HMS Queen Elizabeth Visit
Many thanks to the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, who kindly invited me to visit HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in the Eastern Mediterranean last week. From RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus it took just over an hour by helicopter to reach the carrier. Upon arrival Commodore Steve Moorhouse had me and a few other invited guests stand by the ramp on the flight deck to watch the F35 jets take off. A truly awesome experience. I was then taken to the chapel where the Captain, Angus Essenhigh, greeted me and joined other members of the crew for Mass.
The experience of being on board an operational aircraft carrier is really quite unique and it gives some insight into the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm of the young men and women of the Royal Navy. There is only one chaplain on the carrier and on this deployment it is an Anglican, Padre Ralph Barber, who facilitated Mass for me. Fr Robert Matau is on HMS Dragon which is part of the carrier group and providing much needed spiritual care.
Thanks to Cdre. Moorhouse and Capt. Essenhigh as well as Padre Ralph for their hospitality.
Do add our chaplains and our serving military personnel to your prayer lists. They do appreciate it.