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Royal guest joins Mission to Seafarers celebration service in Japan

Posted on: October 24, 2019 3:32 PM
Right: HRH The Princess Royal Right (with blue lanyard): MS Rika Kono (Princess Anne’s translator) Top left (in white robe): Revd Daniel Takeuchi
Photo Credit: Mission to Seafarers

[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] The Princess Royal joined a maritime service to celebrate the ministry of Mission to Seafarers in Japan’s Yokohama port last week. The special service at the Anglican church of Christ Church, Yamate in Yokohama, marked almost 140 years of supporting seafarers in Japan.

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, who is the president of the mission, was joined by her husband Sir Timothy Laurence, along with other guests including diplomats and businessmen representing Japan’s shipping industry, who all attended the service and celebratory lunch. She was presented with an origami gift by children who attend Christ Church.

Chairman of Mission to Seafarers Japan, Chris Eve said: “The Mission to Seafarers has a proud tradition of supporting seafarers here in Japan since the 1880s, when a small centre was opened in the fast-growing port of Yokohama, initially as a refuge from alcohol but quickly widened its purpose to offer a welcome to all seafarers.  Since those early days, the Mission has expanded its presence to Kobe and Tomakomai and today, all three locations offer a range of services for visiting seafarers, irrespective of nationality, race or creed.”

He said the mission offers welfare services, practical support and a warm welcome to all seafarers.

Secretary General of the Mission to Seafarers, Canon Andrew Wright, said the impact of the recent Typhoon Hagibis had been a reminder in Japan of the perils faced by all seafarers. He said: “We are very proud that the Mission to Seafarers Japan is part of our global family of welfare centres, chaplains, staff and volunteers in over 200 ports around the world. For well over a century, seafarers visiting Japan have benefited from their support and it is an honour to celebrate their contribution to the wellbeing of the men and women serving at sea.”