Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Christmas Presents for Seafarers!!
Each year we distribute Christmas presents on board the ships in port from November until the New Year. This often gives us the opportunity to reach out with the Gospel, as well as to do follow up ministry.

During the year we encourage our supporters to buy items that will be of use to a man (or woman) at sea. Churches sometimes have a box used for this purpose. Please help us make someone's Christmas special as they sail the seas of our world. If you are able to help, then the list below will give you some ideas of items to put in the Christmas parcels/draw-string bags. Also, if you can knit >>> hats and neck/chest warmers for the seamen are like gold dust! Some patterns are given at the bottom of this page.

Also if you are able to wrap your presents (draw-string bags are ideal) it will save us a lot of extra work, thanks.

To ensure that those who will be at sea for Christmas will receive a gift we start to distribute parcels in November.

List of possible items:
NB. When wrapping presents please include 4/5 items in each parcel or draw-string bag. THANK YOU.

 Clothing items:
• Woolly hats, knitted scarves
• Heavy socks
• Warm gloves
• Boxer shorts
• T-shirt (medium to large size ok), baseball cap
• Handkerchief
 Personal hygiene items: 
• Face cloth (flannels)
• Toothbrush, toothpaste
• Disposable razors and shaving gel
• After shave or splash on lotion
• Combs or hairbrush
• Shampoo, shower gel, soap
• Deodorant, talcum powder
 Surprise gift ideas and practical items:
• Mini sewing kit
• A postcard or postcards
• Fridge magnet - flat (thin) ones best
• Keyrings
• Computer accessories - e.g. small/thin mouse mat, usb memory stick
• Christmas music cd, dvd or Carol singing cd
• Pen or pencil and small writing pad
• a signed Christmas card or photo of your church from you (and your church)
• (Coffee mug)
• (Children's small toys - for the children of seafarers)
• (Small Perfume bottle, necklace or chain - for the wives, girlfriends of seafarers)

etc etc ............... REMEMBER 4 or 5 items per bag are enough:
- maybe 1 clothes item, 2 toiletries, 1 postcard, Christmas card or Christmas music cd,
and 1 or 2 other surprises...
Thanks :)

DOWNLOAD NEW POSTER HERE + please post in your church:
(Hold the Ctrl key while clicking to open a new tab in your browser)
You may need the free program Adobe Reader to read the pdf file. If so, it can be downloaded here:

In recent years some friends have been using home-made drawstring bags (I think they use old curtains for this) instead of the traditional Christmas wrapping paper. Also, some pharmacies stock draw-string wash bags - these are ideal.

I have found these kind of bags to be best for ships because they can easily be opened and checked inside for security when going onto a ship. Paper wrapped presents are also fine as not all ships are so security-conscious. However so far I think the draw-strings are the best.

Please remember to download and print out the poster I have made for you here:

NB. More knitting patterns and ideas for woolly hats can be found here (hold the ctrl key when clicking to open a new tab):

and here:

Hat pattern

2 x 50g balls of double knitting wool
1 pair no. 10 (3 1/4mm) knitting needles

Cast on 120 sts, and knit 2 purl 2 to the end of the row.
Repeat until work measures 9 inches
Next row
Take the 2 purl stitches together right along the row.
Next row
Knit 2 purl 1 to the end of the row
Repeat for 5 rows (6 altogether)
Next row
Take the 2 knit stitches together along the row
Next row
Knit 1 purl 1 to end
Repeat for 5 more rows (6 rows altogether)
Next row
Knit 2 together all along the row
Next row
Purl back
Next row
Knit 2 together all along the row
Draw thread through remaining stitches and sew off ends

Press lightly and sew up hat.

Neck/Chest warmer pattern

2 x 50g balls of double knitting wool
1 pair no. 7 knitting needles

Cast on 80 stitches.
Work 10 rows in garter stitch (every row knit).
Next row
Knit 6. Purl to last 6 stitches. Knit 6.
Next row
Continue last 2 rows until work measures * 9 inches.
Next row
Cast off 12 stitches. At the beginning of the next 2 rows.
Then continue on 56 stitches. In knit 1 purl 1 for 6 inches.
Then cast off.

Work the same as the back until * work 7 inches only here

Sew shoulders together on wrong side, then turn down neck to a polo neck look leaving sides open.

Life is often lonely and hard for the seafarers who cross the world’s seas and oceans to bring us over 90 percent of our everyday needs. Parted from their families for months on end, seafarers need to know that someone is listening and caring for them.
The Seamen's Christian Friend Society (SCFS) provide friendship, welfare and spiritual support to hundreds of thousands of seafarers around the world, helping people of all faiths and nationalities since 1846.       

Thank you for your support and for helping seafarers through us.                 

NB. More knitting patterns and ideas for woolly hats can be found here:

and here: