Archbishop’s praise for Whitby and town’s famous kippers

Steve Boocock of Sandgate Seafoods hands over kippers to Dr John Sentamu
Steve Boocock of Sandgate Seafoods hands over kippers to Dr John Sentamu

Dr John Sentamu has praised a trio of local institutions and expressed a fondness for Whitby kippers following a recent visit.

The Archbishop of York attended Whitby and District Fishing Industry Training School and Whitby Mission and Seafarers’ Centre before taking a trip out to sea on the RNLI’s all weather lifeboat.

The archbishop’s party, which included the Bishop of Whitby the Rt Rev Paul Ferguson, also took time to pay a visit to Sandgate Seafoods to purchase kippers.

Dr Sentamu told the Whitby Gazette: “It was nice to see the Whitby Mission and learn about how the fishing school look after and train their young apprentices.

“These places are doing a fantastic job and the RNLI is a marvellous organisation.

“I think it is incredible that people voluntarily give up their time to risk their lives helping others at sea.

“It is things like this that make this country the greatest in the world.”

Speaking of his penchant for Whitby kippers, he added: “I am a great fan.

“The same gentleman (Steve Boocock of Sandgate Seafoods) has been supplying me with kippers for seven years now and I have just discovered that he is a member of Whitby’s RNLI crew who took me out on the lifeboat.

“When I am in Whitby I will always have fish, I have been using the same fish and chip shop for some time.”

Dr Sentamu met staff and students at the fishing school in Haggersgate where he took in a 3D presentation and learned how apprentices are educated ahead of a career at sea.

After spending some time at Whitby Mission, where they ate lunch, the party headed for Whitby’s lifeboat station for a tour of the facilities.

Under the close supervision of coxswain Mike Russell, Dr Sentamu took the helm of the George and Mary Webb lifeboat out on the open seas.

“It was an exhilarating experience,” said Dr Sentamu, who revealed an affinity with the seaside.

“Whitby is a great place. I do like to be by the sea,” he contined.

“In the same way that you must respect God, you must respect the sea. They are both incredibly powerful.

“In Whitby, there is a strong connection between the fishing community and religion.

“Traditionally fishermen have tended to find faith in Christ and it is good to see that the two still go hand in hand.”

Rt Rev Ferguson echoed Dr Sentamu’s sentiments.

He said: “Both the town’s fishing and religious communities are very much a part of the history of Whitby, yet are still very much alive and constantly changing and looking to the future.”