International seafarer welfare charity, The Mission to Seafarers (MtS), on Monday announced that its annual Sea Sunday celebrations will be broadcast online, connecting seafarers around the world during this global crisis.
Seafarers Awareness Week starts on the 6th July and culminates in Sea Sunday, 12th July. This year’s service will take place via the Mission’s Youtube channel and website and is an opportunity to focus on the world’s seafarers and let them know that they are celebrated and valued.
The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General of the Mission will be joined by some very special guests, as well as chaplains and seafarers from across the globe. The service will also include a message from the charity’s President, HRH The Princess Royal.
Sea Sunday has been a long-term fixture on The Mission to Seafarers’ calendar, but the event this year carries even greater poignancy. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, seafarers have selflessly continued to keep the global economy turning – ensuring that essential cargoes of food, medicine and other supplies reach us.
It is widely recognised that life at sea is challenging and unpredictable, but the last couple of months have magnified the challenges faced by seafarers. With welfare services scaled back in line with social distancing regulations, feelings of loneliness and isolation have also been exacerbated.
The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers, said, “This Sea Sunday is special. We are enabling all seafarers, and those connected to the community, to come together as an extended Mission to Seafarers’ family. From London to Lagos and Manila to Melbourne, we believe there is power when we come together as a global community. We are united in gratitude, especially in recognition of the heroic work of seafarers, and in hope for the future.
“Throughout this challenging time, our chaplains and port centres across the world have been adapting their usual activities to safely meet the needs of seafarers. Connecting this Sea Sunday to everyone around the globe provides a great opportunity to thank so many for their dedicated service alongside seafarers.
“We are extremely honoured to share a message from our President, HRH The Princess Royal, with our other distinguished guests, as we celebrate our international key workers. Together we can show these men and women that we appreciate them and recognise the sacrifices they are making during this global crisis.”
The service will feature Lloyd’s Choir and Hadrian Primary School Choir from South Shields, both of which have previously performed at celebrations hosted by the Mission. South Shields is one of the most historic UK shipping centres, with a deep heritage in seafaring.
The service will be available to watch again after its initial streaming to allow all seafarers, as well as friends and supporters of the Mission, access to this global celebration.