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Great Yarmouth Port Chaplaincy

Peter Ship visits wwwRev Peter Paine has been Port Chaplain in Great Yarmouth for around six years. Good Work is working in Partnership with Mission to Seafarers and the Great Yarmouth Port Authority to make this 24/7 chaplaincy available to seafarer’s and their families across the Borough of Great Yarmouth and the surrounding area.
Timber, paper, fertilizer, grain, aggregates and petroleum products are all included in around 580 thousand tonnes of cargo and products handled in the port. With gross tonnage coming into the Port increasing and the first rocks of a new outer harbour being placed, the work of the Port Chaplain is set to increase.
As ships come in and out of the Port, with faster and faster turn around times, Peter has to work hard to catch up with the busy seafarers who still appreciate a ship visit, welfare support and spiritual care.
Peter logs up around 400 visits to 280 different ships each year even now, and with a new harbour being built the challenge will increase. Add to this the visits to seafarers in hospital and time spent providing help in welfare need and Peter is never lost for something to do!
To offer an effective chaplaincy Peter also has to be in close touch with the Port Authority, with the Coastguards. He is also a member of the Eastern Region Merchant Navy Welfare Board, the Port Users’ Association and in regular touch with a number of people in port related industries.
Peter says: “I meet people from all around the world, with many seafarers being away from home for ten to twelve months at a time. This makes access to phones and email more and more important and in the longer term we hope to have a base linked up and able to help seafarers keep up with those all important communications. Much of this vision is linked to the new outer harbour here.”
The new outer harbour is not only important for Great Yarmouth of course. The whole of the county and the region will benefit from its successful development. The harbour is being designed with a view to the requirements of a wide variety of port trades and operations: containers, ro-ro ferries, renewables, and general cargo - all recognizing the need for more port capacity in the UK.
Now construction of the outer harbour is underway the basin will be dredged to a depth of 10m.  The quay development will ultimately be able to berth up to six vessels at any one time.
Good Work and the Mission to Seafarers have been in close touch with the Port on these developments and there is a positive understanding of the continued and growing need for chaplaincy.
All this activity, and the growing security around ports means that Peter has to keep up with a lot of training in addition to his studies for recognition with the Eastern Baptist Association. None of this, however, can daunt the spirits of our ex RAF seafarer who says: “now the Mission to Seafarers have managed to supply us with a people carrier we can be much more effective in supporting seafarers around the Port. We continue to be there for people 24/7!”
You can support this chaplaincy:
  • Remember Peter in your prayers as he serves in Port week by week
  • Contribute to the costs of offering this chaplaincy – our target for 2008 is £5,000
  • Pray that the new Port company that has been created to run the new port may be able to continue the financial support previously offered by the Great Yarmouth Port Authority
Call Barry Capon - Chair of the Good Work Board on 01603-451507 or email  


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