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 Ebenezer Mather and Wilfrid Grenfell

Today we are going to read about two great Christians. The first was a man called Ebenezer Mather. He went to see the fishing boats on the Dogger Bank. He saw that fishing was very dangerous. Sometimes a fisherman might be injured and could not work. If this happened he would not be able to earn any money and his wife and his children might not be able to get enough food. Ebenezer set up the mission to help the fishermen and their families. Sometimes the mission would give them money but they would help in other ways too. There were places on shore that the fishermen could go into when they came home, Ebenezer wanted the mission  to show the same love to the fishermen as Jesus showed to all of us when he was on earth.

Picture of fishing boat. 


The Mission is still working today. When a fishing boat comes into harbour the fishermen will probably find that there is a Mission centre there.

There are showers for the men to wash themselves, and they can buy food or have a bed there and this does not cost them very much.

There are rooms where they can talk to friends, snooker tables where they can have a game. Nowadays they have points where the fishermen can browse the internet. Many of the people who help there are Christians but others are welcome to help too.


Wilfrid Grenfell was born in 1865. When he was old enough he went to University to study to be a doctor. While he was there he listened to a man called Dwight Moody. Now at that time many people had stopped going to Church and Dwight Moody used to speak at meetings and tell people about Jesus and about God. After listening to Dwight Moody, Wilfrid felt that he wanted to do something to help.

Picture of man boxing with boy


He became a Sunday School teacher but he found that a lot of children just would not listen to him. He wanted to find something that they would find interesting so he taught them to box! When Wilfrid Grenfell passed his exams to become a doctor he looked around for a job. He wanted to do something that would help God and help people.

The Royal national Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen had bought a hospital ship that they were going to send to the North Sea. The idea was that if a fisherman had an accident when his boat was far out to sea He could be taken to the hospital ship.  He would not have to wait until they brought him back to land. Now they needed a surgeon to work on the ship and Wilfrid Grenfell took the job. Wherever the fishing fleet went, the hospital ship went too.

Now sometimes fishing boats sailed to Labrador which is on the east coast of Canada. Wilfrid Grenfell landed there and he found that the people there were having difficult lives. Many of them were very poor. The stores which sold food to them sold it at very high prices. The people could not afford to buy very much food and they were almost starving. There were not enough doctors or nurses and there was no hospital. Wilfrid Grenfell went out to treat people who were ill. There were not enough schools.

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