I am keen to build on the links between this church and local places of extreme need. Last week, in my capacity of chairing Missions to Seafarers in Rotterdam, Dennis, the Port Chaplain, took me on board several ships to meet the various crews. Dennis had with him an impressive collection of sim cards so that the Seafarers could contact their families. In the crew mess on one ship, the men, who are on 9-month contracts, leant across the table over coffee and discussed how they were longing to be able to get off the boat and see a bit of the country. Covid has meant that for over two years this has been very difficult. A sailor from the Philippines, called Christian, said how he was ‘longing to refresh his mind’.
In the gangway on one of the oil tankers, we met the chief engineer, who was Russian. He gave us a very challenging greeting. Dennis, with Dutch directness, asked ‘how is this war affecting you and your family?’. After the man had stopped swearing (which took a little while), all his troubles poured out. It turned out he was half Ukrainian and was being personally torn in two by the conflict. At the end of the conversation, he looked as if he had got a lot of his chest and gave Dennis a look of profound and wry thanks.
I am keen to recruit some volunteers for this work. If it interests you (and not everyone will enjoy this sort of ministry), we will have an open day on September 24th. Let me know if you would like to come.
Due to holidays, we are a little thin on the ground so midweek services – Wednesday communions and Morning prayer on Zoom – will not take place in August. They will recommence in September.
I wish you a lovely and slightly cooler week!
Bekijk op Facebook