Rev Paul Noel's mission is based in the Port of Durban, Africa's busiest port. It provides a full welfare service to seafarers, including daily ship visits to assess their health and working conditions. The club in the Port provides meals and recreation facilities, as well as access to legal and medical services.
Rev Noel sees non-payment of wages and unsafe working conditions as a huge concern and works tirelessly with ships' commanding officers to rectify problems. The mission has even arrested offending ships and taken legal action against them. He cares for seafarers on ships stranded for months on end in the harbour, providing food, reading material, toiletry bags, food and telephone cards, and taking them on tourist drives.
For Rev Noel, one of the most important aspects of his work is talking and providing ministry to seafarers. Showing care for their welfare and making an effort to learn about their homes and countries puts them at ease. He arranges visits to places of worship of all denominations.
Outside of the mission, he is a forceful advocate for seafarers and stays in touch with many of those he has supported. In 2010 he was made Port Chaplain Emeritus of the Mission to Seafarers for his long service.