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8 September 2016

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside

Chris Tuck Chris Tuck Church member
Chris Tuck Sailors' Society

I’ve always loved the sea. Born just a few miles from Croyde, Woolacombe, and Saunton Sands in North Devon, seeing the power and beauty of the sea became the norm and I loved it.

My dad became a Baptist minister just after I was born, and each church we moved to as I grew up – Bristol, Salcombe, Southampton, and Grays in Essex – gave me good views and access to the wet stuff. I was an import manager for shipping line P&O Nedlloyd for six years in the early ‘noughties’, so the ocean theme had followed me into my working life.

One year ago this month, I left my role of Head of Operations at Above Bar Church. I loved working for the church, serving the ministers, and organising this and that. I recently met up with my (younger, more handsome, more capable) successor, Ben Thomas. It was lovely to have a shared experience as we spoke, and I am thrilled to hear he is enjoying the role. (Please pray for Ben, he plays a key role in our church’s day-to-day life.) Ben kindly asked about my new role at Sailors‘ Society: ’So, what do you actually do now, Chris?'

Who are the Sailors' Society?

Sailors' Society is an international Christian charity, just two years short of our 200th anniversary. Our new head office is in St Anne’s Road in Woolston, and our patron is the Queen! We seek to advance the Christian faith by providing chaplaincy services in ports around the world, bringing hope and transformation to seafarers and their families. Seafarers, who help move 90% of world trade, can be away from their families for nine to twelve months each year, and can often suffer from isolation and loneliness as well as piracy, abandonment, and imprisonment. Watch our new video with more information about our work: 

My new role at Sailors' Society is to tell churches and community groups about our work. My team, including Above Bar Church member Leila Hyde, are out giving talks, preaching, and drinking lots of coffee with church leaders (it’s a hard life).

What motivates you?

The Tucks still get to worship at Above Bar Church and continue to be so thankful for this amazing community of believers. I was interviewed a few weeks ago for a community radio station in Essex, and when I was asked ‘What motivates you?’ I was able to share the Above Bar Church strap line of ‘Loving God, Following Jesus and Sharing Hope.’ We call our chaplains ‘Messengers of Hope’ and I’m enjoying trying to ‘share hope’ in my role just a few miles east of the church building.

My team are particularly targeting churches and community groups in around 80 of the UK’s ports, and so once again I’m never to be found too far from my old friend the sea!

To find out more about Sailors Society, visit www.sailors-society.org and follow @sailorschurches on Twitter.

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