Sailors’ Society expands its global port chaplaincy network


Img 1 - Rajan Pillai with 2 seafarersThe latest additions to Sailors’ Society’s increasing flotilla of port chaplains have begun working for the charity in the ports of Itaguai in Brazil and Kandla in India.

As port chaplains, Eduardo da Silva and Rajan Pillai will provide practical, spiritual and emotional support to seafarers and their families.

Sandra Welch, Sailors’ Society’s Director of Programme, said: “We are delighted to have Eduardo join our team of chaplains in Brazil and Rajan our team in India. They both come with a wealth of experience, and are extremely passionate about port chaplaincy and working to make a difference to seafarers’ lives.”

Eduardo’s appointment is the latest move in Sailors’ Society’s five-year expansion and development plan in Brazil, which commenced in 2010 after the charity’s study in conjunction with Clarksons Research to identify ports where there are few or no welfare services available to seafarers. The results highlighted the severe need for support for seafarers in several ports in Brazil and, in the past year alone, Sailors’ Society has increased its number of port chaplains in Brazil from five to nine in response to these findings.

In addition, since January 2015 the maritime welfare charity has increased its staff in Africa and Asia to further the charity’s sphere of provision and support for seafarers and their families.

Ms Welch explained: “We recognise that there are still many regions without support throughout the world and are keen to research and keep our ear to the ground so that we place port chaplaincy provision where the need is greatest.”

Other recent appointments include Leta Mavomba and Azarias Muchanga, to the ports of Nacala and Maputo, Mozambique, and Edward Gbe in Monrovia, Liberia. These areas see higher rates of piracy and the chaplains are well placed to support the charity’s sub-Saharan Africa Crisis Response Centre as well as their daily chaplaincy activities.

This year also saw David See appointed as the Society’s first port chaplain in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

Sailors’ Society currently reaches out to around 310,000 seafarers each year. These recent appointments mean that thousands more should benefit from port chaplaincy support.