Bishop of East Anglia, the Right Reverend Alan Hopes, has paid tribute to Apostleship of the Sea's (AoS) the ministry in the diocese.
In his homily during a Mass held in St John the Baptist Cathedral, Norwich on September 6th, Bishop Alan spoke about how AoS port chaplain and ship visitors support seafarers’ spiritual and welfare needs.
“This is your proclamation of the Gospel – as you seek to serve Jesus Christ in the ones you serve. It is indeed a proclamation of God’s love and mercy and a powerful sign of the Church’s unity.”
Bishop Alan, who visited Felixstowe port in June last year and went on board a ship to see for himself the work of AoS, added, “I have seen you at work. It is often a hidden work – but a service that has touched and continues to touch the hearts of so many seafarers.”
AoS supporters, volunteers and office staff attended the inaugural Mass in East Anglia to mark the feast of Stella Maris, Our Lady Star of the Sea, and to pray for seafarers.
Bishop Alan with St Marian, David and Julian
During Mass, AoS East Anglia port chaplain Sr Marian Davey and two ship visitors – David Offord and Julian Wong – were commissioned and received crosses from the Bishop.
Bishop Alan said, “I know that you and the local priests also assist seafarers in their spiritual needs so that their faith is renewed and strengthened. I know that you try to build up for them a sense of community in which they feel loved and supported and to understand that they are more than just a cog in a machine.
"I know that you pray for them and offer Mass for them. They know and welcome the power and strength of your prayer and love.”
Bishop Alan prayed for and placed seafarers and AoS’ port chaplains and ship visitors under the protection of Mary, Star of the Sea.
In East Anglia, AoS’ ministry covers the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich, Ipswich and King's Lynn.
* You can see more photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/apostleshipofthesea/albums/72157673769299895