Mission to Seafarers' Norfolk Celebrations
Global maritime welfare charity The Mission to Seafarers has launched its annual Sea Sunday campaign, to celebrate 160 years of caring for seafarers around the world, and some Norfolk churches are taking part.
Sea Sunday will be held on July 10 and is a time when Mission supporters all over the world come together to celebrate and remember the lives of those who work at sea. Since 1856 the Mission has faithfully served the men and women of the merchant fleet who have dedicated their lives to seafaring; crews who have in turn served their countries during war and through peacetime.
Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers, said: “This year marks The Mission to Seafarers’ 160th anniversary and we are celebrating the lives of seafarers and their families by holding a special Sea Sunday. The theme for our anniversary is ‘The Mission to Seafarers, then and now’.
I very much hope that many churches will be able to support us by holding a Sea Sunday event on that day. I am proud to have seen our dynamic, global work flourish and grow in the last three years, with new development projects being rolled out from Falmouth to the Philippines; across Asia, the Middle East, USA and Australia, in over 200 ports in 50 countries.
In 1856, moved by the needs and struggles of the seafarers toiling in the Bristol Channel, The Reverend John Ashley set up a ministry to seafarers, which lay the foundations of today’s Mission. We have come a very long way since we were founded. We have a dedicated team of chaplains, staff and volunteers providing vital spiritual, emotional and practical advice to the world’s 1.5 million seafarers. Shipwreck, abandonment, piracy and separation from loved ones are just a few of the challenges seafarers face. No matter what the problem, seafarers know they can turn to The Mission to Seafarers.”
A seafarer’s life is often dangerous and lonely. But it doesn’t have to be friendless and without hope. Mission centres provide a ‘home away from home’ where seafarers can relax and use internet and phone facilities to contact their loved ones, while its ship-visitors provide on-board practical and emotional support to crews.
Norfolk churches taking part in Sea Sunday include St Benedicts in Horning, St Marys in Watton, North & South Wootton PCC, and St Andrew’s, Eaton who have made Mission to Seafarers their Charity of the Month.
Margaret Enger from St Mary’s Watton said “Our Sea Sunday celebration will be an an informal parish eucharist (common worship) at 10am. Our speaker will be Mr. Paul Weatherill, who is well equipped for the role, being an experienced amateur seaman with a good knowledge of the North Sea. He will be giving the talk on Sunday and I will be leading the intercessions. The celebrant is Rev. Deborah Hamilton-Grey, our curate.”
To download Sea Sunday materials and get involved please go to www.seasunday.org
Join in the conversation this year via @FlyingAngelNews #SeaSunday or find us on Facebook/themissiontoseafarers.
Just Giving: www.justgiving.com/themissiontoseafarers/donate
The above image is courtesy of www.seasunday.org