Weʼre raising £60,000 to establish Navigators of Faith, completing a 2018 circumnavigation of the UK, questioning who we are today and looking to plan future voyages
- Bristol, UK
- Local community
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Why Do We Need Financial Help?
There are three reasons why we need money for this project
We aim to sail nearly 2500 miles, visit 60 ports and engage with six million people from now through to September 2018. We can’t achieve that without a lot of help and so our request for donations is part of that.
We also need help from people looking to organise shore based events as well a people willing to come and help crew,
There is a book planned for 2019 - this will be sent free of charge to anybody donating over £20, signed with a message of thanks by the two authors, Rev Howard and Andy.
It was called ‘Navigators of Faith’ but the title may change.
Thank you for taking the trouble to consider supporting us, our story and how the money will be used is below.
The Birth of Navigators of Faith
‘Navigators of Faith’ is a term that includes everyone.….even those of us who have consciously decided to have no faith in God will have navigated their course to arrive at this personal position.
We co-exist within a modern society that is being stretched like a party balloon attached to an oversize pump. All around us we can see a society that can at times be amazingly empathetic or alternatively cold and heartless. The core consistencies that were seen as the moral core of the United Kingdom appear today to be nebulous and hazy.
At the same time our society is facing huge changes. The European referendum has emboldened half of our population whilst at the same time it has alienated the other half. Homelessness is an increasingly apparent problem on our streets and only recently the pressured NHS has been discussing drunk tanks for young woman to sleep off their drunken weekends in comparative safety. The country that pioneered the abolition of the slave trade is suffering an epidemic of modern slavery, our environment is killing thousands through air pollution in our cities whilst the gig economy appears to be reducing the protections afforded to our general working population.
Outside of our borders the world population is suffering a bigger displacement of human beings than that which occurred during World War Two. Our media is making money scaremongering on the threats of terrorism and immigration whilst trust in politicians has diminished to the lowest it has ever been since the Reform Act of 1832. We are assailed with information that is seen as potentially fake news whilst the idea of truth has been removed with the definition of ‘post truth’.
What does it mean to be British today? What response can be made to our current context?
In 2015 a senior religious educator from the Church of England and a businessman, sat in the upper room of a college in Bristol, England. On the wall was a picture of the “James Caird’, the small lifeboat Ernest Shackleton used to reach help by sailing from Elephant Island to South Georgia after the loss of the exploration vessel ‘Endurance’. This was to start a conversation about the sea, what it is to be male and to have faith in the United Kingdom today. The educator challenged, the businessman fenced and slowly, over many months, the conversation swung around to the Franciscan friars and Celtic saints. They agreed to sail together from Cardiff to Bristol and during that voyage evolved a mutual disquiet, both about modern society but also about faith. In discussing the Celtic saints they came to realise that there were potential similarities between the loss of national identity, the story of who people were, after Rome finally withdrew circa 410AD, and todays modern Britain. In sensing this possibility they decided to voyage out and ask the question, following it to wherever the answers guided them. Neither knew how they would do it or if it was achievable but they set out to achieve it anyway. In doing this the small charity, Navigators of Faith, came into being, initially focused on a single voyage around the UK in 2018.
The simple aim was to sail around the United Kingdom and in so doing to start a conversation about the origins of Christian faith arriving on the British shores, hoping to bring communities together in a national discussion about who we, the British, are.
In 410AD the British isles was embraced by the arrival of the Gospels and the bravery of the Celtic saints who declared them. Thousands of these ‘Peregrini’, (literally wandering pilgrims), flew across the British Isles using the sea routes to gain access. They went out to create ripples that inspired a wave of change and that wave laid down the bedrock of the nation that we were to become.
What answers for modern Britain lie in the history and experience of the Celtic saints?
During the period from 410AD through to 590AD this faith based culture was Celtic. Celtic Christianity was based on a mix of the Gospel message and the experience of one of the most stable cultures the World has seen. The Celtic sphere of influence is now being rewritten to encompass a period from before 3000BC and it may well extend back to the Indo-European migration of around 6000BC. This was a culture based on international trade and equality. Strongly matriarchal and accepting of the spiritual side of human nature, Celtic Christianity offered a distinct difference to that promoted by Rome, which became dominant after the Council of Whitby in 664AD.
Modern Britain is a vibrant mix of cultures and accepting of other faiths and beliefs within the supposedly secular society model. However it would appear that secularism has no real purpose beyond separating discourse apart from religion. It sets out to diminish and lose the colour of different religious beliefs with the expectation that neutral equality will result. In Navigators of Faith, we believe that all beliefs have a right to be listened to and we note that that when this occurs, there is a huge similarity between the different train of thoughts involved across all parties, including atheism. This is not something that becomes immediately apparent from the media or general preconceptions in society where Christians are seen as potential war mongers or against gay rights and Muslims are viewed as terrorists. Similarly Hindus are portrayed as being in conflict with other faiths and even more alarmingly there have been attacks on the Jewish communities. Navigators of Faith believe that by engaging with all faiths, and those who are agnostic or atheist, we can record the stories of individual journeys in a way that promotes social cohesion.
