Robert Woods CBE, Chairman of The Mission to Seafarers said: "Andrew has developed considerable insights into seafaring issues and has built strong personal relationships across the maritime charity sector. He will provide the essential inspirational, strategic leadership to our mission chaplaincy teams which offer welfare support in over 250 ports in 71 countries around the world, and oversee our international HQ in London."
Revd Wright’s appointment follows the sudden, tragic death of the Mission’s previous Secretary General, the Revd Tom Heffer, in 2012.
On his first day, Revd Wright said: “It is exciting and daunting to be taking on the role of Secretary General to this worldwide Mission. In doing so I am conscious of my distinguished predecessors, and especially of Tom. I am determined to take his work forward and to continue to focus on the provision of professional welfare services for seafarers in areas of greatest need.
“I hope to be faithful to the past, ensuring that we remain rooted in what has driven and sustained us all these years. At the same time, I am committed to ensuring that we do not stand still, that we do not get cosy and that we take wing, energetically and creatively, into ensuring that our service, our ministry, remains dynamic, focused and relevant.
“Ours is a remarkable and privileged work amongst a fantastic group of people, so often forgotten and sadly now so hidden from the public imagination. Within that lie all the issues we know so well: isolation; danger; exhaustion; family worry; fears of many kinds; and, sometimes, real nastiness.
“Bringing light in darkness will continue to involve us with justice issues of all kinds. This must happen both at the macro level, in our work with governments and institutions, and at the micro level in our work with individual ships and seafarers in ports.
“I look forward enormously to working with you all.”
Revd Wright was ordained at Liverpool Cathedral in 1984. He spent years working in urban areas of significant deprivation in Liverpool, Carlisle and Wigan before becoming chaplain, head of religious studies and housemaster for 16 years at St Edward’s School in Oxford. He joined Fishermen’s Mission in 2007 as chaplain and director of operations, and has now taken up his new role as Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers.