Fishermen’s Mission to close several port buildings Published: 11 October, 2010
THE Fishermen’s Missions buildings at several fishing ports around England and Scotland are to closer their present form, but it will not mean the end of pastoral and welfare services.
The mission buildings affected are in Eyemouth, Fraserburgh, Mallaig, Peterhead and Scrabster in Scotland and at Brixham and Newlyn in the West Country. Last year two missions in the north west Highlands closed.
The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen has said that the mission buildings will close within five years. The Mission has said that a more cost effective method of carrying out its work had to be found because the buildings had become well over 100 years, providing welfare and support, particularly in times of tragedy. But the problem facing the Mission – and many seafaring charities – is one of cost.
For example, Grimsby once ran a large hotel style mission building until the 1980s when the port had a large trawler fleet. But now most of the ships have gone the mission is run from a small portable cabin on the fish market.
John Anderson of the Brixham Mission told BBC Radio Devon that there was a £50,000 deficit on that building which was unsustainable in the present climate. He said the same services would be maintained, but without the catering. He added: “The port is changed – you can see that and we have to change as well. We are a very small charity. We have to look at better ways of delivering our services.”
Dan Conley, the charity’s chief executive, said some of the centres had been significantly under used by fishermen and their families. “We feel we can do a lot better with the money rather than keep facilities which are under used. ” He said the charity would concentrate on providing emergency support when serious incidents arose.