The Bishop of Nottingham, Rt Rev Patrick McKinney, celebrated Mass with seafarers and blessed their ship when he visited the Immingham port on Thursday 3 March.
Upon arrival at the port Bishop Patrick was welcomed by Apostleship of the Sea’s (AoS) Immingham port chaplains Fr Colum Kelly and Steve Willows.
Wearing a high-vis jacket and hard hat, he boarded the Red Orchid, a ship bringing biomass from Canada. It was the first time the Bishop had been on a cargo ship.
The ship was only three months old and on its maiden voyage, so the captain had requested for an AoS chaplain to go onboard to bless the vessel and celebrate Mass for the crew.
Fr Colum said, “There was great excitement when it was announced that not only would the chaplain visit, but he would be accompanied by a Bishop who offered to bless the ship and concelebrate Mass.”
During his visit Bishop Patrick got to see and share in first-hand the work of AoS.
Before Mass he chatted with the crew about the deprivations of life at sea, absence from family, hard work in often dangerous conditions and absence of a sacramental life.
In his homily, Bishop Patrick spoke about Jesus being asleep when the disciples were terrified in the midst of a storm at sea.
He spoke of our faith in a Lord who is never fully asleep but ever aware of the storms that surround His people.
“True faith is being able to recognise the presence of God in times of turmoil as well as in the happy times,” Bishop Patrick said.
After Mass the Bishop joined the crew for lunch and as he left was warmly thanked by the very grateful crew.