BARCELONA 21st January (in the week of prayer) Stella Maris Barcelona hosted a traditional ecumenical celebration. Deacon Ricardo Rodriguez-Martos for the AoS was joined by other local Christian communities; Russian Orthodox Anglican St.George, German Evangelical. Fr Ricardo said that with the AoS.. “we make a small contribution in this way to Christian Unity”
During the ‘week of prayer’ ICMA shared also in the world wide prayer cycle which was prepared by the Christian Churches in Latvia for 2016 . At the ICMA UK & Ireland regional meeting hosted at the Fishermen’s Mission HQ the following prayer was shared on the theme of the week :
Dear friends in Christ, ICMA is ecumenical in formation and practice; we gather together in this service of prayer for unity, to thank God for the dignity of our Christian vocation, described in the words of St. Peter: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”. We pray this year with the Christians of Latvia, who have prepared this service in the hope that we may grow in our communion with our Lord Jesus Christ and with all our brothers and sisters. AMEN
The New Year puts new technology into the hands of chaplains and ship visitors amongst ICMA member organisations world wide. January saw several users across the world begin to trial the new facility.
Representatives of Sailors’ Society, Mission to Seafarers met with ICMA General Secretary Richard Kilgour in London to endorse the new arrangement.
The ‘Ship Visitor’ app will enable 28 chaplaincy organisations to deliver more effective care and support to the world’s 1.5 million seafarers. Sailors’ Society has licensed a version of its Chapplaincy smartphone technology to ICMA, enabling all 28 members to share the digital platform transforming port to port welfare.
The ‘Ship Visitor’ app will enable maritime chaplaincy organisations across the world to deliver improved services to seafarers and to better measure the impact of their work. Revd. Richard Kilgour, General Secretary of ICMA, said: “ICMA is mindful of the immense importance of this development, which strengthens our international collaborative relationships as seafarer societies. Brought about by Sailors’ Society, this initiative will empower those in front line ministry to bring immense benefit for the well-being of seafarers and is warmly welcomed by our 28 member organisations operating seafarer ministry in ports worldwide.”
Developed with the support of MarineTraffic, the ‘Ship Visitor’ app enables real-time activity reporting and maintains a history of ship visits and support provided to seafarers. Data can then be accessed by chaplains in other ports and, subject to confidentiality and data protection policies, can be used to provide ongoing care and assistance as ship and crew continue their voyage.
Sandra Welch, Sailors’ Society director of programme, said: “We’re really pleased to share this unique platform with our fellow welfare organisations and look forward to seeing the positive impact this collaboration will have on the seafarers we all care for. Our chaplains and ship visitors are better able to quickly respond to a seafarer’s need and, with better communication and data, we hope to faster identify welfare issues.”
The ’Ship Visitor’ app is enabled by access to global ship tracking data from MarineTraffic, which helps chaplains see which vessels are in port and those due to arrive. The result is more effective use of time and improved coordination with other welfare organisations.
Demitris Memos, managing director at MarineTraffic: “We are very happy that the app has proved its usefulness in such a short space of time and that the technology is being licensed to ICMA. We will continue to develop our systems and expand our global Automatic Identification System (AIS) network to provide top quality data to the app and look forward to hearing more about the benefits it brings to seafarers.”
In addition to producing the ‘Ship Visitor’ app, Sailors’ Society is currently developing a version for seafarers, planned for release in Spring 2016, which will enable seafarers to make contact in advance of arrival at port in order to access welfare services.
Consider the impact of such a small thing as a neatly wrapped and lovingly presented gift for a seafarer at Christmas. ICMA recognises it’s membership as the network of those who ‘give’ in this way.
The work of seafarer ministry continues throughout the year. Like many of the seafarers who work on ships away from home and family, along with the fishers who go out in all weathers and all seasons to provide what we want and need; the chaplains and ship visitors in ports throughout the world meet the seafarer where they arrive in ports. At Christmas that opportunity to meet more often includes a small gift; a simple single thing, a simple single wrapped present for each seafarer on board.
ICMA celebrates the immense scale and value of the ministry represented in our collaborative work rooted in the core founding principles of our work going back to the foundation of ICMA in 1969 for actively pursuing together:
1. Common concerns
2. A collective voice, and
3. Collaborative working
These 3 c’sof ICMA – the common concerns, collective voice, and collaboration are the hallmarks of our work and shape our agenda as ICMA to the present day, and determine our agenda for the future.
