The Reverend Andrew Wright has called for vigilance:Â we should look out for seafarers and fishers.
Sketching the current context of the seafaring life, Wright said:
Make no mistake, for those whose business is on the great waters the wild seas remain untamed…
Our seafarers and fishermen, once so high in the public esteem and imagination are now largely forgotten…
We are reminded that it is the responsibility of us all to keep watch, to bear witness to the truths of the seafaring life and to encourage others to do the same.
The Reverend Wright was preaching at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.Â The United Kingdom’s maritime fraternity gathers annually at St Paul’s for the National ServiceÂ for Seafarers.Â The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne, attended.Â Wright, chaplain of ICMA member the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishers, was invited to preach to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the Mission.
Reverend Wright referred to Jesus in Gethsemane who called upon his disciples to be vigilant by keeping watch with him.
…Vigilance on… [the disciples'] behalf, of course, because they themselves needed to be prepared for the difficult hours ahead but vigilant surely too in looking out for one another. For me this story is redolent with that imperative to keep watch with our fellow human beings, looking out for them, most especially in those darkest and most difficult hours. In the midst of his anxiety, anguish and loneliness the simple plea of Jesus is â€śWatch with meâ€ť.
Our seafarers and fishermen, once so high in the public esteem and imagination are now largely forgotten.Â Â Even those detained for long periods through piracy rarely make it to the news…, fishing tragedies go largely unreported. Seafaring and fishing remain very dangerous and exposed occupations. They bring long, long periods of absence from family. Welfare issues can too often be hidden by inaccessibility and the vastness of the seas.Â … [P]iracy…brings real fear â€“ and who would have thought we could be saying that in 2011!
He reminded all present that it is the responsibility of all to keep watch, to bear witness to the truths of the seafaring life and to encourage others to do the same. But even if we should fail, he concluded, God does not.
Jesus may have been abandoned in that garden by his friends at the moment he needed them most. But he was still able to pray, reaching out in the darkness to the one he called â€śFatherâ€ť, the one he longed for others also to recognise as â€śFatherâ€ť. His faith in the never failing presence of the one who watches over the world with love never wavered.
For the full text of the sermon CLICK HERE
To see the website of the RNMDSF CLICK HERE