QVSR Founders Day




On 22nd April, we celebrate our Founders’ Day here at the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest. It was on this day in 1902 that King Edward VII gave formal approval for the name of the new Seamen’s House and Institute to be named “The Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest.” Previously known as the Wesleyan Seamen’s Mission, a work which began 181 years ago in 1843, the change of name coincided with a major building and renovation work which was completed in late 1902. The re-naming was done to honour the memory of Queen Victoria who had died the previous year.

For all of us associated with the QVSR – it is arguably a significant day in the year. A day when we remember how much we are indebted to the men and women who had the vision that led to the creation of work amongst seafarers and who have contributed to the leadership and vision of the QVSR since. None of this amazing work for which the QVSR has become known would have happened without the foresight of the original founders, who set out with the intention of offering a Christian ministry of care and support to seafarers who sought employment in the docks along the Thames. We owe them a debt of gratitude – without them this important work simply would not exist – and so for this reason we honour them on this Founders’ Day.

Celebrating Founders’ Day is important for two reasons: Firstly, it is a day on which we remember all that has been achieved in providing excellent accommodation here in Poplar for those who choose to make the QVSR their home. Secondly, it is in the expansion of our work in the ports of Bristol, Felixstowe, Immingham and London Tilbury where our QVSR Seafarers Centres are offering support and care every day of the week to seafarers who visit our centres from visiting ships.  Putting seafarers first was what inspired the original founders and it is that same desire and commitment that inspires us today.