Joint sailors’ service at Islandmagee

TWO local churches are set to break with tradition on Sunday, February 19 by holding a joint sailors’ service.

In previous years, the First Islandmagee and Second Islandmagee Presbyterian Churches have held separate services annually.

However, the two congregations have decided to share a service this year, which will be held at First Islandmagee at 11.30am.

Marie Kane, clerk of session at First Islandmagee said: “The tradition of having sailors’ services began when Islandmagee provided large numbers of seamen for the British Mercantile fleet. Between 1867 and 1936, 46 per cent of the men married in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church were described as mariners, many of them master mariners.

“It is estimated that worldwide there are well over a million men and women from more than 100 different nations who live in the twilight world of big shipping. So nowadays, the service is to praise God for the work of seafarers everywhere, on whom we all depend so much for our food and commerce.”

The speaker at the service will be Colin Jenkins of the Seamen’s Christian Friend Society, who is coming from Cork to share his experiences working at the docks. Everyone is welcome to attend.