Parishioners, priests and supporters of Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) from the dioceses of Hexham & Newcastle and Middlesbrough congregated in Holy Island, Lindisfarne on June 2 to pray for seafarers and the work of AoS.
Numbering more than 200, the pilgrims gathered opposite St Cuthbert’s Island, with the now traditional ‘Celtic Prayer on the Beach’, directed by former Navy chaplain and AoS former trustee Monsignor Ronnie Brown.
This mix of music, readings and prayer is extremely popular and sets the tone for a peaceful and reflective day.
Now in its 15th year, the Day of Prayer was led by AoS Bishop Promoter Bishop Paul Mason, who was born in North Shields.
Monsignor Ronnie led the Celtic Prayer on the Beach
AoS volunteers and supporters from the North East region and port chaplains Chaplain Paul Atkinson and Deacon Peter Barrigan were joined by head office staff and AoS Senior Regional Port Chaplain (North East) Anne McLaren.
The day ended with Mass of Corpus Christi in St Mary’s Anglican Church, concelebrated by Bishop Paul, Mgr Ronnie Brown, Fr Michael Griffiths, Fr Shaun Purdy, Fr David Phillips and Fr Austin Monaghan.
In his homily, Bishop Paul talked about maintaining a sense of awe and wonder at Our Lord’s miracles and to avoid the temptation to explain them away or dumb them down to accommodate the sceptical modern mind.
He spoke of the prophetic nature of the miracle which would have recalled for the crowd the manna they received in the desert when God previously fed them in their desperation.
Bishop Paul also spoke about the scraps we must bring to the Lord for Him to work with; how He can transform and multiply the little we offer in faith.
In what has also now become something of a tradition, Scottish piper Andy played 'Amazing Grace' and 'Skye Boat Song', guiding the procession before and after Mass.
AoS Tyne ship visitor Terry Patchett who has retired after more than 13 years of serving seafarers was awarded a certificate of commendation by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board.
The day marked a special day of prayer and fellowship, a good build up to Sea Sunday which falls on the weekend of July 7 and 8, when parishes in the dioceses and around Great Britain pray for and remember seafarers for all they do.
* There are lots more photos which you can see here.