BISHOPS from across the Anglican Communion who work to support
the Mission to Seafarers, including some from as far away as
Tasmania and the Cayman Islands, met the Archbishop of Canterbury
at the end of last month to discuss the dangers faced by the
world's 1.3 million sailors.
The bishops held a week-long conference, and spent World
Maritime Day (26 September) at Lambeth Palace. The Archbishop
praised the Mission for being on the frontline of helping
seafarers, and said that its work was "sorely needed".
The Mission to Seafarers pro-vides emergency assistance and
practical support, as well as counselling, to crews around the
world. Its Secretary General, the Revd Andrew Wright, said: "The
role of the Liaison Bishop is key to ensuring that the Mission's
teams of chaplaincy staff and volunteers in 260 ports, in 71
countries, have effective support on the ground.
"The bishops liaise between the Mission and the wider Church,
and exercise a pastoral ministry which promotes and develops
effectiveness, harmony, and the smooth running of local maritime
ministries in their particular province."
Seafarers today spend months - sometimes years - at sea, putting
pressure on family life and their mental health. They are also
often victims of piracy, and of abandonment in port by
The Mission to Seafarers has been supporting sailors and their
families for 157 years.