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Vicar in a cruise ship: Brighton reverend is chaplain for passengers on cruises
Reverend Colin Still is no stranger to a life on the ocean wave.
The 78-year-old regularly swaps his Brighton home for the high seas to become a chaplain on passenger cruise ships.
Over the last 18 years he has racked up 24 cruises, offering advice, solace and spiritual support to passengers on board.
Now he has become the star of a six part fly-on-the-wall documentary filmed on board the Fred Olsen ship Balmoral earlier this year.
Film crews followed Rev Still during the course of the 112 day cruise from Southampton to Sydney as the retired chaplain took care of his 1,700-strong floating flock.
Rev Still said: “On a trip like this you don't get a lot of time to yourself but it doesn't matter.
“I enjoy being on the ship and going out to sea and meeting so many different people.
“Seeing all the various locations is an added bonus.
“This job is a valuable piece of Christian ministry, listening to and supporting those who wanted to talk to me.
“I most enjoyed building a bond of trust with passengers and the crew on the long voyage, and I particularly enjoyed the marriage renewal ceremonies, as they are such happy occasions.”
Other duties during the cruise included supporting a passenger with terminal cancer, who needed to be airlifted from the ship in the middle of the night.
Rev Still keeps himself in shape on board by going for a one mile walk on deck every morning and intends to keep on travelling while he is still well and active.
He has had a home in Brighton for 30 years and although retired, he is an assistant priest at St John's Parish.
He used to travel a lot when he was younger and before he was ordained, working in locations including Hong Kong and Borneo.
Rev Still said: “Luckily I've never had a problem with sea sickness, although I suppose it could still happen. The cruise ships have stabilisers now which can help.”
Rev Still volunteers through the Mission to Seafarers, the largest charitable port-based welfare service.
He said: “Filming the documentary was a lot of work but hopefully it will raise awareness of our work and importance of what we can offer.”
The Cruise: a Life at Sea is broadcast on Tuesdays on BBC2 at 8.30pm.
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