To mark its 150th anniversary this year, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society led the ‘Parade of the Standards’ during the Annual National Service for Seafarers at St Paul’s Cathedral, with its standard placed upon the altar.
This official occasion held last week, is a significant national event in the maritime calendar, which takes place every October. This year, over twenty maritime charities came together with civic leaders and VIPs to hear hymns and prayers in thanks for those who follow the calling of the sea.
This year, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society has hosted a number of celebrations to mark 150 years of nursing care for elderly, sick or disabled seafarers.
They warmly welcomed comedian Tim Vine as their VIP guest for an open day in July and held their Annual General Meeting for 2015 in the very room in London in which the charity was formed in 1865. Patron of The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, H.R.H. The Princess Royal, also presented the charity with its new Royal Charter and met staff, volunteers and residents before touring the newly refurbished facilities.
Home Manager, Anne Kasey, carried the standard at St Paul’s Cathedral, Chief Executive, Brian Boxall-Hunt read the lesson and Chef Matt Goodman read a short litany. They were supported by over 120 well-wishers from the charity’s home in Weston Acres, including staff, volunteers and tenants, amongst the congregation of some 2,500 connected with the nation’s maritime life.
Since 1865, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society at its purpose-built residence in Surrey, has provided care for elderly, sick or disabled seafarers who have spent many years of their lives at sea, whether in the Royal or Merchant Navies, Royal Fleet Auxiliary or fishing fleets.