Here are some examples of how our port chaplains supported seafarers' faith needs this Easter by organising and taking them to Easter Masses, as well as visiting crew on ships to spread some Easter joy.
Mass was celebrated for the crew on board the Pride of Bruges, a P&0 ferry which regularly travels between Hull and Zeebrugge on Easter Sunday by Fr Dominique Minskip. Anne McLaren AoS port chaplain in Hull & Goole also joined the crew and it was a great joy to be able to celebrate Mass for the crew on Easter Sunday.
Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld Diocese met two seafarers from the Philippines who attended Easter Sunday Mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Dundee.
The men, Ronald (the cook) and Jerome (an AB), are from the ship Lady Adele. They were brought to Mass by Jacqueline McGuire, a ship visitor with seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS).
Both Jerome and Ronald were really delighted to get the opportunity to go to Mass. Ronald said that it was a blessing to get to go to Mass on Easter Sunday. In his 28 years of seafaring he had only ever had the opportunity once before to go to an Easter Mass when in port. Jerome had never been to Mass when in port.
Bishop Robson, who is also AoS Bishop Promoter for Scotland, gave them both a blessing after Mass and spoke to them about their lives and their families back home in the Philippines. Thank you Bishop Robson for all the support you give to the seafarers.
Three of the seafarers from the ship Malaviya Seven, which is held in Aberdeen port, were delighted to get to the Saturday Easter Vigil Mass at St Peter’s Church. They were dressed in their finest to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection.
They were taken to Mass by Doug Duncan, Apostleship of the Sea port chaplain in Aberdeen. Doric (on the right of the picture) has now been on the vessel for a full year and the two others eight months. Let the Lord bring light into their situation!
Easter arrived early for seafarers at Immingham. Our port chaplains Steve Willows and Bryony Watson distributed Easter eggs provided by local parishes and schools. These were gratefully received, especially by the crew of Anja (in the second picture) who were very touched that someone had thought of them.
Port Chaplain John Pinhay had a trip up the River Fal to visit the crew of the Horizon Geobay. The ship is a research vessel which has been laid up in the river awaiting a new contract. John was loaded down with Easter Eggs for them, along with Palm Crosses blessed at St Mary Immaculate Falmouth on Palm Sunday.
There were six crew members, and they were very welcoming and very pleased to be able to talk to someone other than each other. The crew are all on a 12-week contract with the majority of them not being able to get off the ship. A very lonely and frustrating time for them as they await new orders.
And further afield in Abidjan, Ivory Coast…
AoS port chaplain Fr Celestin Ikomba celebrated Easter Mass on board M/V West Bay. “We are very happy to see the Easter candle, to hold candles, to renew our baptism promises,” the seafarers said. They also said, "Alleluia, Christ is risen!"
Instead of chocolate Easter eggs, the AoS team donated coconuts – what a novel and fantastic idea!.