Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The International Christian Maritime Association publishes here online reports, papers, training material and statements to the media.

The material published here includes reports produced by ICMA and by our partner organisations. It is intended for use by chaplains and welfare providers who care for seafarers.

These documents are  free to download and use on condition that the source is acknowledged.

For further information about all ICMA publications, and for comments and suggestions,  please contact the ICMA Secretariat.



Social network sites

08 November 2012, London

ICMA maintains a presence on social networking sites for ease of access to news, images, events and tools that may interest our members, their personnel and our partners in the seafarers’ welfare sector.



This website is the official platform of the International Christian Maritime Association.  The site contains information released and published by the ICMA Secretariat.  All articles on the ICMA Home page are written by the general secretary, Hennie la Grange, unless indicated otherwise.  ICMA personnel are encouraged to contribute to the telling of ICMA’s story by sending us items for the website.




The Secretariat maintains this facebook page.  Articles appearing on the ICMA website appear on our facebook site.  As is the case with all social networking, the Secretariat cannot be held responsible for unauthorised items and articles published on facebook by persons other than those appointed by ICMA’s Secretariat.



You may want to stay up to date with ICMA events as they happen.  We have a twitter page that you could follow.  As with facebook, the Secretariat cannot be held responsible for the content of tweets.




You can see photos of ICMA by paging through our albums on flickr.  You are invited to share with us your pictures of people, events, celebrations, conferences and pastoral care on our flickr page.  To contribute, please send your photos either to the ICMA Secretariat or to the administrator of our flickr site at


New Evangelisation in an ecumenical context

30 November 2012, Vatican City

The General Secretary, Reverend Hennie la Grange, delivered a paper at the AOS World Congress XXIII. “New Evangelisation”, an initiative of the Catholic Church, seeks to address the challenges of witnessing to God in hostile contemporary society. ICMA’s General Secretary applied New Evangelisation to the context of the Association’s ecumenical ministries to seafarers.

CLICK HERE  to read the presentation


Chairman’s Report 2011 to 2012

05 November 2012, New Jersey

The Executive Committee’s Chair, Douglas B. Stevenson, reported to the Annual General Meeting in Rome on the activities of the Executive Committee over the past year since the last General Meeting was held in Hamburg.

The report contains notices, membership news, reports on ICMA’s regions, the plans to strengthen ICMA by a process of strategic review, ICMA’s education and training programmes, communication systems, representation and partnering.

CLICK HERE to see the Chairman’s Report



Mission work and pastoral care in the port of Durban: A narrative hermeneutical adventure; PhD Thesis by Chris J Viljoen

Dr. Chris Viljoen, Christelike Seemansorganisasie

2 September 2012, Durban

Seafaring is still a dangerous profession where the seafarers many times find themselves being powerless in situations of injustice. On ships there is a lot of diversity. Men and women from many different religions and cultures have to sail together. Occasionally this causes tension between seafarers, but mostly they are working and living together in harmony. A bigger concern than conflict is that diversity might cause social isolation. Seafarers are willing to endure a lot of hardship and especially seafarers from developing countries are making this sacrifice in order to provide a better future for their families. The relationship between seafaring and the family is an ironic one because the seafarers sail in order to provide for the family, but at the same time sailing takes them away from their loved ones. From the perspective of the researcher three general weaknesses were found as far as the ministry to seafarers is concerned: At times there is lack of a spiritual dimension to the ministry, secondly there is a need for a stronger presence among the seafarers and thirdly more emphasis should be put on involvement with fishers especially as far as justice issues are concerned.

CLICK HERE for the Text of the thesis

The documents are held on the Dropbox site.  The “Title page”-file will open for online viewing.  The body of the thesis will however require that you hit the download button on the Dropbox site (top right),  and that you open it from your computer.  This is due to its size.


George Charles Smith:  A history by Roald Kverndal

June 13th 2012, Pasadena.

Roald Kverndal’s third book in the trilogy on the history of maritime mission movement has been published.  George Charles Smith of Penzance: From Nelson Sailor to Mission Pioneer is available from William Carey Library of Pasadena .  The book was written and is being distributed with the support of the ITF Seafarers Trust.

In the two previous books of his trilogy, Seamen’s Missions (1986) and The Way of the Sea(2008), the author researched how the seafarers’ mission movement began and expanded. This third volume traces the captivating human drama surrounding the origins. In fifteen fascinating chapters the book presents, for the first time ever, the embattled life of George Charles Smith—today recognized worldwide as the founder of the Maritime Mission Movement. Here, the reader can follow the turbulent career of this man of extremes: his humble origins; his harrowing years in a “floating hell” in Nelson’s navy; his relentless war with the “Sodom and Gomorrah” of London’s Sailortown; his dogged pursuit of a “Marine Jerusalem”; his survival of heartless debtors’ prisons; his feting throughout America; and his “last watch” in his home port, Penzance, in southwest England. Perhaps the most powerful affirmation of the lasting legacy of George Charles Smith is how also non-Western participants in today’s maritime mission readily discern in him the profile of a prophet.



