Mayor attends first service where female RNLI New Brighton crew delivers reading

Lifeboats News Release

Mayor of Wirral Councillor Geoffrey Watt and Mayoress Anne Watt and RNLI volunteers attended the lifeboat thanksgiving service at St James Church on 21 October 2018, where they and the congregation witnessed the first-ever reading by a female RNLI New Brighton crew member.

Helena is standing at the pulpit reading as she reads to the congregation

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

Helen Siggins delivers her reading at St James Church

Led by Reverend Heather Atkinson, the annual church service gave thanks for RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Station's life-saving efforts within the community. Around 20 RNLI volunteers including crew, members of the station’s management team and guild, took part in the event.

In a first for the lifeboat station’s 155-year history, a woman – RNLI Crew Member Helena Siggins – stepped up to deliver one of the readings to the congregation.

Ian Thornton, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at New Brighton, said: ‘It is an honour for our volunteers to attend this special event in our calendar where year after year we are so warmly welcomed.

‘This service was particularly significant, as not only were the mayor and mayoress present, but a female RNLI New Brighton crew member read to the congregation for the very first time ever. As our lifeboat station continues to attract more female volunteer crew, I hope Helena’s superb effort paves the way for many more in the future.’

The standard party was formed by Lifeboat Crew Members Nelson Ramsay, Dan Wardle and Jay Hennessey, while Deputy Launching Authority Andy Liston also delivered a reading to the gathering.

RNLI New Brighton is one of three Wirral RNLI lifeboat stations among local charities the mayor and mayoress are raising funds for during their time in office. RNLI Hoylake and RNLI West Kirby will also benefit.

Ian Thornton, and the mayor and mayoress walk between RNLI volunteers lining both sides of the path to the church.

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

Ian Thornton introduces the mayor and mayoress to RNLI New Brighton volunteers ahead of the service
A drysuit and helmet attached to frame to look like a person on the left of the picture. In the middle of the image, the back of Nelson is seen with the flag as he walks towards the the reverend and lay reader.

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

RNLI crew member Nelson Ramsay carries the RNLI flag to the altar
Andy Liston stands on the podium

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

Andy Liston delivers his reading to the congregation at St James church

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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