Seamen's Christian Friend Societies Trustees Mr Thompson and Mr McAvoy meeting today to mark the occasion of 'Merchant Navy Day'. The 3rd September is a day set aside to acknowledge and remember the enormous sacrifices made by the merchant navy in service to our nations.
The date of the 3rd September refers back to 1939 when the SS Athenia became the first major British maritime casualty of the war however sacrifices have been made from the beginning of travel and global trade many years before. The crews of merchant vessels have been serving us through storms, wars, pestilence and pandemics throughout history. They have always been at the forefront, daily serving us by bringing us raw materials and the consumer goods our business and commercial industries demand.
Crews battle through storms; risk piracy and all that mother nature throws at a vessel in the great oceans of the world. They are away and out of contact with friends, family and loved ones for an average of 9 months at a time. They sacrifice the joys and experiences of being an active parent, husband or wife. They miss out on those cherished moments we all enjoy Births, birthdays, marriage celebrations and festivals. They are not present to support their families and loved ones through sickness, deaths, in mourning and through the difficult times where we rely on those around us for comfort and support. They miss the fellowship, growth and service found in their local churches and communities.
We salute seafarers for your brave and selfless service to our nations.
God bless and protect you and your families.
Please pray for all those at sea.
Psalm 107 v23
They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
S Thompson Chairman