Once again, it’s that time of the year when we support the Mission to Seafarers and celebrate Sea Sunday – this year on Sunday 9th July 2017. As well as raising money to help those who work at sea, the day is celebrated with services, parades and ship blessings all round the world as a sign of respect and recognition of the work that the world’s 1.5 million merchant seafarers carry out every day.
The Mission to Seafarers is a Mission agency of the Church of England, founded in 1856 and entirely funded by voluntary donations. It provides vital welfare services to those who risk their lives at sea all over the globe. Its teams of caring Chaplains and volunteers offer the hand of Christian fellowship and a safe haven for sick, lonely, exhausted and troubled crews of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs in ports all round the world. Whether caring for the victims of piracy, or providing a lifeline to those stranded in foreign ports it is there for all – every day of the year.
Throughout its 161 year history the Mission has had to frequently adapt to new circumstances, but there can be no doubt of its commitment to its core Christian and charitable purposes. In the UK, the importance of sea travel cannot be overestimated, when over 90% of the things we could not live without – including food, fuel, medicines, clothes and household goods are transported by sea. Yet all over the world, thousands of seafarers are abandoned on ships every year without pay, and often with no water food or fuel. Seafarers will speak of the challenges of their life at sea: the effects of long periods of separation from their families has upon their relationships, and the stress, strain and unhappiness caused by distance.
Can we make this one day when Seafarers may be out of sight, but not out of mind?
To find out more about Mission to Seafarers, click here.