Monday, November 19, 2018

Annual Christmas Carol Service Honours Devotion to Seafarers

Shipping Minister to Read at London Ceremony
Shipping News Feature
UK – You know Christmas Is looming up fast when each year the international seafarer welfare charity, The Mission to Seafarers publicises its popular annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. UK shipping minister Nusrat Ghani MP has been confirmed as a reader at this year's event joining a number of other well-known figures from across the industry, including Dr Grahaeme Henderson, VP Shipping & Maritime at Shell and President of the UK Chamber of Shipping from 2016-18, and His Excellency Daniel Fábrega, Ambassador of Panama to the United Kingdom.

A highlight of the Christmas season for the entire shipping industry, this year’s carol service will take place on 4 December at the Church of St Michael Paternoster Royal in London, incidentally the last resting place of Lord Mayor of London Dick Whittington, with the support of Gold sponsor Shell, Silver sponsors Ince & Co and Wärtsilä, and Bronze sponsor Fred Olsen Cruises.

The service regularly attracts leading names in the maritime sector, as well as friends and family of the Mission, who come together to celebrate the hard work, dedication and resilience of seafarers around the world at what can be a particularly difficult time of year. The evening will feature Christmas carols, readings and music from the renowned Lloyd’s Choir. Following the service, guests are invited to a festive drinks reception for a glass of Christmas cheer at the Worshipful Company of Skinners' Headquarters at Skinners' Hall.

The service will also recognise the devotion of Mission staff and volunteers in helping hundreds of thousands of seafarers around the world. Last year the Mission conducted around 65,000 ship visits, encountering around 325,000 men and women and offering support where it was needed. In addition, the Mission welcomed 580,000 seafarers to one of its 121 seafarers’ centres and carried out 895 justice, welfare and medical cases.

“Every year two billion people around the world celebrate Christmas with family, food, decorations and gifts. However, the vast majority of them know little about the heroic efforts of the 1.5 million seafarers who make Christmas possible for all of us, as well as the many seafarers who will spend Christmas serving at sea, away from their own families.

“The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is about honouring these truly remarkable people and standing together in solidarity, showing them that we’re listening and that we care. The Mission to Seafarers provides direct unconditional support to these men and women, 365 days a year, including on Christmas Day. We provide everything from food and water when they’ve been abandoned with nothing, to legal support, mental health counselling, or just a friendly chat.

“By attending, guests support us in our aim to keep making life better for the world’s 1.5 million seafarers and make Christmas a better time for every family.”

The Church of St Michael Paternoster Royal has limited capacity, so admission to the event is ticket only and must be purchased online in advance. Tickets cost £30 per person and all proceeds will support the Mission to Seafarers’ work with seafarers and their families across the globe. Early booking is advised to avoid disappointment. Bookings can be made here.

Those unable to attend but still wishing to support the work of the Mission to Seafarers can donate online here.