Chaplains provide support to overseas sailors

2nd January 2024

More than 400 gift boxes filled by church communities in Bath and Wells were shared with every sailor who came to Royal Portbury and Avonmouth Docks near Bristol this Christmas. Chaplains from the Mission to Seafarers also gave out hundreds of warm hats, scarves and gloves, all knitted volunteers in the diocese.

Many of the crew members who work on board ships which travel to the UK come from the Philippines, India and Myanmar, many have been working away from their families for more than 9 months. 

Fr Jeremy Hellier said, “95% of everything we use comes by sea, that includes many of our Christmas gifts and food. Those who work on the ships that deliver the goods will be far away from their loved ones at for many months at a time. I once had an email from a ship in the Bay of Biscay on Christmas Day to say they were opening their gifts and were delighted by them These small gifts are a token of love and care from our local church communities.”

Fr Jeremy, Revd Lucy Blows and other chaplains worked throughout the Christmas period to support to those on board the ships and offered services to those who wanted them. 

For more than 150 years, The Mission to Seafarers have provided compassion, care and support to Seafarers around the world when they need it most. The founder Dr John Ashley set up the Bristol Channel Mission after he was struck by the difficulties faced by Seafarers. The Mission now has a presence in 200 ports in 50 different countries worldwide.

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