Church to bless boats at service

THE annual service of the Blessing the Boats will be held at Lancing Beach Green, on Sunday, June 15, at 2.30pm.

Boats provided by local organisations associated with the sea will be blessed during the service, which will consist of hymns, prayers and a scripture reading.

Each boat will then be sprinkled with Holy Water and a short prayer said for the safety of its users.

The service will be conducted by the vicar of St Michael and All Angels Church, Lancing, Father Barry Carter, and the hymns accompanied by the Sir Robert Woodard Academy Band.

Father Carter said: “Blessing the Boats is now firmly established as one of Lancing’s traditions.

“It is valued by the sailing community and popular with residents and visitors.

“Don’t forget to bring a chair.”

According to Father Carter, the origin of the Blessing of Boats goes back to biblical days when many of the first followers of Jesus Christ were fishermen by trade.

Originally an event that celebrated the historic Lancing fishing community, the service now recognises the boats and people that sail from Lancing for pleasure.

The afternoon’s service will conclude with a concert by the band.

Cream teas will be served in St Michael’s Church Hall, South Street, Lancing after the concert.