Sailors pray before round the world yacht race

Fr Colum Kelly, the Apostleship of the Sea’s chaplain to the Port of Immingham, led an ecumenical service for participants in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race on Sunday.  The multi faith service was attended by the crews and by invited guests.  It was an opportunity for everyone to focus on the enormous challenges that lie ahead, the need to rely on each other and to find strength during the difficult times.

The readings will be given by a member of each faith represented and everyone joined in a hearty rendition of “Eternal Father Strong to Save”.

The Clipper 09/10 race is a ten month event during which the fleet of ten identical racing yachts will cross all the world’s major oceans and visit ports on six continents during this 35,000 mile race around the planet.  Twice as many people have climbed Everest as have circumnavigated the world, so this is not something to be taken lightly.

Originally set up by sailing legend, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the race is gruelling and demands high levels of physical skill and mental discipline.

Fr Colum said: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be part of this wonderful adventure. For me, it makes a change to my usual schedule of ship visiting in Immingham and on the Humber.  There, the vessels I board are usually cargo ships with crew from as far afield as The Philippines, India and Russia.  Their daily lives in the shipping lanes of the world’s oceans make different demands on both physical and mental courage, so although their challenges are different from the Clipper participants, they have the same need for courage and determination in the face of harsh weather and strong seas”.
Source: AOS

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