The welfare of seamen
|The British and International Sailors' Society|
George Smith and the Port of London Society
In 1814 the Methodist preacher George Charles Smith started prayer meetings for merchant seamen in the port of London. The first recorded meeting was held on the brig Friendship in June of that year.
In 1818, the Port of London Society was set up to promote preaching to seamen in the port. In the following year, the Bethel Union Society was formed to co-ordinate the activities of several societies inspired by George Smith's activities.
The British and Foreign Sailors' Society
The BFSS became an international organization with a branch in all major British ports and many representatives abroad. Eventually, it expanded its activities, and became increasingly involved in practical assistance to seafarers.
Decades before, the BFSS had built the Sailors' Rest and Institute at a site near the Millwall Docks on the Isle of Dogs.
The British and International Sailors' Society
In 1925, the BFSS changed its name to the British Sailors' Society. Then, in 1995 it became the British and International Sailors' Society, and it still works for the 'material, moral and spiritual welfare of seafarers in ports throughout the world'.
To find out more, go to the Society's website:
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