Tens of thousands of seafarers visit British ports each year, making brief stops – perhaps of only a few hours – after days or weeks at sea. These ‘people of the sea’ (St John Paul II) remain almost invisible to the rest of the community, even in towns and cities whose own prosperity relies greatly on the shipping industry.
The Apostleship of the Sea, continuing a tradition that goes back to the Early Church, offers vital forms of aid and assistance to all seafarers, regardless of religion or nationality. This ‘simple response to immediate needs and specific situations’ which is chief among ‘the essential elements of Christian and ecclesial charity’ (Benedict XVI) takes a variety of forms.
In this fifth Centre research report, based on extensive fieldwork at ports across England and Wales, we explore the hard and ‘hidden’ lives of seafarers, and the vital work undertaken by AoS in supporting them.
Download the report