The motto, and reason to exist, for Aggie Weston’s remains as it has always been: “for the glory of God and the good of the Service.”
Agnes Weston was a committed Christian philanthropist who met the needs of her day by providing the ratings of the Royal Navy with Sailors’ Rests in naval port areas. The Rests were alcohol-free facilities, providing wholesome relaxation facilities and a safe refuge as an genuine alternative to the rather seedier facilities which were the norm in the streets around the dockyards. From the start Aggie sought to provide a Christian ‘home from home,’ and whilst there were opportunities for bible study it was never compulsory. All were welcome irrespective of their beliefs. In her own words:
“ ….he must be free to come and go as he liked, whether he was sober or drunk, whether he had a creed or no creed. As long as he belonged to the navy that was sufficient.”
Today, the charity’s object (as approved by the Charity Commission) is “for the public benefit; the promotion of the efficiency of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and the advancement of the Christian faith.” This is a 21st Century legal way of saying “for the glory of God and the good of the Service!”
We seek to deliver this object through the provision of pastoral support, which includes a level of practical help and the offering of Christian hospitality. We believe that pastoral care is a natural expression of a Christian’s ‘servant heart’ and love for fellow human beings, as directed by Scripture: ‘Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.’ (Phil 2:3-5).
Christians are motivated by God’s love and compassion and are called to do ‘good works’ (Ephesians 2:10). In response to this direction Aggie Weston’s staff do good works because they are Christians, not to serve other Christians or become better Christians, or even to actively seek to make new Christians. Their activities are not self-serving in any way.
Pastoral Workers will always be happy to pray with or for others, or to discuss faith issues if asked to do so. But they will not force their faith upon anyone, and they will never judge.
Aggie’s Pastoral Workers are privileged to offer their service to those of any faith or of no faith.