Sailors’ Society is growing its presence in Scotland with the appointment of a new chaplain to seafarers and public engagement officer.
Pauline Robertson, who has been a Church of Scotland deacon for 13 years, is the new chaplain for the Forth Estuary ports: Leith, Grangemouth, Rosyth, Braefoot and Hound Point.
Pauline offers support to the seafarers who come to those ports – from providing them with a listening ear or Wi-Fi access, to giving them a lift into town or helping them find medical or other help if needed.
Pauline said: "The role of a port chaplain is vital to those who come into port.
“A warm welcome and a friendly face could seem insignificant to many but it can have a great impact on a seafarer who has spent months at sea.
“I look forward to serving those who come into the Scottish ports – responding to their needs, be that a wee bit of down time enjoying the sights or more challenging times when support is needed.”
Pauline’s appointment sees the Leith and Grangemouth chaplain’s role increase from part to full time. Sailors’ Society’s has another two part-time chaplains working in Dundee, Montrose and Invergordon, as well as 18 honorary chaplains and five ship visitors in Scotland.
Pauline is joined by Sailors’ Society’s first Scottish public engagement officer, Becky Haldane – an ordained Elim minister with experience as a pastor, disaster relief worker and associate director of the charity Compassion First.
Becky will share the vision of Sailors’ Society with churches and community groups and recruit volunteers to support the Society or visit ships.
She said: “It’s an honour to be working for such a fantastic and far reaching society. I’m excited for the opportunity to travel around Scotland’s ports, towns and villages sharing our passion for seafarers and their families. My hope is to see groups fully connecting with the vision of Sailors’ Society.”
On November 20, Pauline and Becky represented Sailors’ Society at the 72nd Scottish Annual Seafarers’ Service at South Leith Parish Church, which was attended by more than 500 people, including representatives of the naval community from all over Scotland, and followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Merchant Navy memorial in Leith.
Sailors’ Society is an international Christian charity that works in ports around the world, helping seafarers and their families of all faiths and none with welfare and practical support.
CEO Stuart Rivers said: “I’m delighted to welcome Pauline and Becky to our team. Their work is crucial, enabling us to show support and care for the thousands of seafarers who come through Scottish ports every year.”