Category Archives: News

ICMA Partners for World Wide Vehicle SURVEY 2015

EMAILSurvey 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.”

Richard Kilgour. General Secretary ICMA

Memorial Service for loss of life at sea including those of the tragedy of the MV Cemfjiord

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.

IMO announcement: World Maritime Day 2015
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.

IMO announcement of Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry – President of World Maritime University

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.’


Upon hearing of the devastation ICMA members and chaplains continue to increased efforts to be present in centers and ports when a ship arrives. The ICMA Directory has been updated as information is received, and coordination of relief efforts began almost immediately.

The following items of information will be helpful to all ICMA members and centers.

1)     ISWAN will coordinate the response effort and liaise with maritime medics, ministers, those on the ground etc. & will circulate links to resources & information – see below. They have a dedicated page to keep up-to-date information as received.

2)     ICMA missions are encouraged, and most are, making free phone cards, internet, etc. available for Filipino seafarers to contact families. Mission to Seafarers, AoS, and Sailors’ Society were in communication immediately with their missions. ISWAN have secured grants to assist in the funding of free communication services for seafarers.

3)     Chaplains around the world are mobilized to offer a friendly ear and to talk to concerned seafarers who are worried about family and friends. Seafarers are encouraged to call mission centers. Many shipping companies are making extra opportunities to allow seafarers the time to talk.

4)     ICMA is coordinating the efforts of ICMA members.

5)     All are asked to encourage seafarers who may need to talk about their concerns to contact either SeafarerHelp helpline 0080073232737 or to contact the various missions in the respective ports. ICMA is updating the directory when information is received.

RESOURCES AVALIABLE: The following online resources are available for organizations and seafarers who need further information :

More information will be posted as received.

ICMA Northern Europe Region is meeting in Helsinki

ICMA2013ICMA chaplains from Finland, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Poland and Germany are holding their regional conference in Helsinki/Finland these days. Yesterday a theological reflectionof the work and an introduction to cruise ships and cruise ship ministry was on the agenda. Today the focus is on MLC 2006 and a visit to the port of Tallin in Estonia.

Collaboration is key to ICMA

It became apparent once again that the members of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) benefit from our Association when individual members share expertise and publicly support one another’s goals.

David Dickens and Queen Elizabeth II
Commodore David Dickens with Queen Elizabeth II

Commodore David Dickens (The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishers), Alexander Campbell (Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest) and Reverend Hennie la Grange (outgoing general secretary of ICMA) met at the QVSR in East London on Friday.

From the meeting it was clear that funding was increasingly difficult to find.  While funders have changed their funding priorities and have developed application procedures to ensure diligent grant giving, it has become tougher to get money for crucial services and emergency response.  It was floated that, perhaps, the changing needs of the welfare sector have not been recognised or understood by our traditional supporters.

While funders were reluctant to support hostel-style accommodation in London, the QVSR boasted 99% occupation levels each year. QVSR’s longer term residents from maritime backgrounds tended to resist being re-housed in council-supported private accommodation, as they needed the maritime feel of the Rest and its sense of community.  Years at sea have severed their links to onshore community life, and that is what the Seamen’s Rest is able to provide.

Similarly the Fisherman’s Mission has deepening concern for foreign seafarers working in fishing.  Recent incidents of foreign sailors incarcerated for being in the UK illegally, abandoned here due to failed contracts (a recent case highlighted by AOS GB), and of families abroad left destitute after loss of a fisher’s life, strengthens the Fishers Mission’s resolve to use the ICMA network internationally to reach these families, and to roll out assistance to international seafarers.

The leaders of RNMDSF and QVSR came away from the meeting committed to helping one another in matters of faith and resolved to collaborate on matters ofmutual interest.

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.