Category Archives: Ministry

CONTINUITY OF CARE emerges as a major theme.

The 2015 Annual General Meeting of ICMA and Executive Committee (pictured together above) were welcomed at Montreal this last week. Members of ICMA from many parts of the world joined us this year as The North American Maritime Ministry Association were meeting also. The programme of this years’ NAMMA Conference 2015 emphasised many aspects of the real need for continuity in delivery of care to seafarers and their families. Richard Kilgour General Secretary of ICMA commented that “a ‘highlight’ of the 3 day program was the presentation by Marissa Oca of the work being done with the families of seafarers in the Philippines. That work with a reading program (known as ‘Read Aloud’) for children shows how much can be done to reinforce the bonds between parent and child (at home and those away at sea) using a special reading program”. That program has developed from the ‘Gig and the Amazing Sampaguita Foundation, Inc.’ with its vision to help promote well-bonded relationships among and within seafarer and OFW families (Overseas Filipino Workers) through reading habits.  Other aspects of care were highlighted including stories shared by chaplains working in North America.  During the conference the funding agencies and major sponsors; The Seafarers Trust, TK Foundation and Seafarers’ UK shared the input on programs and support for seafarer welfare.

Richard Kilgour. Oct. 4th Montreal

New Lounge for Cruise Ship Crews : Hamburg Steinwerder: Neue Lounge für die Kreuzfahrer-Crew

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

Am Hamburger Kreuzfahrtterminal Steinwerder ist am Freitag(9.18.15) die Seafarer’s Lounge eröffnet worden. Hier können die Seeleute der Kreuzfahrtschiffe über Handy oder Skype Kontakt mit ihren Familien aufnehmen. Dazu werden Süßigkeiten und Hygieneartikel angeboten. Darüber hinaus stehen Seelsorger für persönliche Gespräche bereit.

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.

Quelle (auch Foto):

Source (including photo):

This report is shared from ICMA member The German Seamen’s Mission – Deutsche Seemannsmission.

QVSR appoints new chaplain

ICMA member the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest (QVSR) has announced the appointment of their new chaplain.  

Regional co-ordinator Alex Campbell
QVSR CEO and ICMA Regional co-ordinator Alex Campbell

QVSR CEO, Alexander Campbell, said in a statement to the ICMA Secretariat:

qvsrThe Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest is delighted to announce that Reverend Hennie La Grange has accepted the appointment of QVSR Chaplain.  

This post will greatly enhance the spiritual life at QVSR and will give both residents and staff the opportunity to explore their faith.

QVSR is the Seaman’s Mission of the Methodist Church (and a founder member of ICMA) and is celebrating its 170th year serving seafarers.

Alexander says ‘ we are delighted that Hennie has agreed to join the QVSR team, his experience and knowledge will be of great benefit to QVSR as we seek to help and support seafarers and others in need’.

The Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest is situated in the old Docklands area of East London, United Kingdom.  It is the only surviving seafarers’ mission in Docklands.  It is surrounded by the properties once used by other ICMA members to serve seafarers visiting London’s port in the time before the Docklands quays were abandoned and later redeveloped as a skyscraper city.  The QVSR continues to provide accommodation for retired seafarers, and keeps up its ship visiting commitment (at Tilbury Dock and Thames Gateway) by employing, in partnership with the Deutsche Seemannsmission, Deacon Jörn Hille as port chaplain.

ICMA values the significant contributions of its smaller members to the wellbeing of seafarers.  These smaller members tend to punch way above their weight.  Alexander Campbell is the ICMA regional coordinator for UK and Ireland.  To our smaller members, ICMA is the instrument that enables them to participate on a global scale in the improvement of seafarers’ lives.  Together, the members of ICMA can do more.

AOS speaks out on treatment of stranded fishermen

Maritime charity, the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), has spoken out on the way seafarers and fishermen are treated when they run into problems with their UK visas.  These seafarers are never without the support of ICMA member, AoS Great Britain. 

AOS ChaplainRecently four foreign fishermen, two Filipino and two Indonesian, were stranded in Newcastle, UK , when the fishing boat they were working on hit financial difficulties. The ‘Starward’ was impounded due to the owner’s financial troubles.

The crew had not been paid salaries since March. This meant that they were not able to send money back home to their families in Indonesia and the Philippines, with one crew member relating how his children were going hungry. As the crew were only contracted to work on this particular vessel they were not able to transfer to another. Also, as they were working on transit visas, the UK Border Agency had them arrested in mid-June and they were taken to a detention centre.  They were subsequently transferred to a Heathrow detention centre where some of them remain.

Throughout this ordeal the crew have been helped and supported by the Apostleship of the Sea’s Tyne port chaplain, Paul Atkinson. Paul has provided practical and emotional support, working with the AoS national office to try to alleviate the men’s stress and ensure they are fairly treated.

