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Emergency craft blessed at Sark sea service

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TIDES fell favourably for the first Sunday in August and, as tradition states, it was time for the annual service of the sea in Sark’s Creux Harbour.

St Peter Port’s all-weather Severn class lifeboat, Spirit of Guernsey, and St John Ambulance’s Flying Christine III were blessed at Sark’s annual service of the sea. (Picture by Tony Rive)

The Spirit of Guernsey lifeboat – with Lt-Governor Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder on board – and the Flying Christine crossed the Russels to be blessed for the year ahead.

They were accompanied by a charter boat carrying the Salvation Army Band, which joined the service to play the hymns.

The service was delivered by the Dean of Guernsey, the Very Rev. Tim Barker, and readings were given by Kathleen Dewe, Catholic community representative of Sark, and Sir Ian.

Edward Fattorini, chairman of the Guernsey Lifeboat Supporters Association, said: ‘There were about 25 people over from Guernsey and that’s not including the band. Then we had locals from Sark and tourists too who all came down to see the spectacle, so I would say there were about 100 there in total.

‘It was a very good service. This is about my fifth time of coming and it never fails to be rousing.

‘We sing some hymns accompanied by the band and in the setting of Creux Harbour it is really quite a spectacular setting for a Sunday service.’

It is not known from where the tradition of the service originates but Mr Fattorini said, when discussing it at the service, it was concluded that the service has run annually since the 1980s.

Mr Barker said: ‘It’s my fourth time delivering the service. I’ve done it every year since coming to the Bailiwick.

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‘The islands here, and Sark especially, are so dependent on the sea and it is important for us to give thanks to all those who go out on the sea every day, those who risk their lives to save others, like the RNLI and the Flying Christine. The service really is a moving spectacle in the surroundings of Creux Harbour.’

Sir Ian said: ‘Sark’s annual sea service is a poignant reminder of the island’s enduring and very close relationship with the sea, which has shaped its coastline and character.

‘Life there depends on it, whatever the weather or season, and islanders recognise the central role that it plays in their lives.

‘This service is a chance to reflect on that, and to give thanks for the skill and service of those who work at sea in support of the community of Sark.’

Yves Le

By Yves Le
News reporter

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