Friday, November 13, 2020

Annual Christmas Homage to Seafarers Now Goes Online

A Strange Year for a Traditional Celebratory Carol Service
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – In this much changed world the annual carol service celebration, titled ' Festival of Light and Hope' organised by the Mission to Seafarers will this year be held as an online event.

The service, on Wednesday, 9th December 2020, will be a celebration with songs, hymns, and readings and is generously supported by the wonderful music of Lloyd’s Choir, with a selection of classic Christmas carols interspersed amongst the lessons and prayers.

The festive event will acknowledge the heroism of seafarers, many of whom are still far from home. The good news of course is that the virtual service will be available throughout December to give hope and Christmas cheer, and will be a time to reflect on the year, and the times ahead, for those around the world.

In a year which has been extremely challenging across the world, our international seafarer community has been badly affected, with extended contracts, severely limited shore leave and a lack of contact with loved ones, as well as a chronic lack of work for those stranded ashore. The Mission has dedicated its time to providing support around the world in a variety of circumstances, and is shining a light on the resiliency and hard work of seafarers around the world in a year like no other.

The service will commence with a message from The Mission’s Vice-Presidents, Esben Poulsson, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping and Chairman of Enesel Pte. Ltd, and Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President, Shell Shipping & Maritime, recognising the bravery of the world’s 1.5 million seafarers and the particular challenges they have faced this year. The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General for The Mission to Seafarers commented:

“This is a year of significant change and challenge for all seafarers around the world, whether ‘stranded at sea’ as a result of extended contracts, or suffering severe economic hardship through being unable to work. This virtual carol service will be in honour of all the hard working seafarers around the world who have been impacted by this crisis. We hope everyone around the world can enjoy this service and that it will bring hope to those around the world at a time when we need it most.”

The online event will be available to view from Wednesday 9th December until the end of 2020 via the Mission webpage or via the Mission Youtube channel here, and those wishing to support the work of The Mission to Seafarers can donate here.