Sea Sunday, the second Sunday in July, is the day that many Christian churches set aside to celebrate, remember and pray for seafarers and their families and give thanks for their lives and work. It is an opportunity to think about and thank those seafarers whose work in supporting our way of life we often take for granted.
More than 90% of the world’s goods and fuels are transported around the world by sea. Without the men and women who crew the ships trade would grind to a halt and economies collapse; this would place countless businesses and jobs around the world in jeopardy. For some seafarers a maritime life is a career of choice and one that can bring great pleasure and satisfaction. For others it is the only feasible route out of poverty – a hardship they endure so as to provide a better life for their families at home despite the sacrifice of time away from them. Either way their lives can be far from idyllic, with many regularly completing lengthy series of voyages that leave them isolated from friends and family for many months. This can have a serious impact on relationships and mental health at the best of times but has been particularly damaging during the pandemic.
As we in the UK are enjoying a gradual return to normal life, a humanitarian and safety crisis is still raging at sea. Travel restrictions have left hundreds of thousands of seafarers stranded on board or unable to join their ships. There are reports of crew members who have been at sea for 15, 18, even 21 months continuously – even in port there has often been no shore leave. In some cases unprofitable ships have just been abandoned by their owners and crews left to fend for themselves. Tragically there have been suicides as hopelessness takes grip.
The Mission to Seafarers offers practical and emotional support and spiritual guidance to all seafarers regardless of nationality, faith or no faith. This is made possible through their representation at over 200 sea ports across 50 different countries. Sea Sunday will be theme of Sunday Worship in Kenwyn Church at 11am on 11 July. Please join us! There will be special Gift Aid envelopes for donations to the Mission so please bring a note or a cheque if you can. We look forward to welcoming you.
Contact David Lovelock (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like more information.