Church offers prayers for refugees and RNLI volunteers
Updated 5 August
Churches are praying for refugees and collecting donations for the RNLI in response to backlash against lifeboat crews rescuing migrants at sea.
Diocese of Llandaff priest and RNLI Porthcawl volunteer, Fr Mark Broadway, felt moved to write the prayer after reading reports that lifeboat crews were being criticised for their rescue efforts.
"Over the past few weeks, I have been fortunate enough to begin volunteering with the local RNLI," says Fr Mark. "Knowing the vital work that they perform around the country, giving their time as volunteers, I was keen to show my support. Getting to know the crew, their dedication to the task and their compassion for those in distress, has been inspirational.
Seeing their lifesaving work attacked is heartbreaking. I encourage all churches to set aside time and pray for refugees and RNLI volunteers.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to support the lifeboats, and I'd encourage others to get involved, or to consider supporting with a donation."
Christine Evans, Parish of Llangeinor and the Garw Valley, has organised collections throughout August for the RNLI after reading Fr Mark's prayer, "After reading a request for churches to pray for refugees and the RNLI volunteers in Llandaff Matters we decided to make the RNLI our charitable offering for this month," says Christine.
"Whilst we may not generate a great sum, it is both a way of helping and making a statement of support for the RNLI and the belief that all humans should be treated as equals.
"Personally, I believe it’s important for churches to support good causes because it is simply the right thing to do as a Christian and as a human. Also, the more we engage with others and their causes the more we are able to look beyond ourselves and find common ground. This is a good thing in itself, but it can also be a way of showing that church is still relevant to modern life. Supporting others has also been a good way of reinforcing our belief as a church in being as inclusive and as welcoming to others as possible regardless of identity.”
Responding to the backlash, RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said, "Our crews do what they do because they believe that anyone can drown, but no one should. They believe in and remain focused on our core purpose, along with every member of the RNLI, to save lives at sea."
Read the full statement on the RNLI website.
Let us pray
Almighty God, who parted the sea, that your children might flee from terror, and live the lives to which you called them.
Hear our prayer for those who work upon the waters.
Give aid to their efforts and strength to their resolve, and so bring safely to shore all who are in peril;
that all may come, at the last, to your haven of rest through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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