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Montrose Port delighted to support new Sailors’ Society centre

Montrose Port Authority (MPA) has thrown its support behind the Sailors’ Society by aiding this important seafarers’ charity relocate to a new quayside base at the port.

On Thursday 9 February, the Sailors' Society director of programmes Sandra Welch officially opened the news quayside centre where ships' crews can find help whilst away from home. 'The Cabin'  provides visitors with free  internet facilities in a cosy and comfortable setting, local information, magazines, books, and warm clothing. It is owned and managed by the Sailors' Society, whose local chaplain Peter Donald and volunteer ship visitor Mike Burleigh are on hand to offer transport, personal help and counsel to the seafarers.

This important service offered by the Society had previously been provided at The Haven in Meridian Street, and thousands of seafarers have been grateful for the warm welcome they have received there from members of local churches who opened its doors every day for the past eight years. This building is being demolished and the welfare work has been transferred to this new location inside the harbour gates, with a secure coded system for access which allows the crews to use it at any time of the day or night.

The opening ceremony included a prayer and blessing for the ongoing work by local minister Rev Geoff Redmayne and was followed by a reception at the Links Hotel, sponsored by vessel agents Kinnes Shipping Ltd.  Sandra Welch spoke about developments being introduced by the Sailors' Society around the world for the welfare of seafarers and their families, and the Society's ongoing commitment to maintain and expand the care being extended by their staff and volunteers at ports like Montrose. She expressed her appreciation of the invaluable support that Peter and his team have enjoyed from the local community, which she hoped will continue into the new phase of the work.

Michael Wheat, chairman of the Montrose Seafarers Centre committee, conveyed the best wishes and prayers of his committee for the future, and as a token of their support he presented a cheque to the Society.

Peter Donald has expressed his own appreciation for the way in which the Montrose community has taken strangers to its heart. He has been told many stories by seafarers of the kindness and hospitality they have received here in comparison to some of the bigger ports where they often feel lonely and unsafe in strange surroundings.

He also welcomes donations of warm clothing, books, CDs, and, of course, woolly hats to enhance the ministry of the Sailors' Society in Montrose. He can be contacted on 07833 140202 or by email at pdonald@sailors-society.org



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