Within AoS women are playing a key role in helping seafarers who arrive in ports in the UK. Speaking to mark International Women’s Day (March 8), National Director Martin Foley said, “People often think of working with seafarers as something only men do. But in recent years women have begun to play an important role with Apostleship of the Sea in helping seafarers with both their spiritual and practical needs.
“Our port chaplains in East Anglia, Plymouth and Hull are women. And we have a number of female volunteer ship visitors up and down the country. And they do fantastic work in helping seafarers, many of whom are from the developing world and only go to sea to support their families back home.”
Apostleship of the Sea port chaplains and ship visitors provide seafarers with a range of help, including Sim cards, religious literature, and transport to local shops and churches. They also visit seafarers in hospital and liaise with their families back home. As well as this, they often mediate in disputes over pay and conditions and support seafarers who have been attacked by pirates or whose ship has been arrested