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An offshore parish

Jackie Macadam meets the chaplain to the UK oil and gas industry.

“EVERY offshore visit is different but I usually find it is best to meet with the workforce outside, at the actual workplace. People tend to be less inhibited outside and that is the place where they will tell me of their issues – or perhaps have a go at the church and religion!”

The Rev Gordon Craig is a minister but his parish is a bit different from the norm – sometimes travelling to his work by helicopter and to be found over 100 miles offshore, tending to his ‘flock’ – the men and women who work on the oil and gas rigs that serve the UK.

“‘Tea shack’ gatherings are usually boisterous and the banter and humour is very similar to that which I encountered during my years as a military chaplain.

The Rev Craig Gordon taking an offshore act of remembrance

I find it challenging at times but also great fun although one has got to be able to give as much as receive! There are interesting stories – but none I could share with the readers of Life and Work…!” he says.

Though there are a few women working on the rigs, it’s very much a masculine environment, and Gordon’s time spent as a military chaplain with the RAF has stood him in good stead.

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About Life and Work

In this month's issue: 150 Years of Scripture Union and the anniversary celebrations. General Assembly: 10 pages of reports and pictures from the Assembly, Fringe and Heart and Soul. An Offshore Parish: The chaplain to the UK's oil and gas industry.
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