David Tamcken - St Thomas Awards 2018.

 The Bishop of Portsmouth, The Rt Revd Christopher Foster makes an annual award called the St Thomas Award.

This award recognises exemplary Christian service to the community, the world or the church. Many in our diocese serve generously and faithfully without expecting or needing thanks or recognition. The Bishop’s intention in initiating this award is to honour all that is done in Christ’s name and to mark particularly distinguished service.

David was given the award that would have been presented to him on the 29th April at the Portsmouth Cathedral during the Evensong.

On April 29th, several of us gathered in Portsmouth Cathedral with Shirley Tamcken and all their immediate family, for the presentation of the St Thomas Awards to fifteen people from our Diocese, including four from the Isle of Wight.

David, said Bishop Christopher, had expressed his surprise and pleasure at being nominated for this award, given to mark notable Christian Service in the Church and the wider society, and had fully intended to be present. So Shirley bravely attended to accept it on his behalf. Bishop Christopher expressed his sorrow at David’s death and his gratitude for all he had achieved and presented Shirley with the award, a badge which is a copy of a medieval pilgrim’s badge.

Although I wouldn’t claim that Cathedral Sung Evensong was completely David’s “cup of tea”, as he preferred services where people could join in a little more, Bishop Christopher’s tribute to him, and the prayers, too, were very moving.

Tribute to David Tamcken 2018.pdf

Ghana Update April 2018 - David Tamcken It was great to be in Ghana again last November, with my daughter-in-law Debbie.   We were able to visit both of our links. At Wenchi, the new priest, Samuel Amoh is now well settled in with his family.It was disappointing to find a hint of discord between Samuel and some of the other church leaders.   The root cause seemed to be that Samuel lkes to have everything channeled through him (including funds), but during the interregnum others had taken responsibility, and saw no reason to be excluded now. We had a “full and frank discussion” (though the sub-meetings in the local language did not help me much!!). They agreed that there needed to be a small, effective, communicating group (including Samuel) to administer the funds element of the link; Samuel would be responsible for the pastoral side of the link In the new year we have had e-mail communication from Samuel, so hopefully things are on the up.There was encouragement on the school workshop project. Our last funding, during their interregnum, had brought power to the library/workshop and installed lighting and a good bank of power sockets.   The rooms are now getting some use, though of course, more equipment is needed in terms of laptops and library shelving.Please pray for harmony in the Wenchi leadership team.At Hope Academy in Tamale the situation was hugely encouraging.We found the first teaching block being fully used, with 75 pupils and 4 teachers.   There is a nursery class, and Primary classes 1 – 3.When the power supply was successfully linked in, it enabled the new borehole to be fully functional, pumping into a 3000 litre polytank.   This provides crystal clear water for both the school and the village community.   The water supply in turn enabled the provision of a 3-cubicle toilet block, with flushing toilet, hygienic 'squat' toilets and a hand washing facility.We were able to spend several days in the school, with Debbie running some workshops for the teachers, and demonstrating the use of some new resources in the classrooms.Since we were there, the Tamale team have constructed a “dining pavilion” (sounds impressive – quite basic really!), a concrete floor, with a roof supported on 12 pillars and surrounded by a 3 foot wall (to keep the goats out).   It provides a lunch time space for the children, and doubles as a teaching space.In February, work began on the foundations for the second teaching block. There is so much to thank God for in the work at Hope Academy.