HRH The Princess Royal joins The Mission to Seafarers’ celebration of seafarers at annual Christmas carols service

16th December 2021

The Missions ‘Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols’ took place on Wednesday 15th of December 2021 at All Hallows by the Tower, London, followed by a canape and drinks reception at Trinity House, to honour the commitment, sacrifice and bravery of seafarers

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, supported by Gold sponsor Shell, and silver sponsor BSM, celebrated seafarers and their families, by shining a light on their resiliency and hard work in yet another trying year. The carols service provided an opportunity to acknowledge this remarkable group of men and women, on whom we are all so dependent, at a time of year when many will spend Christmas far from family and friends.

The service commenced with the arrival of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, who read the seventh lesson of the service.

In addition to Her Royal Highness, readers of the lessons included Holly Birkett, London Correspondent, TradeWinds; Frederick Kenney, Director of Legal and External Affairs, International Maritime Organization; Capt. Mark Hart, BSc (Hons), MNI, Master Mariner/DPO; Ella Hagell, Britannia P&I; Mark Cameron, Executive Vice President & COO, Ardmore Shipping; Guy Platten, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping; Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade Maritime and Ambassador at Large, The Mission to Seafarers; and The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers.

The festive event was a celebration filled with songs, hymns, and readings and was generously supported by the wonderful music of Lloyd’s Choir, with a selection of classic Christmas carols interspersed amongst the lessons and prayers.

The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General for The Mission to Seafarers commented on the event:

“We were delighted to be able to hold our Carol Service physically again this year, although we also welcomed those who joined us via livestream. As ever our focus was to honour and celebrate seafarers and their families. The past two years have been a time of very particular challenge and hardship, during which crews have been nothing short of heroic in sustaining global trade. Our annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is also an opportunity to bring together many of the friends and partners on whose support we are always dependent and who represent so much generosity during the pandemic. Although not its primary purpose, the service also generates income which is greatly valued, particularly amid the current pressures of working in an especially needy and challenging environment. Our thanks in particular go to our sponsors.

“We were also extremely honoured to have welcomed back our President, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. She has been to almost all our Christmas Carol Services in recent years and her presence is greatly valued. As ever, she read one of our nine lessons. The event was a great encouragement to us all as we reflected on our work during one of the most demanding periods in our long history and as we looked ahead to the launch of our new strategy in 2022.”

Those wishing to support the work of The Mission to Seafarers can donate here.

More images and coverage of the event will be updated shortly.

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