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Christian Ethos

In response to the needs of her day, Agnes Weston provided the ratings of the Royal Navy with ‘homes from home’ (known as Rests) located in naval port areas, opening the first one in 1876.  The Rests were alcohol-free facilities, providing a safe refuge and genuine alternative to the widespread frequenting of public houses and resultant excessive drinking.  While there were opportunities for bible study it was never compulsory and 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 is generally known as Aggie Weston’s and colloquially as Aggie’s. Aggie’s continues to exist for the public benefit of the serving personnel and families of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, in the spirit of Christian hospitality.  The charity’s Statement of Purpose is as follows:

Aggie Weston’s is a Christian charity dedicated to supporting Naval Service personnel and their families. Motivated by the love of God, and in close co-operation with the Naval Authorities, Aggie Weston’s achieves this calling by:

  • Seeking to befriend and support Naval personnel and their families;
  • Providing facilities for education and recreation;
  • Looking for and addressing other specific areas of need identified with Service life

Again in Aggie’s own words:

“A slender thread of kindness will sometimes do good, and I have endeavoured personally by means of the sailors rests, to make all welcome ... the spirit of love, and, I hope, common sense, runs through it like a thread of gold.”