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Summer Appeal 

Visiting the Imprisoned 

             
Visiting the imprisoned might not appear at first glance a corporal act of mercy AoS chaplains are called to carry out.

             Yet each year in ports around Britain ships are arrested, often leaving the crew virtual prisoners.  

             Earlier this year, AoS stepped in to support crew of the Southern Star, a container ship, which had been detained at Chatham in Kent by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and arrested by the UK Admiralty Court. 

             The ship was unseaworthy and in a poor state of repair and had been taken into Chatham after developing engine trouble. The Russian crew hadn’t been paid their wages for several months.

             While some had been repatriated, eight had remained on board, stranded in a foreign port. 

             AoS ship visitor Bob Bushnell provided the crew with practical and pastoral support, including buying essential provisions for them, as the ship’s supplies had reached low levels. 
 

Year of Mercy logo
             When seafarers are not paid their wages, it affects not just them but also their families back home. This can mean that they don’t have enough money for food, their rent, heating, or a child’s school fees.
       
             It was because of situations like this one in Chatham that, in 2014, AoS launched an emergency relief fund to provide small cash grants to seafarers or their families in less than 24-hours, taking the immediate pressure off stressful situations.
             
             AoS Kent port chaplain Deacon Paul Glock (photo below) said, “Despite their difficulties and anxieties the crew on the Southern Star were very modest. They’ve said that there are many other seafarers who are more deserving of help; which I find truly humbling given their circumstances.” 

Deacon Paul Glock AoS port chaplain in Kent and Medway