Cornwall Reverend becomes first full-time coastguard chaplain in 200 years

17-01-22 Reverend Tom Ebbens - MCA
Reverend Tom Ebbens is also a curate with the Church of England in Cornwall. Credit: MCA

A full-time chaplain has been appointed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agencyfor the first time in its 200-year history.

Reverend Tom Ebbens, who will be based in Cornwall, has been appointed to the position after a pilot project.

The 30-year-old said that his role would be to provide extra support to the agency's frontline staff.

Reverend Ebbens has worked as a volunteer for the Coastguard both in its operations centres handling distress calls and as a coastal officer.

He will be based in Falmouth and said: "I see a major part of this job as being acompanion on whatever road someone is currently on, wherever it takes them.

"People have fears and concerns, worries and challenges, and sometimes they need someone to walk with them in those dark moments, to listen, to share the hurt and support them through that difficult time.

"People will often say things to a chaplain that they wouldn't say to anyone else and that has got to be held somewhere, respected and acknowledged.

"Chaplaincy is a great thing for that to provide that service."

Director of HM Coastguard Claire Hughes said: "This is a landmark appointmentin terms of our service.

"Tom is going to bring another level of care alongside the welfare-led supportsystems we already have in place, such as trauma risk management.

"He's already proved that the care of chaplaincy can reach all people acrossall parts of the MCA as well as those serving in HM Coastguard.

"People know they can talk to him in confidence about their concerns and problems and that he will provide the support they need."