October 12, 2023

The Annual National Service for Seafarers 2023

The Annual National Service for Seafarers (ANSS), organised by The Seafarers' Charity and Trinity House, took place at St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday, the 11th of October, 2023, at 17:00.

The Service for Seafarers has been conducted almost every year since 1905, uniting seafarers from the Merchant and Royal Navies, as well as those from our fishing fleets, workboats, cruise liners, commercial shipping, yachts, ferries, and indeed anyone who earns or has earned a living from working at sea.

This service is unique in its ability to bring together seafarers from various maritime professions, including representatives from all sectors in the seafaring community. It also encompasses maritime welfare charities, nautical schools, maritime youth groups, and veterans' associations who participated in a service of remembrance and gratitude.

Open to all seafarers from diverse countries and faiths, the purpose of this service is to acknowledge, celebrate, and express gratitude. The essential role that seafarers play is often unseen, taken for granted, or not fully appreciated. Additionally, we commemorated those seafarers who lost their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic, which marked its 80th Anniversary in 2023. The six-year struggle for control of the Atlantic sea routes was the longest continuous campaign of the Second World War and was critical in maintaining Britain's supply of food, industrial resources, men, and munitions. At least 26,500 British Merchant Navy and 23,000 Royal Navy seafarers lost their lives in this battle.

This year, The Right Honourable and Right Reverend Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, Bishop of London, delivered the sermon. The music was performed by The Royal Marine Band, accompanied by the combined choirs of London Nautical School, The Royal School, The Royal Hospital School, and Pangbourne College.

The service was free to attend and open to all who have worked at sea or continue to do so, as well as those who support them from the shore.

We are looking forward to the 2024 edition which will be held on Wednesday, the 9th of October 2024, at 16:30.

'A fantastic turnout from the maritime sector yesterday at St Paul’s Cathedral, it was so lovely to see so many who appreciate the vital work of those who work at sea, and those who support them when and if they might have needs.' - Deborah Layde, Chief Executive at The Seafarers' Charity

Thank you for your support.

If you wish to donate toward the cost of The Service, thank you in advance for your generosity. You can make a voluntary donation online.

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