In 2015 we have operated those principles as an association:
Establishing the new General Secretary
Developing better communications for the Executive Committee to meet with online video conferencing
Amending and improving the ICMA Constitution, appointing a new accountant for the charity
Continuing our delegations to the IMO and ILO
Joining with the ITF Seafarers Trust to develop the Vehicle Replacement Survey 2015
Working on our ICMA regional contacts and structures with meetings of the UK and Ireland and Brazil Regions of ICMA with new regional coordinators
Publication of the work by Fr Bruno Ciceri and others on the plight of fishers and matters of justice for the fishing communities in ‘Fishers and Plunderers’
ICMA welcomes the continuing success of The German Seamen’s Mission in Seafarer Welfare for Crews in the Cruise Industry. ICMA General Secretary; Rev Richard Kilgour comments – ‘the fast expanding cruise industry sector means that the welfare needs of seafarers from ‘cruise ships’ require special attention. This work in Hamburg shows what is possible when mission societies, shipowners, welfare organisations, volunteers and others collaborate together in this way for seafarer ‘shore based welfare provision’.
The German Seaman’s Mission reports at their website: that the Seafarer’s Lounge for the Hamburg Steinwerder Cruise Terminal was opened on Friday 18th September. The ‘lounge’ provides access to phone or Skype communications for seafarers to contact families. A store with sweets and toiletries is also available. Personal counselling support is another aspect of the service for seafarers.
Jürgen Bollmann the President of the German Seamen’s Mission, and former Provost of Hamburg said ‘the Seafarer’s Lounge offers the sailors a “temporary home”.
In 2014; 189 cruise ships with 600,000 passengers visited Hamburg. With ‘HafenCity’ and Altona , the Steinwerder is the third lounge to be established in Hamburg. In the same year altogether at HafenCity and Altona 15,000 crewmembers used the lounges.
These new developments meet a real need for seafarers today; who have limited time to come ashore, or to get out of the harbour. This work is funded by voluntary donations from ship owners, and organised by the German Seaman’s Mission. Volunteer support is also provided through the Federal Voluntary Service
Die Seafarer’s Lounge biete den Seeleuten “eine Heimat auf Zeit”, sagte der Präsident der Deutschen Seemannsmission, der ehemaligen Hamburg Propst Jürgen Bollmann. Nach der Hafencity und Altona ist die Lounge in Steinwerder die dritte in Hamburg.
Die neue Seafarer’s Lounge befindet sich direkt im neuen Terminal Steinwerder inmitten des ehemaligen Freihafens. Hintergrund für die Einrichtung ist, dass die Seeleute heute kaum noch Zeit haben, aus dem Hamburg Hafen herauszukommen. 189 Kreuzfahrtschiffe mit rund 600.000 Passagieren kamen 2014 nach Hamburg.
Träger der Lounge ist die Seemannsmission Hamburg-Harburg, die auch den Seemannsclub “Duckdalben” unterhält. Zwei feste Kräfte und zwei Bufdis (Bundesfreiwilligendienst) arbeiten hier gemeinsam mit einer Gruppe von Ehrenamtlichen. Die Finanzierung erfolgt über die freiwillige Schiffsabgabe der Reeder. 2014 wurden in den bereits bestehenden Lounges in der Hafencity und in Altona rund 15.000 Crewmitglieder betreut.
As the General Secretary opened the proceedings of the recent ICMA Executive Committee meeting in August we committed our work together at Montreal in prayer : “. . . .let us pray for our time in this meeting and for all the preparations for our Montreal gathering, for the spirit of adventure, discovery and for safe passage and arrival, for success in all we do in the name of International Christian Maritime Association, and especially for the work of those who serve in ports to meet seafarers, and for all at sea in ships in all kinds of conditions, for their wellbeing, their safety, and their families. In Christ’s name. AMEN
Dr Jason Zuidema Executive Director of NAMMA reports that a hundred people have registered so far for the event, and ICMA will be welcoming some 12 of their 28 member organizations to be represented at the ICMA Annual Meeting Thursday October 1st at 15:00 hrs. at the Conference Venue ; Hotel Zero 1, 1 René-Lévesque Est (East) Montreal, Quebec, H2X 3Z5
ICMA members’ representation 2015:
– Apostleship of the Sea
– Christian Seamen’s Organisation
– Deutsche Seemannsmission
– Mission to Seafarers
– Nederlandse Zeemanscentrale
– Seemannsmission der Nordkirche
– PCT Seamen’s/Fishermen’s Service Center Taiwan
– Sailors’ Society
– Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey
– Stichting Pastoraat Werkers Overzee
– Suomen Merimieskirkko
The meeting will bring many partners in seafarers welfare together with us to share the programme for the week. Significant topics of concern are discussed and our networks are reinforced for the wellbeing of seafarers worldwide. Our partners and contributors here include Seafarers UK, Merchant Navy Welfare Board, ISWAN, ITF Seafarers’ Trust, ITF/SIU, Lutheran Advocates for Maritime Mission, Port Ministries International, AOS-USA and more.
