More than 400 attend 30th anniversary service marking the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster
Grieving families affected by the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster gathered to mark the 30th anniversary memorial service in Dover on March 6.
The Herald capsized in just 90 seconds after setting sail from Zeebrugge, Belgium, on Friday March 6, 1987.
It was on course for Dover when tragedy struck and 193 people lost their lives.
During the service, staff from the Port of Zeebrugge at the time handed over the bell recovered from the ship to Sailors’ Society CEO Stuart Rivers and Brian Gibbons (pictured right), the last survivor to be pulled out alive.
Daniel Lamote, who was safety officer at the Port of Zeebrugge, said the bell had been kept in an attic and he persuaded the owner to release it to him for this purpose: “Our only intention was to bring the ship’s bell where it belongs, St Mary’s Church Dover, in honour of all of the victims, survivors, family and friends.”
The former Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend Bishop James Jones KBE, spoke at the service, which is held annually at St Mary’s Church by maritime charity Sailors’ Society.
Bishop Jones told families in his sermon: “There’s no such thing as ‘closure’, nor should there ever be, for love. The re-living and the remembrance, the quest and the questioning keep alive the love for the one who has died and give expression to their worth.
“So, here today in this service you are keeping your love alive.”
The governor of West Flanders, Carl Decaluwé and Stuart Rivers exchanged video messages which were shown to the congregations in Dover and Zeebrugge.
Governor Decaluwé said: “Neither in Belgium, nor in the UK, have we forgotten the victims and rescuers of the Herald. We are today united in our commemoration.”
In his message Mr Rivers said: “Over the years we have been humbled to hear the most wonderful stories of heroism, tales of the most incredible courage from passengers and crew. Some gave their lives so others could live and we look back on the selfless actions of the rescue services with huge pride and gratitude.”
After the service, family members affected by the disaster joined together on the Prince of Wales pier to commit wreathes to the sea in memory of their loved ones.
To read or search stories in our other categories please choose from the following:-
Churches urged to talk about society in post-Brexit UK
Christians in a number of the UK’s main denominations are being offered resources to prompt discussion about the kind of society we should be building once outside the EU …
BBC leads way on religious broadcasting awards shortlists
The BBC is dominating the 2017 shortlists for the annual Sandford St Martin Awards for religious broadcasting ...
London: Boys' Brigade join Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey
Members of The Boys' Brigade joined hundreds of other young people at a Commonwealth Service attended by the Queen and other Royals on Monday (13 March) ...
‘Share a meal – and start changing the world’
Sharing a meal is the key to building church and community, according to a British writer and theologian ...
Archbishops to visit Spring Harvest as part of focus on unity
The Archbishops of both Canterbury and York, the Most Reverends Justin Welby and John Sentamu, will be joining those attending this year’s Spring Harvest ...
Taking Ash Wednesday to the streets
CofE members will be on the streets today (Ash Wednesday - 1 March) to offer ash marking on foreheads to the public …
Kate Rusby among Greenbelt 2017 headliners
Line-up names have been released for the 2017 Greenbelt Festival, and include acclaimed folk singer Kate Rusby, rapper Speech Debelle, singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner and blues rock guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor …
Unpacking John 3: 16
Many of us will be very familiar with the words of John 3:16 - but is it in danger of becoming over-familiar ...
Lent: giving up? Or giving more
Stewardship's 40acts challenge is urging people to think generosity this Lent ...
Concept designs revealed for Wall of Answered Prayer
An ambitious project to build an iconic National Prayer Landmark in the UK took its next step forward yesterday ...
Christian Publishing & Outreach, registered in England & Wales (Charity no 221462).
Company limited by guarantee No 588731. VAT no 860 219 341.
Registered office: CPO, Garcia Estate, Canterbury Road, Worthing BN13 1BW, UK