What can we learn from listening to people?
We want to celebrate an aspect of our rich past, specifically our Celtic culture. The Celts believed in enjoying life. They were an oral culture, using memory to maintain their social record. They loved art and poetry and the telling of stories that enthralled their communities. Music was as much a part of this as it is today. So we want our visits to be fun. As we come in from the sea, we will be asking communities to organise Celtic themed events for the visit, put on art festivals, poetry and all that jazz. We will also offer to hold debates about subjects that are potentially of interest. We already have such an event sponsored for Morecambe Bay on modern slavery and we will seek to discuss faith, politics, sexual orientation, truth and other interesting topics at different ports.
So why does the project need money?
We are hoping to engage with around six million people around the UK. Many of these will be direct contacts as we visit, others through the media and online through social media. We started out as two people with an open invite for anybody to apply to come and join the crew for stages, regardless of their faith, race, sexuality or gender. We have access to a sailing vessel and we will attempt the voyage. We are very aware that the success of the voyage will depend upon the vessel being in a condition to complete it, allowing for breakages, the unforeseen etc. We also need to add equipment to ensure it is as safe as we can make it. There is risk involved but we would like to minimise that where possible.
So far we have managed to get to this point using our own funds and the goodwill of a few good people who can see the validity and potential behind the project.
We need to raise at least £15,000 to complete this current voyage around the UK including the basics of undertaking minimal maintenance. To make the voyage more secure requires an investment that is nearer £30,000. This will allow for some major changes, such as having updated navigation systems etc. As we look ahead, we are seeking £60,000 to allow for future voyages so the project can be ongoing. This is why we are setting ourselves up as a charity. We also have interest in the potential educational value of the venture and the huge amount of information that it has the potential to collate. Today nobody is being paid to be involved and all money raised will go into the actual voyages and the equipment used to allow them to occur, be recorded etc.
In our research we identified St Brendan and his voyage from Ireland to Newfoundland circa 500AD. This was ably demonstrated to be feasible by the author and adventurer Tim Severin in 1976 who recreated this right down to rebuilding a 36ft leather boat. On this initial voyage we will sail around the United Kingdom but we have outline discussions in process for future voyages where we are considering taking the Gospel back to America via an Atlantic crossing or to follow St Paul’s journeys heading towards Syria.
For 2019 we are asking the 60 churches we visit to pick up their cross and join us to walk to York for Good Friday 2019. That is not an easy challenge, but being a Christian in our modern society is not an easy calling. Will you have people in your congregation who are up to the challenge? What ever the response, three churches have already signed up, laying the basis for people travelling by foot, carrying the symbol of our faith and engaging in conversations on route. Could we all become Navigators of Faith?
Your contribution, now matter how small, will help facilitate this.
If you cannot contribute financially then there are many other ways you can help support us. We need local people to get involved with art events, interfaith requests, if you are a believer prayer, a long list of areas folk can get involved, including going the crew for legs or taking part in organised debates on a wide range of subjects. Please email email@example.com to receive a list
Our web site can be viewed by clicking this link below
All photographs used have been acquired under a stated common license. There is no intention to breach anybodies copyright. Should this occur in error please highlight this to us and we will immediately remove any image posted by mistake.
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- 1 month ago
Andrew Carnegie and Rev Dr Howard Worsley1 month ago
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- 1 month ago
Andrew Carnegie and Rev Dr Howard Worsley1 month ago
Several of the issues with the boat are now in hand. We are on track to have her ready for mid April. Letters have gone to various celebs asking for letters of support We have survivors of the cockling tragedy coming to Morecambe Bay to talk about Modern Slavery & their faith Two Falkland war veterans have agreed to talk about their war experience & faith on the battlefield. Also talks on environment & politics Come to the sending out service Holy Trinity Hotwells, 10th May 2018 12:00 Thank you for your support, it is really appreciated
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Andrew Carnegie and Rev Dr Howard Worsley started crowdfunding
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Apr 15, 2018
A truely inspirational voyage. God speed you brave team and may the sea's be calm Seb and Jo Lawrence-Mills
Apr 7, 2018
Mar 30, 2018
Walk on water!
Mar 20, 2018
Looking forward to joining you in Eyemouth
Mar 14, 2018
Good luck lads. Make sure you ration your snacks and don’t forget your Marmite. Safe journey.
Feb 20, 2018
Feb 13, 2018
I send love and prayers to you all for a successful journey.
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About the fundraiser
Andrew Carnegie and Rev Dr Howard Worsley
Andrew- Entrepreneur, innovator, adventurer & poet, shaken out of his corporate comfort into exploring faith. Howard -Vicar & senior educator of priests, seeking to explore the current interface between faith and society, whilst exploring where the church has missed its mission.
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