Saturday, October 12, 2013


As a former sailor (amongst many other former things) I have a great regard and respect for those who go down to the sea and earn their crust by the sweat of the their brow on the salt of the sea. The below message 'dropped' into my inbox today. It is aimed at parishes, but no harm, I think, to give it a wider airing. May I commend it to your attention? And whether you are not in a position to offer financial support or not, please support both the Mission to Seafarers and seafarers themselves in your prayers.


St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin 2
11th October 2013

Dear Rector/Hon. Treasurer
I would greatly appreciate if you would invite the members of your select vestry to consider making a donation to the ongoing work of the Mission to Seafarers Ireland, which provides pastoral care to seafarers in ports throughout the Republic.
In the past year we have visited 700 ships in the port of Dublin, and received 2000 seafarers in The Flying Angel Centre, which represents an increase in spite of the recession.
I need hardly say that our presence in the ports is enormously appreciated by seafarers from all over the world. We assist them in practical ways, and above all by keeping them in touch with their families by providing affordable telephone facilities and free WiFi and internet services. Seafarers are like anyone else: they get sick, they suffer often very severe injuries, they endure danger in many forms, and they are all thinking about the families they have left behind. They are different, however, in one respect: when they are far from home, they have no family, friends or neighbours to help them through difficulties and loneliness.
Seafarers are hugely appreciative of the care and concern of the church as expressed by the Mission to Seafarers. A chaplain boarding a ship can be assured of a warm welcome, because he or she is the only person who is there purely and simply for them as individuals created in the image of God.
We understand that parishioners are experiencing all the pressures that the current financial climate has inflicted on our society, but when possible cheques in support of our witness as a church may be sent to the Hon. Treasurer, Mr James Bird, whose address appears at the foot of this letter.
Revd Brian O’Rourke
Hon. Secretary, Mission to Seafarers Ireland
Hon. Secretary: Revd Brian O’Rourke, 
The Parish Office for St Anne-Shandon, 3 Exchange St. Cork. 
021-4552605. E-mail:
Hon. Treasurer: Mr James Bird, 21 Coolamber Park, Knocklyon Road, Dublin 16. 
Tel. 01-4942049. E-mail:

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