NOTE TO ICMA MEMBERS AND REPRESENTATIVES : Papers and Agenda/Reports for the Annual General Meeting have been emailed already to organizations. This year we are offering for those unable to travel to Montreal to join us on Thursday 1st October by video-conference link. If an organization can provide representation and want link information; then members are asked to email the General Secretary email@example.com in advance and we can send details as soon as they are available.
ICMA welcomes the continuing commitment of all concerned in organising for the humanitarian response to the impact of piracy around the oceans of the world. From August 4th. in the UK – the boards of the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) are pleased to announce the moving of the activities of the MPHRP into ISWAN. A transfer agreement was signed by both parties on 3 August 2015. ISWAN will now be responsible for all the activities of the highly respected MPHRP.
In the PRESS RELEASE this week Roger Harris of ISWAN said ‘The move to ISWAN will enable the programme to develop under the auspices of a well-established international seafarers’ welfare organisation that is registered as a charity’.
ISWAN told us this week that ‘the programme will continue to support the seafarers and their families who are affected by piracy. While piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia have significantly decreased, attacks are on the increase in South East Asia and continuing in the Gulf of Guinea. The MPHRP programme will concentrate on these areas while still supporting seafarers who were held for years in Somalia. The programme will seek to develop constructive and positive relationships with existing and new industry partners.’
ISWAN has already appointed a new programme manager, Mr Tom Holmer, to lead the MPHRP in this new phase of its development. The programme in South Asia will continue while an immediate priority will be to secure funding to continue the programme in South East Asia and Eastern Europe.
Richard Kilgour: ICMA General Secretary said‘the need for the humanitarian response to piracy is as vital as ever. We welcome this development in securing a base for MPHRP to continue to build upon this important work’.
Survey starts today from ICMA and NAMMA with email call for help to centers worldwide. The ITF Seafarers’ Trust – which often pays for vehicles for seafarers’ welfare bodies and missions – has announced it will be surveying vehicle use and effectiveness so as to use its grants as effectively as possible. The Trust will be partnering in the program between now and mid-September with ICMA, and through the contact network of The North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA).
The Rev. Richard Kilgour, General Secretary of ICMA, said that ‘we support the gathering of information in this way for planning years ahead to target funds to best effect for vehicle replacement. That ICMA has been asked to help with data gathering is another example of how we are partners in this work.” The Seafarers Trust has provided over GPB 2.5 Mil for this purpose over the last 34 years. This survey program will provide up to date information that will help make grant-giving in the future more fair and equitable to the service providers.
Dr. Jason Zuidema, Executive Director of NAMMA, called attention to this project’s importance: “Those seeking excellence in seafarers’ welfare know that partnerships are important. Collaborating on this project is not just practical, but it again celebrates the beautiful connection that members in local ports have with the Seafarers’ Trust.”
Recently the ecumenical chaplain group in the Port of Antwerp met with Heike Proske, General Secretary of the Deutsche Seemannsmission. A great time of sharing and encouragement!
From left: Oole Posselt (Welfare Work – Harbor Hotel Antwerp), Jos Vanhof (AoS), Dorothèe Kubiziel (volunteer DSM), Marc Schippers (Sailors Soc), Jörg Pfautsch (DSM), Heike Proske (DSM), Gérard Favre (volunteer AoS), Paul Wilms (volunteer DSM).
Missing from the photo (taken 23 June 2015): Jorgedi Bago (AoS, is taking the photo), Brian Milsson (MtS), Ulf Radziejewski (Swedish Seamenschurch), Jesper Ek (Swedish Seamen`s Service).
Good to see the ICMA network in action!