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Good Work e-newsletter

Great Yarmouth port chaplain faces funding axe 


The future of the port chaplain in Great Yarmouth has been cast into doubt with news that his funding is to be cut after 15 years of service.

Rev Peter Paine (pictured right) has been hit by cutbacks being made by The Mission to Seafarers who are paying his salary until the end of the year when their contribution will end after 15 years.

Peter, however, remains upbeat about the future and is appealing to local businesses to help support his role on at least a part-time basis.

Although reliant on a handful of large companies for handouts he hoped a number of smaller businesses could be persuaded to contribute £250 a year for three years ensuring he stays in the town, helping workers on land as well as those at sea often enduring long periods away from home.

With a floating congregation of up to 10,000 seafarers and cadets he said pulling the plug would affect the service given to sailors who come to the town needing help, support and sometimes just a listening ear. The move, he added, had come just as his workload looked set to increase with new owners at the helm of the outer harbour.

“What it means for the Great Yarmouth Seafarers Centre which is now up and running and gaining in popularity is that it will only have a part time chaplain. My basic role is that seafarers are mentally and physically ok, spirituality comes into it but it’s not first and foremost. I am there as their intermediate person for any problems that come up. I go on ships and try to sort things out or get someone else in who can.”

“I do not see it as an impossible situation,” he added. “There are only two or three companies in the port that support the work that I do. At a rough guess there are 150 companies in the town that have links with the port and I really need to appeal to them.
“If I went there would be no-one looking after the seafarers and nowhere for them to go.”

Peter was instrumental in bringing a Seafarers Centre back to the town on South Quay last April after a break of nine years.

Ben Bailey, project manager, The Mission to Seafarers, said: “Over many years the Rev Peter Paine has provided comfort and support to seafarers using the Port of Great Yarmouth. We hope that alternative sources of funding will be found and we encourage the local maritime community to get behind him to continue this good work.”

To find out more contact Peter on 07788 111823.
Read more at EDP24