Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC) shared a traditional Easter treat with seafarers docked in Liverpool thanks to the kind donation of 1,000 hot cross buns. Seafarers on board 20 vessels received the baked goods in the run-up to the Easter weekend after Peter Woods, the past High Sheriff of Merseyside, stepped in to help following an appeal by the Crosby charity.
LSC chief executive John Wilson had asked for help with providing a little something extra this Easter for the seafarers the centre supports. Keen to help, Mr Woods acquired funding from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund on the Crosby charity’s behalf, enabling the purchase of the hot cross buns from Greggs.
Crew on six vessels in the port of Liverpool received packets of buns delivered in person by Mr Woods and Mr Wilson, who were joined by the current High Sheriff of Merseyside, John Roberts. The packages included a card put together by LSC volunteers indicating the significance of this Easter-time treat.
Mr Woods first got involved with the centre in 2018 when he served as High Sheriff and went out to distribute presents on ships on Christmas Eve. During the pandemic, he supported the cause by collecting board games and jigsaws for seafarers. He said: ‘I was so impressed by what Liverpool Seafarers Centre did after my first visit that I wanted to continue to show my support. When you see the different types of vessel that come into Liverpool bringing various commodities, you realise how dependent on our ports and on seafarers we are, and the difficult lives they have.’
Mr Roberts, who visited with his wife Mary, said: ‘It was fascinating to meet the seafarers and great to see how welcomed they felt in Liverpool thanks to Liverpool Seafarers Centre. The ones we met were all thousands of miles from home, coming from the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Russia, China and Ukraine, and it was great to see how important it was for them to have friends like John and the other people from the centre when they come to another part of the world.’
In previous years, LSC had arranged church services to enable seafarers to celebrate Easter, but this was not possible this year owing to Coronavirus restrictions. Instead on Palm Sunday, blessed palm crosses were taken to crew on board vessels docked in Liverpool while on Easter Sunday, chocolates were handed out by volunteers who also made themselves available for practical advice or pastoral assistance.