Registered Charity No. 328320

What is the Morning Star Trust?

The Morning Star Trust is a christian Sail Training Organisation based at The Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, UK.

Every year the trust takes over 300 people to sea, sailing over 5000 miles through the UK's coastal waters and to exotic ports through the ASTO Tall Ships Race. They run (at present) two boats, Morning Star of Revelation, a 62' tall ship, and Tiger Moon, a 37' Jeanneau yacht, based on the South Coast in Plymouth.

The main aim of taking people to sea is to increase their self confidence by placing them in a preconception-free environment, where they can learn and demonstrate new skills while facing the elements. The crews are always made up of very different individuals and part of the joy of sailing is watching those disparate people become a dedicated and connected team.

The fact that the trust is a christian organisation does not mean that bibles are clung to instead of lifejackets, or that sermons are held every day. There is a daily thought for those on board, but more conversations are sparked off by events during trips - weathering a storm for example, or a magnificent sunset.

History of the Trust

The trust was set up in 1981 by Tim Millward, who until then had been a physics teacher at Dulwich College in London. In the early 1970's, Tim had felt dissatisified with his teaching job, and decided to branch out into sail training. He already had experience of taking some of his pupils out on sailing adventures in much smaller boats, but wanted a challenge, and so decided to construct a boat large enough to take out bigger groups into deeper waters.

For the next five years, Tim constructed his boat. Ferrocement was very popular at the time, and the ship gradually took shape around its 'concrete and chicken wire' frame. Finally in July 1978, Morning Star of Revelation was launched, Tim and his new wife still living on board. From this time one Morning Star began to take groups of young people out to sea, to experience the exhilaration of sailing, and learn to work together as a team. In 1981 she competed in her first Tall Ships Race, a competition she hasn't missed a year of since.

The Setup

It was not until August 1989 that the Morning Star Trust came into being. This was an officialising of the setup, with the creation of a committee with five trustees and four elected members from the growing number of people associated with the boat.

Tim continued to run the boat from an office within the Historic Dockyard, but he was helped on an annual basis by a volunteer, usually a college or university leaver, as well as occaisionlly having an administrator, either on a part-time paid basis, as a full time volunteer. The boat is staffed by volunteer skippers and mates, drawn from an ever increasing membership, all of whom are christians.

The Future

2003 is the beginning of a new era for the trust. Tim Millward is retiring at the end of the sailing season, and a new trio of staff will take his place. The trust will be run by a Development Officer, with a Staff Skipper to run, sail and maintain Morning Star, along with a full time Administrator in the office.

The trust hopes to increase its resources, purchasing another, smaller boat for Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, and broadening its horizons into more community based projects and initiatives.


For more information about Morning Star or the trust, see
http://www.morningstar.org.uk/mst_html

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