New role in Sri Lanka
A FORMER Felixstowe port chaplain has taken up his new duties after moving across the world to Sri Lanka.Captain Andrew Payne, who worked as a Mission to Seafarers' chaplain at Britain's biggest container terminal, was licensed at a church service in Sri Lanka as the mission's chaplain in the port of Colombo.
A FORMER Felixstowe port chaplain has taken up his new duties after moving across the world to Sri Lanka.
Captain Andrew Payne, who worked as a Mission to Seafarers' chaplain at Britain's biggest container terminal, was licensed at a church service in Sri Lanka as the mission's chaplain in the port of Colombo.
A large congregation at Colombo's Anglican cathedral watched as Mr Payne, a captain in the Church Army, was licensed at a Sea Sunday service, which also celebrated the 150th anniversary of The Mission to Seafarers.
Canon Bill Christianson, the mission's secretary general, was the preacher.
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Mr Payne said he had been warmly welcomed by the mission committee and staff at the seafarers' centre. He was pleased that members of other denominations and faiths had attended the service.
“We have had a number of seafarers in the centre and they all seem genuinely please to have a full-time chaplain available,” he said.
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“I am not able to get out to the ships yet, as passes take a great deal longer to organise here, but I'm itching to get onto the docks so I can meet the crews.”
He is looking forward to his wife, Gemma, and their nine-year-old son Daniel, joining him next month.
Mrs Payne worked as a nursery nurse and teaching assistant at Langer Primary School in Felixstowe, and Daniel attended Colneis Junior School.
Mr Payne joined The Mission to Seafarers in 2001 in Felixstowe.
His appointment in Sri Lanka is part of the mission's expansion plans and follows the refurbishment of the Colombo seafarers' centre earlier this year. The mission began work in Colombo 65 years ago and Mr Payne is the first full-time Colombo chaplain for ten years.
His work at the port - like Felixstowe, a large complex handling around 2.2 million standard-sized containers a year - is in caring for the practical and spiritual welfare of seafarers of all races and creeds visiting the terminal.
Around the world, the mission works in 230 ports, with its network of chaplains and staff making an average of 64,000 ship visits and welcoming 500,000 seafarers to its centres, as well as visiting seafarers in hospital and helping in justice and welfare cases.
Have you been helped by the Mission to Seafarers? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk