Exmouth RNLI Sea Sunday service blessed by sunshine on St. Swithin’s Day
Exmouth RNLI held their annual Sea Sunday service on 15 July at the boathouse on Queens Drive. Reverend James Hutchings, Priest-in-charge Littleham-cum-Exmouth with Lympstone Mission Community took the service for his first time, leading prayers and hymns for those who work and live by the sea.
Around 150 people attended the 30 minute service, attracting many beach visitors throughout the duration. Town Mayor, John Humphreys and representatives from the coastguards, coastwatch and paramedics were in attendance. 11 volunteer crew members with their Coxswain, Tim Mock; Chairman of the lifeboat management group, Tim Baker; RNLI lifeguards and volunteers from local RNLI branches joined members of Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton RNLI Fundraising Guild for the occasion.
Exmouth Town Concert Band accompanied the four hymns and Guild Treasurer, Bernice Williams and Assistant Secretary, Beryl Cole read selected passages from the Bible. During the first hymn, Deputy Coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson paraded the RNLI standard, which was on display at the altar throughout the service.
The all-weather lifeboat, Margaret Jean was positioned on the ramp to make room for the congregation inside the boat hall. Reverend Hutchings commented;
‘It’s so wonderful to see so many people here who are involved with Exmouth RNLI whether it be crew, shop and fundraising volunteers. We’re blessed with unusually seasonably-good weather today, on St. Swithin’s Day too! This points favourably to God’s blessing on us for the rest of the year.’
Volunteers organised a bucket collection after the service, whilst the band played a medley of sea-faring tunes. £98.84 was collected in total. Don Hodgkinson, Chair of the Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton Guild said;
‘We were lucky to be blessed with the weather which brought more visitors to the boathouse. I’d like to thank everyone who attended and gave donations, especially the crew volunteers some of whom came with their families. It was a great success.’