Apostleship of the Sea National Director Martin Foley said,

‘The application of immigration rules to these men has taken no consideration of their circumstances. It is appalling that overseas fishing crews who are stranded in the UK through no fault of their own are treated like criminals and subjected to treatment that has demeaned and humiliated them.”

Fishers struggle to make ends meet

Pastor Dirk Demaeght, who works with fishers in Belgium, alerts us of the plight of fisher families in these times of economic downturn.

Dirk Demaeght LogoWe must realize that, today, from a pastoral point of view, our fishery is bleeding! There are 7 vessels on the side because of financial difficulties. In some families the mountain of unpaid invoices is impossible to meet. The fuel prices continue to rise and fish prices fall because of a slowdown in the  European fish market. In addition, the measures that the European Union has taken on discards make life even more difficult.

Fishers are stressed and discouraged.  

Many young fishermen are leaving the industry. At the age of 35-40 years they wrestle with the question whether they still have a future to build in the fishing industry.  To remain in fisheries, increases the possibility that they, at some point, will no longer be able to cope physically with the hard work.  But on the other hand it is difficult for them to change careers knowing that they do not have skills valuable to the labour market.     

We must pray that they continue to believe in their future as fishermen.


Correspondence courses for seafarers

The Seamen’s Christian Friend Society, ICMA’s newest member, has offered its correspondence Bible studies to other members of the Association.

Martin Otto, author and port chaplain in the Port of Hamburg, Germany, wrote:

SCFS logoAs new members of ICMA, we would like to find a way of making a positive contribution to our fellow members, over and above our cooperation at local level.  [The] Bible correspondence courses [were] written by ourselves but we would be happy to make them available for other ICMA members to use free of charge and without the need for any copyright payments. These courses are not necessarily suitable for all seafarers, but they have been written in simple language with seafarers in mind. One attraction of these courses is that the seafarer is able to read them in the privacy of his own cabin without any pressure or undue influence from anyone else.  We find that seafarers of many nationalities welcome the opportunity to investigate the Christian faith in this way and thousands of seafarers have completed this course in recent years.

The Bridge

“The Bridge” contains a basic outline of the Christian gospel.  The student is provided with an answer sheet that can be sent to the distributing chaplain for marking. Some ICMA members might like to mark the answer sheets themselves – but SCFS is more than happy to see to this on their behalf if preferred. The Bridge is available in 24 languages. SCFS is able to supply ICMA members with a CD containing all these languages so that the courses may be printed off locally, as and when they are required for distribution.

Grace for the Weak

Grace for the Weak, another of the correspondence courses that SCFS are willing to share with ICMA members,  is very useful for ship-based study in groups or in ship-based churches.

If any ICMA member would like to discuss the use of these courses they are welcome to contact Volker Lamaack in Hamburg, at


Faces of the Sea

DOSF-logos #425 June 2013.  Day of the Seafarer.

Tributes to seafarers are being received from shipping companies, unions, international fora like the IMO and ILO, in fact from almost all who understand the invaluable role of seafarers in all our lives.

The 28 members of the International Christian Maritime Association, our seafarers’ centres and chaplains, committees, volunteers  and staff and the faith communities whom we represent, all of us applaud seafarers on this day.

We pray that you are safe.

We pray that your family life is happy.

We pray for your company, that your job is secure.

We pray that you will enjoy the fellowship of your faith family in every port.

We pray that you will experience fulfilment.

May you experience how close God is to you.


The members of ICMA are dedicated to your wellbeing.  Call on us if you need support or assistance.  We are there, in most ports of the world, to help you, or simply to be your friend.

The Liverpool seafarers’ Centre has sent us their contribution of seafarers’ faces in celebration of The Day of the Seafarer.  Faces of the Sea 2013 Liverpool


Moving forward, strengthening ICMA

The General Secretary of the International Christian Maritime Association has come to the end of his term in the role.  Reverend Hennie la Grange will leave ICMA at the end of July 2013 after being in post since July 1st 2007.  He will leave the office on July 15th. Hennie wrote:

Hennie Rome1The Strategic Review is moving ICMA forward in leaps and bounds.  The Association has now arrived on the eve of a new era that promises to strengthen ICMA by transforming the secretariat and promoting the work of its members.  These challenges call for new skills and fresh commitment. The last decade’s implementation of the GRUBB Report, ICMA’s previous review, and the ever changing environment of our ministries have led ICMA to branch out and break new ground.

I am gratified by the time I spent with ICMA.  Moving across continents to take up this role has been worth every sacrifice. 

