Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Séamus Cunningham

Apostleship of the Sea


South Shields Carols Service in honour of seafarers


Catholic maritime charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) held the first 'Carols by the Sea' service in South Shields in honour of seafarers.

A packed St. Bede's Church, South Shields on Wednesday 13 December saw a great opportunity for parishioners and the local community to remember seafarers, many of whom will be working at sea and in ports during Christmas.

Alongside Rev. Michael Weymes and AoS Tyne Port Chaplain Paul Atkinson, the service was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Olive Punchion and Mrs. Mary French. The outstanding music was provided by St. Bede's School Choir, The Youth Choir, organists Carmen Green and Charles Harrison, and soloists Sarah Fenwick and Joshua Brown.

AoS Tyne port chaplain Paul Atkinson says, "For most of us Christmas is about spending time with family and friends. For many seafarers, however, Christmas is spent on a ship or in a port, hundreds of miles away from home."

"It's easy to forget that a lot of the presents we give each other during Christmas are brought to our shops by seafarers on ships, so why not come together and raise our voices to show our appreciation for them."

He adds, "The Christmas Carols Service is a good opportunity to come together to remember and pray for seafarers as we prepare to celebrate Jesus' coming into our own homes and hearts. Perhaps in some way we can let seafarers inspire us to celebrate Advent and Christmas with open hearts."