of thousands of tourists. There is more about this on our web-site,

The women in my life.
Clockwise from the top:
Penny, Jacqui, Kate and Cora


Ric, by the way, is a semi-professional photographer. I think his style is significantly better than mine


My photo of Cora, receiving a little help from father Ric.
Cora, by her father

We intend yet another visit to the Greek Islands in 2004, this time to the island of Santorini, site of an ancient civilisation, and possibly the volcano whose eruption gave rise to the legend of Atlantis.


We have had a remarkable summer in the UK, with an unprecedented amount of sunshine. This has enabled us to make full use of our holiday home in the hills of Derbyshire. Despite arthritis, we both can still walk and cycle through the countryside. Our younger daughter, Penny, made another career move and is now Senior Conservation Officer for Stafford Borough. It’s her love for old things that makes me optimistic about my own future!


Kate and I continue to spend much of our time with the Church, and I still have 15 months to go as the District Secretary and Director of the Provincial Trust. (The last being mainly concerned with maintenance of old buildings). Recently, I shared the task of entertaining some visiting church ministers from Taiwan (they have a strong Presbyterian tradition). On the Itinerary  was a walking tour of Manchester. What!  Who wants to look at Manchester! It seems the city still has the reputation of being always rainy and foggy, so our visitors informed us, and they were disappointed that the day was clear and sunny. I tried to explain that since the Clean Air Acts of forty years ago, Manchester has no more than the average rainfall for the rest of England. Fancy having a reputation for bad weather!


When I was young in the late 1940s, and we had what were called “pen-pals” from another country, we were under instruction from our elders never to discuss religion, and The War! So, now in 2003, I will not discuss Religion and the War in Iraq, other than to say I pray that our leaders know what they doing.


Kate and I wish you the very best for the coming year.





                                                                                                                          Jim & Kate McKnight, December 2003