Apostleship of the Sea is not a seafarers' charity which only supports seafarers material needs. Our mission is to provide 'holistic' support to seafarers – emotionally, mentally and yes, in pratical ways too.
Our port chaplaincy ministry is sometimes referred to as a 'ministry of being' – to be there for seafarers.
Not so long ago Paul Atkinson, AoS port chaplain for Blyth & Tyne, accompanied a crew member from a ship to hospital.
She had slipped and was suspected to have dislocated her knee. Paul waited with her in hospital until her X-ray was completed. It turned out that her knee was badly twisted.
Paul then drove her back to the ship and took her up to her cabin in a wheelchair. The crew member is now home in the Philippines, resting and undergoing physiotherapy.
Nothing Paul did was out of the ordinary but the fact that he was there to assist and be a friend to the injured seafarer who was a long way from home was enough to reassure her.
Thank you Paul for being there for her and for the many other seafarers you come in contact with.