Peter Barrigan, a parishioner at Our Lady of the Rosary parish, Peterlee joined the AoS NE Ship Visiting team in 2004 working in the port of Sunderland. He took to the work and was generous with his time and commitment, and with the support of AoS he completed the Ecumenical Chaplaincy Course at Ushaw College in 2005. At this time, AoS was also offering opportunities for those interested to attend Evangelisation Courses at Maryvale Institute and Peter took advantage of this and was subsequently awarded with a Diploma.
It was following this further training and formation, and using what he had learnt to support seafarers, that Peter's thoughts turned to a more substantial input and commitment to his faith. He therefore sought guidance and ultimately embarked upon training for the Diaconate, supported the whole way by his family and parish priest Fr Frank McCullagh.
Peter was ordained a permanent Deacon, by Bishop Seamus Cunningham at St Joseph's Church, Gateshead on Saturday 7th July, and fittingly preached his first homily at his own parish, the following day, Sea Sunday. Naturally he spoke about the work of AoS and was able to share his own experiences of working with seafarers.