Small gestures which have an enormous impact on the lives of seafarers who spend weeks and months at sea. This is what Apostleship of the Sea's (AoS) work with seafarers is about.
Our Southampton Port Chaplain Peter Morgan went on board the Florida Highway one July morning and while chatting to the messman, discovered that it was his birthday.
The seafarer was 32 that very day, but Peter noticed that the room was bare and bereft of any decorations.
So Peter drove back into town and bought balloons and a cake to celebrate the messman's birthday.
"You can't have a birthday without cake and balloons," said Peter. Needless to say the messman was delighted and thanked Peter for helping make his birthday a wee bit more special.
A couple of weeks before this, Peter took a crucifix on board the Caroline A. The ship's 3rd officer had asked for the crucifix so he could place it on the ship's bridge.
All were small gestures, but taken together they make a huge difference to seafarers.