I am often asked the very good question, “What does a seafarers Chaplain do all day”? Well most of the time it is about visiting ships. With the volunteers I work principally across six ports on the River Forth. Grangemouth is the busiest port in Scotland with a mix of petrochemicals and Cargo. Cargo and container ships come in mostly form Antwerp, Rotterdam and Thames and Tees. The petro chemical come in from further afield.
Mostly the nationalities we see are from the Philippines and Eastern Europe as well as some African Countries and the Caribbean. They are all a long way from home. We offer help with communication equipment so that seafarers can talk to the people they love back home. It may only take a moment to give someone a “sim” card but with that they can talk for hours to a wife or husband back home. We offer help with transport to the local shops or even just sightseeing. We seek out newspapers from around the globe and of course we give out woolly hats.
Chaplains offer what in many ways is the most precious gift of all. The gift of being valued as a person and given time, it does now matter if the person in front of us is the Master of the vessel, the Owner of the ship or the Mess man. We aim to give time and respect to all those that we deal with. We may not often talk about Jesus directly but everyone we meet is in the image of God and we aim to give time to all who we meet. For we all carry within us the Image of God.