ICMA resolution on piracy

29 October 2008, Hong Kong

In response to recent acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in other parts of the world, the ICMA Executive Committee has drafted a resolution. The ExCom deplores the danger to seafarers and fishers of piracy and its long term effect on victims. They urge states and international bodies, including the ILO and IMO, to co-operate in combating piracy and in caring for its victims and call for a resource centre for counselling and medical care. The ExCom pledges the support of ICMA in these initiatives.

For the full text of the ICMA Resolution on Piracy, CLICK HERE


ICMA World Conference Hamburg 2011

8 September 2011, London

The International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) gathered in Hamburg, Germany for the Association’s Tenth World Conference. From 19th August to 23rd August 2011, over 200 chaplains, welfare workers and representatives of the maritime sector came together, to share knowledge, to learn, to grow, to pray and to unite their energies in the service of seafarers.

For the full text of the press statement, CLICK HERE


ICMA honours fishers

21 November 2011, New York, N.Y.

International Fishers Day.  In a statement the Chairman of ICMA, Douglas B. Stevenson of the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey, welcomes the day as an opportunity to highlight the contributions of the millions of men and women who work on fishing vessels around the world. Stevenson urges consideration for the very difficult conditions of fishers and calls for support of the efforts of the ICMA Member Societies who serve them.

For the full text of the media statement, CLICK HERE


Port-based seafarers’ welfare workers

Prof Erol Kahveci
Prof Erol Kahveci

These two reports were compiled by Prof Erol Kahveci of the Working Lives Institute at the London Metropolitan University.  Professor Kahveci is formerly of the Seafarers’ International Research Centre at the University of Cardiff.

The first of these publications appeared in 2007 and led to much discussion in the maritime welfare sector.

Many members of ICMA have shared their views and experiences with Professor Kahveci, making valuable contributions to this latest of the studies. The reseach project was supported by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust.

Click the link below to download the full report.

Port-based welfare workers for seafarers, 2010 (543 KB)

Port-based welfare  services to seafarers

Click the link below to download the 2007 report

Port-based welfare services for seafarers, 2007 (PDF 1,289 KB)


ICMA Regional Conference Manual

Plenary meeting of the consultative forum, Helsinki
Plenary meeting of the consultative forum, Helsinki

September 2010.  Part of the ICMA Regional Conference Toolkit, the manual covers all stages in planning, preparation and running an ICMA regional conference.

The manual was compiled following of a meeting of ICMA regional co-ordinators in Helsinki at which they shared their considerable experience.

That meeting was made possible by a generous grant from the ITF Seafarers  Trust.

Click here to download a copy of the ICMA Regional Conference Manual (PDF 899KB)

Click here for the ICMA Regional Conference Toolkit page of our website.


Successful Seafarers’ Centres, a joint venture of ICMA and the ITF Seafarers’ Trust

April 2010.  The publication is a report of a workshop held in Hong Kong in November 2009. Twelve seafarers’ centres from five continents were represented, each of them known to be successful in specific fields of ministry, management and operations peculiar to its port.  The result is this manual, full of tips and advice, “do’s and don’ts” that can make a difference to your seafarers’ centre. The workshop’s aim was clear: to help seafarers’ centres survive and flourish in difficult times.

ICMA General Secretary Rev Hennie la Grange says of this latest ICMA publication:

Having read the text, prepared for ICMA by Michelle Homden, the one thing that strikes me again is the love these passionate people have for seafarers. If their commitment and resilience does not inspire you, their faith will. What stands out is that successful seafarers’ centres are “seafarer-centred” and always act with impeccable integrity. Long may our seafarers’ centres continue to thrive. Keep up the good work! And from all of us in ICMA: thank you to the centres who participated. You have made a difference.


The workshop was supported by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, and both Roy Paul of the Trust and Hennie la Grange of ICMA facilitated the process. A seafarer, Nonoy Baldon, shared his views as an end user of services delivered by centres.

Photo: Rolf Schulten
Photo: Rolf Schulten

Click here to download the report “Successful Seafarers’ Centres” (PDF 1583 KB)

If you would like a text-only version of this report, please contact the ICMA office.


ICMA wishes to thank photographer Rolf Schulten for kind permission to use images from the International Seamen’s’ Club, Duckdalben, Hamburg. Click here for Rolf Schulten’s website

We also thank our colleague Dirk Obermann of the Deutsche Seemansmission in Bremerhaven for his images of seafarers. Dirk’s photographs have also featured in the ICMA 2010 calendar. Click here to read more.


The Ship Visitor’s Handbook, a manual for pastoral care in ports

Auckland port chaplain David Millar with a seafarer onboard the Cap Manuel
Chaplain David Millar ship visiting in Auckland

The handbook offers guidance for those providing pastoral care and services to seafarers in ports and onboard ships. It is based on the experiences of seafarers’ missions within ICMA.

A preliminary edition was written by the International Council of Seafarers’ Agencies in 1977. It has been revised several times, most recently in 2008, to include recommendations from chaplains and ship visitors.

This latest edition includes addenda provided by numerous maritime welfare support organizations.

The translations into French and Spanish are from the 2005 revision.

English (2008 updates)