Flying the flag for AoS

Frank Barrett, a parishioner of St Bede’s Church Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) parish contact has retired as the charity’s national Standard Bearer after eight years.
             Frank, 84, has been literally flying the flag for AoS at the Annual National Service for Seafarers (ANSS) since 2007 and also at AoS’ yearly pilgrimages to Holy Island. 
             Frank’s final ‘call of duty’ was at this year’s ANSS at St Paul’s Cathedral, London on October 14th. Needless to say he did a sterling job and was delighted to represent AoS, albeit for the last time.
             Frank was given a fond farewell by the AoS team at its head office at the Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales office the next day.
             Mass was dedicated to Frank and AoS Tees & Hartlepool ship visitor Brenda Bland, who was also present. After Mass, Frank and Brenda were treated to coffee, pastries and fruit for breakfast.
Frank Bennett was standard bearer for Apostleship of the Sea at the service for seafarers in St Paul's Cathedral

             AoS National Director Martin Foley presented Frank with a framed print of our icon, Our Lady, Stella Maris. 
             Frank says, “AoS has been a great part of my life, and I have made many friends throughout the association.  I was greatly honoured when asked by [then AoS National Director] Chris York to be national standard bearer and also to work alongside [former Tees & Hartlepool port chaplain] Tony McAvoy." 
             Besides being former Standard Bearer, Frank is also an active AoS parish contact since 2003; sadly he will stand down in December.
             He has been instrumental in our work supporting seafarers; giving talks at parishes, organising knitting groups, helping raise funds for us and recruiting new parish contacts and ship visitors. 
             Frank also served in the Royal Navy for many years.

Frank Bennett receiving his framed print of Stella Maris icon from AoS national director Martin Foley