‘When you experience the power of the sea and storms at night it makes you open to something beyond’ – former captain charts new course training for ministry


Lee Higson recently left his 22-year career at sea to train as an Ordinand with the Diocese of Manchester. 
A man in an orange jumpsuit looks out from the deck of a boat

Lee worked as a Captain onboard an FPSO – a cross between a ship and an oil rig – 120 miles east of Aberdeen in the North Sea.

When back home with his wife and three boys, worshipped at Deane Parish Church, in Bolton. 

Reflecting on his time at sea, Lee says, “there was always a great camaraderie on board” but recalls that worship could be challenging, “on a small platform in middle of the North Sea.”

So, Lee began a Sunday morning ‘cell church’ onboard, where fellow Seafarers could meet weekly to read and discuss the Bible together, to pray for each another, and to pray for the crew onboard. 

“Seafarers are generally so open-minded,” says Lee. 

“When you have experienced the power of the sea and storms at night it makes you open to something beyond the secular world.

“It is not difficult to have faith-based conversations”.  

Describing his own faith, Lee explains, “When I am outside on a ship or a boat at night, I look at the night sky and I don't have any doubts at all. It confirms my faith. I can see God in the stars; I can see His power and His love.”

It is at those times, Lee says, that he remembered the verses from Psalm 107: 'Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep.'

Lee is currently on placement at Oldhams Church in Bolton, completing his studies at St. Mellitus College and will be ordained as Deacon in July.

More information:

  • The Church of England's Vision and Strategy for the 2020s is helping us to be a Church which proclaims and lives out the Good News of Jesus Christ afresh in every generation.