Supporting the river and canal community
What is Waterwars Chaplaincy?
Waterways Chaplains offers support to those who use and live on the UK waterways and canals. Chaplains are volunteers from local churches who regularly visit the waterways offering companionship and a listening ear to individuals and businesses.
What does Waterwars Chaplaincy do?
“I can’t thank you all enough and my local surgery for recommending I contact you and a higher power for helping out too. I feel very privileged to have been given the help and support I’ve received when I needed it most otherwise it could have been a very different outcome. You have categorically SAVED A LIFE! God bless you all.” Boater H, Buckby Locks
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Mark Chesters, LEAD WaterWays Chaplain, writes…
Our rivers and canals are home to many different types of people. As many don’t have a fixed address, it’s difficult to open a banking account, claim any benefits, access healthcare and/or employment.
THE COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS IS PUSHING PEOPLE TOWARDS THE EDGE AND THE NUMBER OF DESPERATE CRIES FOR HELP IS RISING.
One lady contacted me saying “the only reason I haven’t killed myself is because I’m scared of what might happen to my dog. Now, I’m scared I’ll die anyway, and he’ll be trapped in the boat with my body. I’ve lost my job, I’ve no money, the engine has died and I’ve no money for paraffin for my stove. We’re waking up in ice. I can’t see where any hope is going to come from.”
Through our network, we were able to get her basic provisions, take her to a local café and collect a food parcel for her. She’s been able to get on universal credit, register with a local job centre, and we have kept in communication with her, also supporting her with repairs to her boat. She messaged me recently; “you really did help me carry on when I couldn’t see a way through! Thank you!”
Mark Chester, Waterways Chaplain.