Christmas Appeal

Malaviya Seven crew spend Christmas with the congregation of St Joseph's Church

Make a seafarer feel at home this Christmas

Christmas is all about family, and seafarers will tell you that the hardest part of working on a ship is being away from their families particularly at Christmas.

When the crew of the Malaviya Seven found themselves stranded in Aberdeen at Christmas because their ship had been arrested due to non payment of wages, AoS port chaplain Doug Duncan decided to make their Christmas special.

“My first feeling was – what if I was in the same predicament as these guys? How would I have felt if I was far from my family? Christmas is about the importance of family. We see that in the way Joseph, Mary and Jesus are united with one another,” said Doug. So Doug took some of the crew to Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral. The parishioners at the Cathedral made them feel so welcome and included.

When some of the Catholic crew asked Doug if there was a Mass for the feast of St Francis Xavier, the patron Saint of Goa, he took them to St Joseph’s Church in Aberdeen. “Most of the congregation were Indian and they were appalled when they heard about the plight of the crew, so they put on a Christmas meal for them. They had a wonderful time! There was lots of food and dancing by the children. The guys were made to feel at home.” (picture above)

As a way of giving something back, four of the crew helped serve Christmas dinner to the homeless at St Mary’s Cathedral, explained Doug. “How they went about serving – officers serving the poor, the needy and the homeless, and making them feel wanted. It still brings a tear to my eye.”

One of the crew told Doug that the hospitality he and the other crew had received from Catholic parishioners had made them feel part of the local community.

Doug says, “The crew of the Malaviya Seven became part of my family and they also became part of the family of those in Aberdeen who were touched by their plight and wanted to make them part of the Christmas celebrations.”

Can you make a seafarer part of your Christmas celebration?


  • £15 could pay for a ship visit by our port chaplain.
  • £35 could take a crew to Mass.
  • £100 could help pay for Christian literature specifically for seafarers.

To make a donation click on the red box below.

Continue to make seafarers feel welcome.

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