Three students at St Polycarp’s School in Farnham, Surrey were recently presented with prizes for the best letters written to seafarers as part of Sea Sunday 2015.
Apostleship of the Sea had asked the school to participate in their annual fundraising day last July by writing letters with poems, drawings and prayers for seafarers.
The school responded enthusiastically, with all students submitting a wide range of colourful compositions.
About 30 of the best were displayed around the walls of St Joan of Arc Catholic church on Sea Sunday, resulting in the largest ever collection for the charity from the Parish.
Head teacher Mrs Ann Gunn said, “The school always enjoys being part of the Parish celebrations, and the children were delighted that they were able to make such a valuable contribution.”
The prizes were presented by parish coordinator for Apostleship of the Sea Alastair Emblem, who also works part time in the charity’s fundraising department.
“The prizes are just a small way of saying thank you to the school, and the competition is a way of encouraging the young people to think about the importance of caring for the seafarers whose work is so demanding yet unappreciated. The majority of seafarers are from places like the Philippines, and are away from home nine months at a time working in sometimes terrible conditions to bring us 95% of all the goods we consume and use in this country.”
The wording of the drawing by one of the winners, Martha (see image at the end) says; “Dear Sailors, I hope you are safe at sea. When you miss your family think that you will see them again soon." And the prayer says, "Dear God please can you look after all the sailors who are away from their family and can you please look after the sailors family too. Please can you give them strength. Amen"
Alastair Emblem with prize winners Martha, Ana and Wilf and Mrs Ann Gunn.
The drawing and prayer by Martha.