MVS blessing ahead of Dunkirk journey

Canon Mendel is pictured with Eastbourne maritime volunteers SUS-150505-162845001
Canon Mendel is pictured with Eastbourne maritime volunteers SUS-150505-162845001

The Vicar of Eastbourne, Canon Tom Mendel, conducted a service of blessing on the Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) training vessel East Sussex 1 at 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 projects are completed.

Eddie said, “That struck a chord with the assembled volunteers who spend a lot of their time painting and otherwise maintaining East Sussex 1.”

The head of the local MVS Unit, Keith Johnson, thanked Canon Mendel for taking the time to visit the vessel and said, “Our members have been moved by the short but very relevant service of blessing today.

“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.”

He said the MVS is open to adults of any age and welcomes new members. For details visit or unit HQ behind the Harvester Tuesdays from 7.30pm.