The Mission to Seafarers Annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols took place just before the Christmas break at its headquarters at St Michael Paternoster Royal Church, London.
SPNL members had the privilege of meeting HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. Not only did Her Royal Highness read the first lesson, the congregation was fortunate enough to meet with the charity’s President at the post-service drinks reception in the sumptuous setting of Skinners’ Hall.
Claudio Chiste, SPNL Chairman said: “We are delighted to support the Mission to Seafarers who provide help and assistance to the world’s 1.5 million men and women who face danger every day to keep our global economy afloat. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is an ideal way to kick off into the Christmas period and get into the Christmas spirit, while doing something to make a difference for our seafarers.”
The readers at this years’ service included: Admiral Lord West, Chancellor Southampton Solent University; Commander Peter Snow, former Mission to Seafarers Regional Chair, Oceania; Ms Susan Dio, Chief Executive Officer, BP Shipping Ltd; The Most Rev. Fredrick James Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and Chairman MtS Canada; and the Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister of State Responsible of Maritime, Department of Transport.
The Revd Andrew Wright, Secretary-General of The Mission to Seafarers said: “I offer my profound thanks to all our supporters who helped made the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols a resounding success. We are delighted to have had the support of Ince and Co., BP Shipping and Harris Pye, whose financial contribution will help The Mission continue its vital work around the world. At Christmas we rely on seafarers to ship our much anticipated Christmas gifts, often not realising those very seafarers will be apart from their loved ones at this special time of year.”
The service gave an opportunity to reflect on seafarers who will be working away from home and their families over Christmas. The Mission’s teams around the world, the army of Chaplains, staff, ship visitors and volunteers will be doing all they can to share hope and peace to ensure seafarers have the best possible Christmas far away from those dearest to them.