Chris Reynolds named Stella Maris’ new Regional Port Chaplain

4 Jul, 2024 | Bishops, News, World

In January, Chris Reynolds (pictured above blessing a seafarer) swapped teaching chemistry in secondary school for a front-line role with Stella Maris, the Catholic charity that supports seafarers and fishers both practically and spiritually.  The charity had begun building a presence in Northern Ireland in 2019.

As Regional Port Chaplain, Chris visits seafarers in ports across the North including Belfast, Ardglass Foyle Port and Warrenpoint and hopes to continue to build the capacity of Stella Maris to reach seafarers soon in areas such as Kilkeel and Larne.

In taking up his new role Mr Reynolds said, “I’m really enjoying it. Being here in Belfast, the job is fantastic.  It’s an absolute dream job for me.

“I’m out every day visiting ships, speaking to seafarers.  As a former seafarer, I find that really engaging.  I work very closely with the Mission to Seafarers, and they very kindly let me work out of their Seafarers Centre.  It is a privilege to work alongside chaplains and ministers from other denominations doing what we can to provide practical support to the seafaring community.

“Deacon Joe O’Donnell has been very helpful. He’s our Senior Area Port Chaplain for Scotland and Northern Ireland.  He has been right there behind me the whole way; in the first instance I was able to follow his example but now more and more I am discovering my own way and growing in confidence in the role.”


Mr Reynolds continues, “There will be a day when I visit six ships, which is great, but there will be a day when I visit two because I could be taking people to hospital appointments, into town or to the Seafarers Centre.”

It has been an almost seamless transition for Stella Maris’ most recent recruit who is driven by the core values of the charity that was founded in Glasgow back in 1920.

In recent years, Deacon Joe had laid the foundations for Stella Maris in Northern Ireland with regular working visits there from Scotland.  He had been ably supported throughout this process by Fr Gerry McCloskey, who was appointed chaplain to Stella Maris by the Bishop. Fr Gerry has played a significant role in supporting the fishing community, encouraging volunteers and saying Mass on board vessels, most recently on-board Dublin Eagle.

Mr Reynolds is now building on those foundations and expanding the charity’s volunteer base in the North.  The charity’s growth of activities has been supported by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board. is grateful to Euan McArthur for contacting us at [email protected] and for providing content which has been used in this story for publication.

For more information about Stella Maris please visit here


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