11 July 2013
Pray for sailors on Sea Sunday
by Seb Turner
Over 90 per cent of all food and goods brought into the UK is transported by merchant seafarers and in order to serve us all in this inimitable way, the average time each spends away from his family is 270 days.
Around 81 per cent have no access to the internet while at sea, and even while in port, 52 per cent still have no email access. In 2012, 71 ships were sunk, run aground or had major collisions and in the same year, 10 ships were abandoned and the crews left to make their own way back to their home countries, and 1,051 lives were lost at sea.
However, the Sailors' Society is working to help these brave seafarers. It gives vital multi-faith support through its professionally-trained port chaplains who between them made 19,306 ship visits in 2012, and spent 234 hours visiting seafarers in hospital among a myriad of other important practical and spiritual works.
One of the things that Sailors' Society does is support Sea Sunday: an event that runs once a year on the second Sunday of July. It is supported by many other maritime missions. The day provides congregations with the opportunity to give thanks to God for the 1.3 million merchant seafarers of the world and to celebrate their work, reflect upon the difficult and often dangerous issues that they face daily, and to be reminded of the ministry that port chaplains provide every day, visiting ships as they arrive in port and attending to the practical and spiritual needs of the crews.
The Sailors' Society is putting more weight than ever behind this year's Sea Sunday on 14 July by providing a particularly exciting and comprehensive suite of worship resources for churches and congregations.
It includes a special prayer recording by Alan Titchmarsh, a new worship song with words and music composed by Graham Kendrick, a recorded interview with Adrian Plass and a Sea Sunday Sermon, among others things.
To receive your free worship resource pack go to http://www.sailors-society.org/events/sea-sunday-2013/ or call 023 8051 5950