The Mission to Seafarers plans to restart a full-time ministry in the port of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The move follows the decision last month by the Mission's trustees to set aside ?500,000 for the relief of seafarers and their families affected by the Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean region.
The Revd Philip Auden, the Mission's Portbury chaplain in Bristol for more than five years, will fly to Colombo early in March to "lay the foundations for re-establishing a full-time port chaplaincy in Colombo," said the society's ministry secretary, the Revd Tom Heffer.
The Mission to Seafarers (then The Missions to Seamen) began work in Colombo in 1941 but has not had a full-time chaplain in the port since 1999.
Mr Auden will spend at least three months in Sri Lanka, working with the Mission's port committee, the local diocese and shipping industry.
His task is to assess the needs of seafarers visiting the port; review the resources being used for their pastoral care and welfare; formulate a plan for a future ministry and review the needs of seafarers and their families affected by the tsunami disaster.
Full-time Mission chaplains in Bangkok, Thailand, and Tuticorin, South India, have been supporting seafarers whose families were affected by the tsunami.
The Mission to Seafarers (formerly The Missions to Seamen) is a missionary society of the Anglican Church. It cares for the practical and spiritual welfare of seafarers of all races and creeds in 230 ports throughout the world. Working through a network of chaplains and staff, on average each year it makes 71,400 ship visits and welcomes 602,000 seafarers to its centres, visits 900 seafarers in hospital and helps in around 1,000 justice and welfare cases.
Peter Pickles, press officer, The Mission to Seafarers, St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hill, London EC4R 2RL Tel: 020 7248 5202 Fax: 020 7248 4761 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org