Christmas came early for crew of the SS Faneromeni, docked in Immingham, Lincolnshire, when they were visited by the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Reverend Arthur Roche, with Apostleship of the Sea chaplain, Fr Colum Kelly,who is also a priest of Leeds Diocese. Bishop Arthur celebrated Mass on board of ship and distributed presents to the crew which had been collected by local parishes.
The Bishop said he was deeply impressed by the welcome he received from the staff of Immingham Seafarers Centre, the Dock Master and port agencies. He said: “I am delighted to witness, at first hand, the wonderful care for the seafarers, expressed through the ministry of the Church. The caring dedicated staff of Immingham Seafarers’ Centre provide a warm and welcoming environment where seafarers always find a safe rest.”
The Apostleship of the Sea, AOS, is a registered charity and an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of England & Wales and Scotland. It is wholly reliant on voluntary donations to continue its work. Ninety percent of world trade is carried by ship, and some 100,000 seafarers visit British ports each year. They are commonly away from home for nine to 12 months at a time, suffering loneliness, depression and even exploitation. They also have to work in gruelling and often dangerous conditions.
AOS chaplains and ship visitors welcome seafarers to our shores - regardless of their colour, race or creed (if any) and provide them with pastoral and practical assistance. They recognise them as brothers with an intrinsic human dignity which can be overlooked in the modern globalised maritime industry. For more information visit www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk