A Blessing for East Sussex 1


The Vicar of Eastbourne, Canon Tom Mendel has conducted a service of blessing on the National Training Vessel East Sussex 1.

Funded, maintained and operated by MVS East Sussex Sovereign Harbour, the 17.5 metre long former Royal Navy launch is being prepared for a busy summer season which includes acting as a support vessel for the Return of the Little Ships to Dunkirk over the late May Bank Holiday.

Before the blessing Regional Engineering Officer Eddie Oades took Canon Mendel around the vessel, explaining how she was well equipped for her training and support roles.

Then during the short service Canon Mendel used the prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake which calls on us to persevere until we have finished this we have started.
That struck a chord with the assembled volunteers who spend a lot of their time painting and otherwise maintaining East Sussex 1.

HoU, Keith Johnson, thanked Canon Mendel for taking the time to visit the vessel.
He said: “Our members have been moved by the short but very relevant service of blessing today.”

Canon Mendel said he would like to go out sea on East Sussex 1 when circumstances allowed, and preferably the sea was calm.
Mr Johnson said the Unit looked forward to taking the Canon out in East Sussex 1 in the near future.

“As well as our high profile Dunkirk deployment, we will be busy over the coming months taking Scouts and Combined Cadet Force cadets out on training trips and also acting in a support role in the Solent during Cowes Week and then at the Shoreham Airshow,” said Mr Johnson.

Members of all Units are welcome to sail on East Sussex 1.

The provisional schedule includes 1 to 8 August, sail to Solent followed by exercises.

From 8 to 16 August she will be at buoys for Cowes Week.

On 21 August she will sail to Shoreham for the Airshow before returning to Eastbourne on 23 August.

Other dates may be possible if there is sufficient interest.

Contact David Hughes anderimar.news@googlemail.com

MVS East Sussex