BY Amanda Connelly | July 5 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Sailors encircle Scotland with prayer

The UK has been circled in prayer thanks to the efforts of a Catholic renewal movement — and a rather special boat.

Members of the Celebrate Charismatic Renewal movement joined together to form Celebrate Sailing, taking the Good News around the country’s coast in the summer months.

Russ Fairman, a cruising instructor with over 30 years of sailing experience, lead the team on a UK-wide voyage, aiming to form a ring of intercessory prayer, praise and worship around the country.

Throughout the months of May, June and July, Mr Fairman’s boat the Mintaka is sailing around the UK with the message, ‘What if it’s true?’ emblazoned on its side.



The mission began the Scottish leg of its journey on May 17, sailing from Eyemouth to Arbroath, north to Inverness, through the Caledonian Canal, and stopping to visit Tobermory on Mull and a number of other islands before spending time in Glasgow on June 8.

The sailing mission has brought together Christians and non-Christians over the course of the voyage, as over 90 visiting crew, some of whom had never sailed before, have spread the joy of Christ around the country.

Three individuals at any one time joined Mr Fairman onboard the Mintaka, his home for the duration of the three-month mission.



Mr Fairman praised the incredible welcome that the boat and its crew had received in each of their stops. “We’ve been right around Scotland and it was just a joy,” he said. “The hospitality that we’ve received in the marinas is fantastic.

“You never quite know how these things will be received. You don’t know if it’s going to upset people or if they’re going to react in a negative way, but we got a great reception. Marina staff even got involved, waiving the marina fees for us.”



Mr Fairman explained that the aim of the voyage was to put a ‘ring of intercessory prayer’ around Scotland and the rest of the UK, and spoke of the power that physical actions can have.

“What I wanted to do was to put a ring of intercessory prayer around Scotland,” he said.

“If someone’s upset you can talk to them, but if you cuddle them then it’s huge, isn’t it? The words are one thing, but the action of doing that, embracing something.”


Family conference

Celebrate is a family conference organisation which runs youth programmes and has 12 centres around the UK, with Celebrate Scotland being one of them.

The sailing mission aimed to link the various Celebrate conferences together in prayerful unity.

In using his passion for sailing as a means of evangelisation, Mr Fairman also hopes the voyage will encourage others to make use of their own gifts and talents for the greater glory of God.



“It could be that you like needlecraft or you like flower pressing, I just wanted to inspire people to think: ‘You know what, God’s given me these passions. How can I use my passion that God’s given me to create something around it for evangelisation?’” he said.

“It was in my mind that Christian events can quite often be gathered in a church hall and praising God, and that can be great, but there can be more creative outreach and that’s what this was all about.”

Between 70 and 100 people joined Mr Fairman as part of the sailing crew.


Celtic cross

Upon arriving in each port, the Mintaka crew have flown the flag of the Celtic cross. Mr Fairman adds that the ring in the centre of the cross is symbolic of the ring of prayer they are creating around the country.

The message emblazed on the boat, ‘What if it’s true?’, has also been a talking point for the people that the crew encounter, encouraging them to ask questions and engage in discussion about the mission’s objectives and work.

The Mintaka left Glasgow to move on to Liverpool, before continuing to chart its way to Wales, Bristol, South West and finally concluding its journey of prayer in Southampton on July 13.

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