Once more to the fore…


A  new week brings new opportunities! A full diary and plenty to do keeps this Chaplain happy!

Life at home has been interesting with lots of DIY – our rear bedroom had lathe and plaster walls with no insulation! This meant that whenever we turned off the central heating the room became Baltic! So I was tasked last weekend to tackle that job.

As can be seen from the pictures below, this is a work in progress! One day the house renovation will be finished, but not before I do our bedroom – hopefully before the winter – so we can enjoy a warmer home.

Who made that hole?

Who made that hole?

some plaster removed - ts of lathe to go...

some plaster removed – lots of lathe to go…













No insulation present!

No insulation present!

Insulation partly fitted...

Insulation partly fitted…

Back at the Seafarers Centre, we rely on a team of volunteers – we are so blessed to have them! They do a wide range of things and they enable all seafarers to be blessed when they visit the centre and when they don’t! This is when our Ship visitors come to the fore.

From changing a book library (currently over 65,000 books exchanged since Charlie took this on just over 2 years ago!); having a chat over a coffee with a seafarer; selling them a top-up or giving a woolly hat, they do a sterling job of helping these seafarers to have a welcomed break from their daily chores onboard. Many stories could be recounted of how they helped…

Recently, I assisted Sunday, the Camp Boss/Medic to obtain something he had bought online. When the vessel arrived in port, I dropped off his package and then, embarrassed, he asked me, “Can you do me a huge favour?” Happy to help, he then handed me $4,300! He had bought something over the internet and needed to pay for the item in Euros! I then had to go and exchange the dollars to pounds, then deposit it in my bank and then transfer it in euros to the Netherlands account!  He was extremely grateful for my assistance – he couldn’t leave the vessel because there were divers in decompression! Happy to help as ever.

Danny receiving his award!

Danny receiving his award!

I was delighted to be asked to make a presentation to my good friend, Danny Stroud, assistant harbour master on behalf of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board for his long service to the Port Welfare Committee. I think I worried everyone as I shared with the assembled group of how Danny was looking forward to getting more intimate with his two now best friends… The sofa and the bed! It is well deserved Certificate for the support he has voluntarily given to the PWC.

In full swing...

In full swing…

I had the pleasure to be  a guest at the RNMDSF afternoon tea when they celebrated their Patron on the occasion of her 90th birthday. It was a good afternoon with good company and excellent entertainment as well. The Lord Provost spoke well and I even met a couple who may wish me to officiate at their wedding! Time will tell.

Much is happening in the life of the Centre – we are currently interviewing for a part-time administrator whom we hope will start work soon!

It is also hoped that we could employ a second chaplain next year. Preliminary talks have been help and we are hoping to secure funding for this post.

We have almost finalised our business plan and will be looking to apply to various trusts for further funding.

As many of you know, we do not charge for our services and give away many things. We are dependent on donations from YOU to supply the demands. This is not an appeal for money (always welcome though!) but a request for suitcases, jumpers, coats/jackets, shoes, as well as the ever popular woolly hats!  Do get in touch with me if you would like to assist with these items.

Odd Donation?

Odd Donation?

We are also looking for more volunteers. No seafaring experience is necessary as full training will be given. The main quality we are looking for is a friendly and welcoming nature along with a willingness to help seafarers from all over the world. All we ask is to commit to do one or two afternoon or evenings during the month.  Again, do get in touch if you would like to know more.

Our last suitcase!

Our last suitcase!

Those who know me know that I like a bit of humour. You can imagine my thoughts when I looked at our entrance door to find the items pictured above.

This is not the kind of donations we are looking for! :o)

Actually, it was two lads off a vessel who had come in for a game of pool and had just collected them from a local tyre repair garage. Why? to replace damaged fenders on their vessel.

Later on, two more lads visited the centre – one of them was looking for a suitcase – which we were happy to provide.

Currently we have a number crew in the centre of the cruise ship Clio. They really like the superfast broadband. “It gives us the opportunity to download updates as well as chat with family back home…”

So I have used the time to update my web page! Now back to the routine and the fun… I love this ministry!

Blessings on your week.

Howard ><>

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