Churchgoers from across the Burnham-On-Sea area have collected three car loads full of gifts for needy seafarers.

135 Christmas Shoe Boxes have this week been delivered to the Mission to Seafarers in Portbury Dock in Bristol, from where they will be distributed across the world.

The Christmas gifts were collected by parishioners at St Andrew’s in Burnham and St Mary’s in Berrow over the past few weeks.

The gifts include chocolate, toiletries, games and warm hats, and are given to the many seafarers who dock at Portbury Dock, often far from home and having been away from their families for months on end.

“Over the Christmas period these boxes will be given to seafarers who call briefly at the Mission between the tides, and some are taken onto the ships by the Mission chaplains and ships’ visitors,” one of the local organisers, Liz Roost, told

The group was welcomed by Geoff Tute, one of the ship visiting and welfare team. This year 1,371 ships have visited the Port of Bristol and the members of the welfare team visited 651 of these ships. 6,312 seafarers visited the Mission’s centre.

The Mission to Seafarers is a Christian agency that works in more than 230 ports across the world, providing help and support to seafarers in need.

Pictured: The Burnham gift collection organisers with the boxes of gifts