Some went down to the sea in ships…

There is a very beautiful modern stained-glass window in St. John’s church in West Bay that includes some words from Psalm 107: ‘Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters’.

I think we sometimes forget we are an island and that no matter where you are on the British mainland you are never more than 70 miles from the sea.

The sea and our relationship to it has formed our heritage, our history and moulded us to the nation we are.

Although today the majority of us travel to distant lands by air, we are completely dependent upon the commerce of the sea for trade and most importantly for the food to sustain us. That was why the battles at sea during the last century were so important for our national survival.

I was listening to the radio recently when an oceanographer was describing the destruction of the delicate eco systems of the sea because of the amount of plastic that humankind is dumping in the oceans.

The plastic is being ingested by the smallest of creatures and entering the food chain, poisoning all the way through the chain until we eat what we have thrown away.

It is all rather depressing to think that those mighty oceans, which cover the majority of our planet, are becoming acidic dumps in which an enormous variety of life is under threat of extinction. When the oceans die, so do we.

I count myself greatly blessed to live by the sea. Ten minutes on the beach is worth a week in a city! The community of West Bay with its mixture of fishermen and fish fryers, serious sailors and weekend admirals brings much richness to our local community.

Over this weekend St. John’s is celebrating a Festival of the Sea in partnership with the sea food festival.

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