Our Immingham port chaplain Fr Colum Kelly went on board Star Eos, a newly-built ship which was on its maiden voyage, where he blessed the ship and celebrated Mass. Here he gives us an account of his visit.
The ship visit was to Star Eos which had brought a cargo of biomass from Canada.
I was welcomed as usual and then the captain arrived to say that he had been praying for a visit from a priest ever since they set sail on their maiden voyage four months previously, now they had one.
The ship needed to be blessed and there was the chance to have Christmas Mass on board. [It] was indeed many blessings all at once.
So on New Year’s Day I went on board with 20 shoeboxes and went to the mess room to set up for Mass.
The room had been transformed and with the exception of three crew members on essential cover, all were present.
It was a best jumper day and throughout Mass the crew sang carols from their printed sheets. (Watch these short videos on our You Tube Channel).
Christmas presents waiting to be delivered to crew of the Star Eos
After Mass we began the ship blessing. I assumed a new ship would have a lift but not this one.
First to the engine room. I normally say a blessing prayer from the top level but this captain wanted all eight floors to be blessed.
Then a 13-floor climb to the bridge, followed by a visit to the cook who wanted the galley to be blessed….followed by the ship's office and finally the mess room.
The Captain had laid on a very special lunch for all the crew to complete a perfect celebration.
This is what makes AoS special, getting to the heart of the spiritual needs of a crew.
We do it in so many ways but once in a while something like this happens and you realise how much our service is valued.
Fr Colum blesses the bridge of the Star Eos