Julian Wong, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) ship visitor in Felixstowe port shared this with us.
"Recently a Filipino seafarer whom I got to know quite well was extremely worried about his young daughter’s medical condition. We keep in touch through social media in between his visits to Felixstowe Port.
In order to gain some inner strength which he needed to cope with the current family crisis he requested prayers for his daughters healing and indicated his interest in receiving Holy Communion on board on his next call to Felixstowe.
As free time for a seafarer is always very short I made the necessary arrangements to board at a time that was convenient for him whilst in port. During conversation it emerged that two of his Filipino colleagues would also like to receive Holy Communion.
The wife of one of the seafarers had a health problem also which requires ongoing treatment which was causing him some anxiety. It was a very moving experience to see how all three seafarers supported each other by taking this opportunity to receive Communion and to offer their prayers of thanksgiving together.
However it is not always possible to make these specific arrangements for a Communion Service in advance. Recently I visited a ship where a seafarer who was working on "gangway watch "expressed his desire to receive Holy Communion whilst in port.
As it wasn't possible to arrange it for a later time when he finished his duty I was able to give him Holy Communion whilst he stood on duty at the top of the gangway amidst the noise of a busy working ship. Once again his main concerns in prayer were for all his family and especially for his nephew who was sick and in need of strength and healing."
AoS is helps to seafarers live their faith. On Sea Sunday (July 12th this year) churches across the UK prays for and remembers seafarers. They also hold a collection to help sustain AoS' ministry with seafarers. Please support your parish's collection this Sea Sunday. You can find our Sea Sunday resource pack and other material here.