A light-hearted request for the boss of EDF Energy to donate to a Heysham church’s campaign has achieved an unexpected result.
The quip was made by Reverend David Tickner when he met company boss Vincent de Rivaz at the launch of the visitor centre at the village’s power station in July.
And, as a farewell gift to Reverend Tickner, who retires after ten years as the plant’s industrial chaplain at the end of the year, the firm has donated £10,000 to the St Peter’s Church roof appeal as a gesture for his long-running support.
Gwen Parry-Jones, EDF Energy safety and technical director joined both station directors, Ian Stewart and Alan Oulton and staff to pay tribute to his tenure at a special retirement lunch at the stations’ visitor centre.
Mrs Parry-Jones, a former Heysham 1 station director, said Reverend Tickner had already enjoyed a “legendary military career” before making the move to Heysham and highlighted the wealth of knowledge and experience he had brought from his background to both Heysham stations.
Mr Stewart presented him with a piece of Heysham 1 plant and commented on the support he has provided staff in difficult times.
He said: “Staff at both sites had the privilege of your special attention at times when they were perhaps facing some pressure and that has made a real difference to people here at the stations.”
Reverent Tickner also received a signed photographic montage of the two stations from Mr Oulton and views of the area by former Heysham 2 employee Dave Rush.
Mr Oulton said: “You have been extremely valued on site to all you have been in touch with over the years. We wish you well in your new challenge.”
Reverend Tickner, who will continue his ministry in a part-time voluntary position in Sussex, said: “From day one I have been seen as a member of your team and that has meant I have been accepted on site.
“This is an extraordinary community, professional and dedicated and one that develops amazing comradeships.”
The St Peter’s Church roof appeal hopes to raise £80,000 after an inspection found the roof had reached the end of its life.
The Grade-I listed building dates back to the 6th century.