Memorial service for Rev Tom Heffer
Details of a memorial service to celebrate the life and ministry of Revd Tom Heffer, the general secretary of the Mission to Seafarers and Little Ship Club honorary chaplain, have been announced. The service will be held at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, Holborn Viaduct, at 12 noon on Tuesday 3 July 2012. Refreshments will be served at St Michael Paternoster Royal following the service.
Aged 43, Tom Heffer was appointed as the 15th international leader of the Mission to Seafarers in 2009. He was involved in a minor road accident last week after he lost consciousness while driving to work. His heart was restarted at the scene but he remained unconscious in hospital until Monday 23 April when he died with his family at his side.
His funeral and a Service of Thanksgiving took place in Norwich Cathedral on Wednesday 9 May led by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James. The Eulogy was given by the Revd Canon Bill Christianson, former Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers. The committal took place at Sprowston Cemetery.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mission, Robert Woods CBE, spoke of Mr Heffer's strong Christian leadership, adding: "Throughout his short time as Secretary General, Tom was driven by a desire to redefine maritime ministry so that it remained relevant and effective to the modern seafarer. The Trustees will greatly miss his enthusiasm, intelligence, energy and dedication. He has left a lasting legacy, one which we will strive to honour and cultivate as we take forward his vision of delivering maritime ministry beyond the next horizon."
Acting Secretary General, Martin Sandford, praised Mr Heffer's selfless commitment to seafarers and his appetite for life, saying: "Since becoming Secretary General, Tom made sure that the Mission remained true to its calling of providing the best possible services and care to seafarers of the merchant fleet. He was a compassionate man, motivated by his faith to make a difference in this world. Always ready with a witty quip or a welcoming smile, Tom had an immediate rapport with people, instantly making them feel at ease and that they were in the company of a friend. His passing leaves a tragic hole in the life and ministry of the Mission to Seafarers, but we are grateful for the time we had to work with and learn from him. Please remember Tom’s wife, Roz, his daughter, Abi, and his family in your prayers; their loss is so much greater than ours."
Thomas Patrick Heffer was born in 1969 and educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and King's College, London. After graduating with an Honours degree in Divinity, Mr Heffer volunteered as a chaplain's assistant for The Mission to Seafarers and served seafarers in the ports of New Orleans and Singapore. Following his ordination in 1996, he held a number of appointments within the Church of England, including chaplain and press officer to the Bishop of Norwich. He also completed a Masters in Canon Law from the University of Wales, Cardiff. He joined the executive staff of The Mission to Seafarers in 2001.
Donations in memory of Tom can be made to the following three charities:
- The Mission to Seafarers (www.missiontoseafarers.org)
- The Royal Free Charity (www.royalfreecharity.org/)
- The British Heart Foundation (www.bhf.org.uk/)