Gearing up for Lancing’s blessing of boats

Blessing the boats in Lancing, June 2015
Blessing the boats in Lancing, June 2015

An appeal has been issued for sea-related items to be blessed for next month’s annual service of Blessing the Boats in Lancing.

Originally an event that celebrated Lancing’s fishing community, the service, which will take place in Beach Green, now recognises leisure pursuits which involve the sea and the community.

The origin of the blessing of boats goes back to biblical days when many of the first followers of Jesus Christ were fisherman by trade.

This year the service will be conducted for the last time by Father Barry Carter, of St Michael’s and All Angels church in South Street, who described the event as being ‘firmly established as one of Lancing’s traditions’.

He said: “It is valued by the sailing community and popular with residents and visitors. The blessing of boats now relates to the many ways in which the coast and sea can be used for pleasure as well as business so we want to include everything that is used by people who use the sea.

“Boats, kayaks, oars, sailing equipment, anchors, kites and boards are all welcome to be blessed. The more the merrier.”

The ‘boats’ will be blessed during the service, before being sprinkled with holy water and a short prayer said for the safety of its users.

The event is on Sunday, June 5, at 2.30pm and will also include cream teas served in the St Michael’s Church Hall, as well as Lancing Brass who will accompany hymns and give a short concert to end the event.

Readers who would like to bring an item to be blessed are asked to let the church know in advance by emailing stmichaelslancing@gmail.com or calling 01903 761913.

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