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’
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.”
Sunday 18th January Rev Richard Kilgour, the General Secretary of ICMA plans to attend the memorial service to be held at the Episcopal Church of St John the Evangelist, Wick, Scotland. The service will include prayers in memory of those lost at sea. The Rev Tim Tunley Mission to Seafarers Scotland will also preach the sermon. Mr Kilgour who is presently based in Glasgow has emphasised that ‘standing in solidarity in this way is the least we can do at such a time as this with those who suffer the raw emotions of such loss’. ICMA members like the Mission to Seafarers and their fellow-workers in the world wide networks of seafarers’ welfare have responded once again to meet the needs of people affected by tragedy.
As the ICMA working-group on professional development bring forward comprehensive proposals for establishing an ‘Institute for Seafarers’ Welfare Studies’ it is a welcome announcement from the Secertary-General Koji Sekimizu of the IMO that this year training and education are themes for World Maritime Day. The press release reads:
“IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has launched this year’s World Maritime Day theme, “Maritime education and training”, telling students and staff at the World Maritime University (WMU) that maritime education and training was essential for the long-term sustainability of the sector, both at sea and on-shore.
“Effective standards of training remain the bedrock of a safe and secure shipping industry, which needs to preserve the quality, practical skills and competence of qualified human resources,” Mr. Sekimizu said, adding that the 2015 World Maritime Day theme provided the opportunity to highlight the importance to everybody, not just within the shipping industry, of there being sufficient quantity and quality maritime education and training available to meet the sector’s needs, now and into the future. “
ICMA general Secretary Rev Richard Kilgour as a member of the working-group on professional development has commented ‘the themes for World Maritime Day are setting out to highlight the importance of the highest standards of education and training in the maritime world. The progress towards an Institute for Seafarers Welfare Studies is building upon the reputation of ICMA for delivering professional training and development at many levels for seafarer welfare practitioners.
ICMA welcomes the recent announcement from the IMO that Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry is to be the new President of the World Maritime University (WMU) from July 2015.
With her extensive experience with respect the formation and delivery of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006; Dr Doumbia-Henry clearly brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this new post. The significant level of world-class scholarship, learning and research provided by the WMU plays an essential role at the forefront of graduate studies in maritime life.
Fr Bruno Ciceri; chairman of ICMA comments on the announcement that ‘the reputation of the expertise and excellence of Dr Doumbia-Henry is known to many who have worked for many years with her in the area of maritime welfare and seafarers rights with particular regard to the Maritime Labour Conventions. We wish Dr Doumbia-Henry and the World Maritime University every success for the future.’
At its Executive Committee and Annual General Meeting in Copenhagen on September 20, ICMA was pleased to announce the appointment of a new General Secretary — the Very Rev Richard Kilgour, presently serving as Provost of the Episcopal Cathedral in Aberdeen, Scotland. Mr. Kilgour will begin in January 2015. A press release about this exciting appointment can be found here.
To watch a video interview of Richard, click above or here.