The 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 of Leith, Grangemouth, Rosyth, Braefoot and Hound Point.
She 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. The Sailors’ Society’s has another two part-time chaplains in Scotland as well as 18 honorary chaplains and five ship visitors.
Pauline is joined by another new recruit, the 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. She will share the society’s vision with churches and community groups and recruit volunteers to support the Society or visit ships.
Both Pauline and Becky recently represented Sailors’ Society at the 72nd Scottish Annual Seafarers’ Service at South Leith Parish Church, attended by more than 500 people including representatives of the naval community from all over Scotland.
The 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.
It works internationally to provide practical, emotional and spiritual welfare support to the world’s 1.6 million seafarers. Sailors’ Society chaplains and ship visitors have a presence in 87 global ports, with wider projects and services covering 26 countries.
CEO Stuart Rivers said: “The work Pauline will do is crucial, helping enable us to show support and care for the thousands of seafarers who come through Scottish ports every year.”