The Bishop of Clifton, Right Reverend Declan Lang, paid a visit on Tuesday to the Port of Bristol Seafarers' Centre at Portbury at the invitation of Captain Peter Love of the Apostleship of the Sea. Bishop Declan met with volunteers at the centre who work with seafarers during their brief stays on land. Part of the service provided by the centre is a minibus to take sailors on shopping trips and to Churches around Bristol. Mike Batten, a volunteer field worker and parishioner at Clifton Cathedral explained to Bishop Declan that many Filipinos coming ashore like to visit Bristol to buy second typewriters as they are seen as status symbols at home. Father Maurice, Ryan who is based at the Franciscan Friary in Clevedon celebrates Mass in the Chapel at the centre every Friday at 7.30pm. He said that numbers attending vary according to the ships in port at the time. However, the ministry provided at the centre was welcomed by people so far away from home. Having spoken with seafarers from many countries, Bishop Declan boarded the centre's minibus for a guided tour of both Avonmouth and Portbury docks. Volunteer drivers are needed to support for the important work being done by the dedicated team at the centre. If you think you might be able to help, you can call the centre on 01275 374895.
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