Four posts are being cut at the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), the charity which provides pastoral care to the thousands of mariners that visit the UK each year. Captain Paul Quinn OBE, new National Director of AoS has confirmed that two chaplaincy posts, a pastoral support post and an administrative post are being shed. In a statement issued by their London office, AoS said the charity had made a significant losses recently. The chaplaincy posts are a full time one in South Wales and a part-time role in Scotland. AoS said the need in these ports appears to be declining as a result of changes in the shipping industry. The charity said it would able to respond to emergency situations via existing staff in nearby ports. The port of Hull already has a full time chaplain, as does the port of Immingham across the Humber, so the part time post of pastoral support worker has also been made redundant. The work of the last role to be made redundant, that of web editor, will be taken on by the fundraising team in the London office. Captain Quinn said: "Our duty is to support and protect some of the most vulnerable and poorly treated people in the shipping world, and protecting the services we provide to them means that we have to take difficult decisions. We receive no funding from the state or the church and are wholly reliant on voluntary donations. We depend heavily on our annual Sea Sunday appeal to underpin our fundraising, but with only 50% of parishes taking part and declining Mass attendance, we have seen the revenue from this decrease year on year. Our chaplains and staff have always demonstrated total commitment to our charitable objectives and I am sure that they will work with us in a constructive way to achieve our joint aims. These redundancies are part of a cost cutting exercise needed to immediately bring the charity back to a stable financial situation. Our chaplains deliver the best maritime ministry possible to the widest number of vulnerable seafarers and have been doing so, successfully, since 1922. This painful process must be endured in order to continue our vital work in the ports. We are grateful to all those who have been in touch to pledge their support and want to reassure all our donors that Apostleship of the Sea will emerge stronger and leaner, ready to meet all the challenges of the 21st century".
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