Dover RNLI station welcomes a special visitor

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers at Dover RNLI were invited to the station earlier this month to meet a mystery guest.

Archbishop Justin Welby with the Dover RNLI lifeboat crew

RNLI/Ailsa Anderson-Cole

Archbishop Justin Welby with the Dover RNLI lifeboat crew.

They were delighted to welcome Archbishop Justin Welby, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, as he had asked to visit the station, which is in his diocese, as the location to film his New Year’s Day message.

As well as filming, Archbishop Welby spent time speaking to volunteers there about their fundraising, visitor and education work there, and to the crew about the challenges of keeping such a busy station afloat.

Dover Coxswain James Clapham said, 'Our lifeboat station is very much a part of our community and we are always happy to welcome people from other walks of life to see what we do and learn more about our work.

'The Archbishop was very supportive of our great volunteers and showed a real understanding of how we operate. He enjoyed a tour of the boat and chatted to the crew about their rescues and their ‘other’ lives away from the station.'

The Archbishop’s New Year’s Day message will broadcast on New Year’s Day on BBC One at 1pm and again on BBC Two (with subtitles) at 4pm that day.

Notes to editors

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Archbishop Justin Welby and David Slater, Port of Dover Chaplain

RNLI/Ailsa Anderson-Cole

Archbishop Justin Welby with James Clapham and Jon Miell, Coxwains of the RNLI Dover lifeboat.


Archbishop Justin Welby in the RNLI Dover crew room.

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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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