Ecumenical charity Liverpool Seafarers Centre arranged a special service to commemorate a vessel’s maiden voyage to Western Europe.
The Crosby-based charity recently named best seafarers centre in the world in the International Seafarer Welfare Awards, was asked to organise a blessing of the bridge and engine control room of the MV Atlantic Prism before it departed Liverpool.
The crew of the bulk carrier made the request after the centre went on board to offer support and friendship while the vessel was in dock.
Fr Dominic Curran, parish priest at Our Lady Star of the Sea RC Church in Seaforth celebrated mass on the ship and conducted the blessing.
Twenty-one members of the ship’s crew attended and were able to receive Holy Communion before setting sail.
Chief executive John Wilson joined the seafarers and said the opportunity for the crew to come together in worship had been gratefully received.
He said: “Seafarers are unable to attend church for long periods and, for many, their faith is hugely important to them. We visit ships and spend time with thousands of seafarers every year. We can organise church services and mass if the crew make a request.
“A recent study showed that seafarers were at a greater risk of developing mental health problems due to long periods spent away from home, long working hours and isolation. By offering emotional and pastoral support while the vessel is in port, Liverpool Seafarers Centre, through its outreach, is able to contribute to alleviating those feelings and improving the general wellbeing of the crew.
“We have heard from the captain of the ship since who told us the mass and blessing, whilst very special, was well-received by all onboard.”
Liverpool Seafarers Centre has a dedicated team of staff members and volunteers to visit vessels on a daily basis, offering a listening ear to those who wish to talk or to vent their frustration or anxiety.
Liverpool Seafarers Centre, a registered charity, is totally reliant upon donations to enable it to continue its valuable work. No state nor statutory funding is received. For more information or to donate online visit www.liverpoolseafarerscentre.org
Liverpool Seafarers Centre
* Liverpool Seafarers Centre’s roots date back to the 19th century and is a partnership between the Catholic Apostleship of the Sea (Liverpool) and the Anglican Mersey Mission to Seafarers.
* LSC is funded by donations from the churches, we well as general donations and a new port levy on shipping lines.
* LSC provides support to 50,000 seafarers passing through Liverpool each year and is headquartered at Colonsay House in Crosby and opened a new centre in Eastham on Wirral opened in 2017.
* LSC centres provide ‘a lifeline’ to seafarers, offering a safe and secure place to rest and also receive practical and emotional support.
* With 95 per cent of British imports and exports transported by sea the UK is dependent on seafarers.
* Corporate supporters of LSC include: Essar’s Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, Peel Ports, the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, the Mersey River Pilots, Mersey Maritime, the Voluntary Aid Club and The Phoebe Wortley Charitable Trust.