Despite being miles away from the sea and from any port, Birmingham Archdiocese plays a vital role in sustaining the faith of the thousands of Catholic seafarers whose livelihoods depend on the sea.

Through donations, prayers and other means of support, parishes in the Archdiocese allow the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) to continue its ministry of caring for seafarers.

AoS is the Catholic Church’s maritime agency which supports seafarers’ spiritual, practical and emotional needs.

The UK relies heavily on seafarers to bring up to 95% of its goods, food and fuel, and while shipping has undergone modernisation, quick turnaround times mean that many seafarers only have a short stay in port.

Many seafarers are tied to long-term contracts, spending up to nine months at a time at sea, away from their families.

A significant number of seafarers are Catholic, coming from countries such as the Philippines, Poland and Goa in India, and their busy schedules mean they don’t often get the chance to attend Mass or to receive other Sacraments.

AoS’ network of port chaplains and volunteer ship visitors help sustain seafarers’ faith; arranging Mass on board ships, handing out Rosaries, prayer cards, spiritual material, and generally welcoming them, as Christ would welcome the stranger.

With the support of the Archdiocese and its parishes, AoS can continue bringing the Church to seafarers.

On Saturday 15 September at 4.30pm, Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Bernard Longley at St Chad's Cathedral to pray for seafarers and for the work of AoS.

Mass will be celebrated in conjunction with the feast of Stella Maris, Our Lady Star of the Sea, patron of AoS. All are invited.

A reception will be held after Mass. All are invited. RSVP: [email protected]

More information about the work AoS does can be found at