I have been blessed with a world of new friends and family in faith. I have met remarkable people. I have discovered treasures in Christ’s church that I had never imagined.  I have seen growing unity.  Together we have celebrated difference. We have shared moments of great achievement while battling the complexities of life and work. We have seen excellence and failure, and together we have overcome. We have experienced firsthand the love of Our Father at work in this unique ecumenical community. Of course ecumenical communities need nurturing, and tolerance remains key.  God’s Spirit, I pray, will help you to guard over this precious chunk of his kingdom.  

I have the utmost respect for port chaplains who serve God and care passionately for his people of the sea. I thank God for you. Your labours, performed against impossible odds, are an inspiration.  May God bless you with fulfilment, as that is the reward, I know, you desire most.

I hope that I have been able to contribute, just a little, to Christian unity, to the dignity of port chaplains and to the wellbeing of seafarers, fishers and their families.

I hope that I may have instilled in the industry and among our partners in the welfare sector, a sense of faith’s value in inspiring selfless commitment to care. 

I hope that ICMA, its members and its chaplains, are a little more valued as a resource that can be relied upon even to swim that extra mile, when walking on the water is not an option.     

Thank you all for having me!  Thank you for your friendship and hospitality. I have not always been able to deliver what was expected or required, but you loved me all the same, as Christians do.

May God bless you all.

Hennie la Grange


At Anchor in Port Manatee

Seafarers in Port Manatee on the Gulf of Mexico can be assured of finding a friend in Anchor House.

Anchor HouseCelebrating its 20th anniversary of fellowship to seafarers at Port Manatee, USA, Anchor House is an integral part of the independent ecumenical Christian ministry to seafarers, affiliated to ICMA’s member in North America, NAMMA.

The Bradenton Herald reported that Chaplain and Director Tim Huppert and Chaplain and Manager Trish Alligood board ships with an outstretched hand even when they can’t speak the language of the crews to offer support, reading materials, worship and a listening ear to whoever’s on board.

More than 5,000 international seafarers visit the port annually. Those seafarers able to come ashore, come to the small building that houses the mission for free computer use, telephone access and other kinds of communication, as well as food and other personal necessities.

Port workers and various volunteers stop by Anchor House to help out or participate in programs or Bible study. Anchor House has Bibles in 30 different languages to offer seafarers.

A local port worker who regularly eats his lunch there, said it’s the environment the chaplains create that takes him back there again and again.

“You walk in here and its spiritual. These two touch us. They give everything, their whole heart and all, for everybody. It’s good to be here,” Stanfield said.

Click here to read the whole article authored by Dee Graham


Albert Dacanay retires from seafarers ministry

Doreen M. Badeaux, AOS-USA Secretary General has paid a moving tribute to Deacon Albert Dacanay, Canada-based Regional Coordinator of Apostleship of the Sea for North America and the Caribbean. Albert will soon be leaving the AOS Ministry for other duties in his Diocese.

Deacon Albert Dacanay and his wife Delia, his kids, his in-laws, the entire family in fact, have been a part of his ministry to Seafarers for many years now.

Doreen wrote:

I met Deacon Albert around 1995 or 1996 at a North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA) Conference. Later, we served together on the NAMMA Board and that is when I really got to know him and learned just how talented he was. He brought technological skills to the table, and created NAMMA’s first website. However, what I recognized the most at that time, was that he was a Maritime Minister who really did the hard work of a dedicated Port Chaplain. And, he had an inner calmness and spirituality that enabled him to work with everyone and to help ease tensions whenever difficulties arose.
Later, when he became the National Director for AOS Canada, I knew they had found a great leader. He went on to become the Regional Coordinator for AOS North America and the Caribbean. Though this is a position that has no funding, he took it on, and has spent a great deal of his personal funds to accomplish the goals of AOS North America.

Doreen speaks warmly of how Albert consulted and listened and advised wisely, smoothing over the difficulties that arise when change occurs. She witnesses to to his calming intercession:

There was one challenging meeting where Deacon Albert consoled and reassured me by saying “Don’t worry. Delia and I have been praying for the Peace of Christ to be present at this meeting.” Then the day of the meeting came. I got up to speak, and the moment I did, I felt utter calm. The meeting went smoothly and I knew that it was the Peace of Christ which had truly entered the room that day. There was no other explanation. I had never experienced that Peace of Christ in such a real way. I learned that it is very real, and I learned that from Deacon Albert and his wife Delia.
I’ve thought about that many times since, and have learned to truly pray for the Peace of Christ, for myself, and for others. So today, I would like to ask each of you to join me in prayer. Pray that the Peace of Christ will be with Deacon Albert and Delia Dacanay as they start a new journey.


ICMA most certainly joins Doreen in her prayers for the Dacanays.