Lent Appeal 2022

Our 2022 Lent appeal comes two years since the pandemic struck so intensely and with such devastating impact. That impact, as you are all aware, was not only felt by us on land, but felt most acutely and dramatically by seafarers and their families.

Download the Lenten booklet. 

In our communications since then, including in these appeal letters, we have told the story of the plight of seafarers and of our response, one which has been against the most challenging of backgrounds. We have had to carry out our work in very different ways. Your support has been harnessed to enormous energy and creativity in our frontline chaplaincy teams and those in London. The ministry which has emerged has been transformational in so many ways.

I have recently been rereading the history of The Mission to Seafarers, written at the time of our centenary in 1956 (before I was born so it must be time for a new one!). It is very apparent that what has been achieved in 2021 and 2022 has been in the very best traditions of this organisation.

As we mused over a theme for this Lent appeal, a Bible verse emerged from Philippians. “Look not to your own interests but to the interests of others”. It is that approach to life which is rooted in, and demanded by, the Christian faith and values which lie at the heart of all we do.

Donate to our Lent Appeal

If you would like to support the work we do, please click on the button below to donate to this appeal.


Over these past two years, I have seen that approach in abundance, both in how so many have carried forward our mission and in those who have supported it with such high levels of engagement and generosity. “Look not to your own interests but to the interests of others”. Such a good phrase to contemplate through Lent.

When I was a parish vicar, I used to reflect on how often I would visit ordinary homes where nothing
was apparently wrong and discover enormous depths of unexpected pain and suffering. Throughout the pandemic, that has been increasingly true of so many homes across the world, including those of seafarers. In their case, domestic difficulty and trauma is often made so much worse by the absence of a spouse, or other key family members, at sea. And the issues at home are felt so acutely by those absent. They have to deal with both the pain of what is happening and the pain of feeling absolutely powerless to help. Here is just one story from our superb chaplaincy team in Tuticorin, India.

John Paul has been a seafarer for the past 12 years. While he was on board, his mother became sick and tested positive for COVID-19. She was admitted to a hospital in her local village for treatment and she eventually recovered. Unfortunately, following his mother’s illness, his pregnant wife was also infected and was admitted to the same hospital, seriously ill. John Paul signed off on 9th June 2021 but the very next day, on 10th June, his wife died at the hospital. Due to the lockdown situation, he could only reach home on 12th June. Until his arrival, the body was kept at the mortuary in the hospital and the funeral took place on his arrival. He has a daughter aged six.

John Paul came and received one of the MtS emergency relief packs, as well as the pulse oximeter
and infrared thermometer when we held our feeding program in his village. Our Mission’s help to
such bereaved families at this crucial time is much appreciated by the maritime communities in that
village and beyond.”

Donate to our Lent Appeal

If you would like to support the work we do, please click on the button below to donate to this appeal.


It is such a tragic story to read, redolent with deep sadness and untold stress for so many involved.
Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon one in these difficult times. The interventions of our Family Support Networks, in this case in India, have made such a difference to so many lives, both practically and pastorally. They have shed at least some light and warmth on a terrible situation.

As we glimpse just one of the countless narratives that have come our way over these last two years, we are reminded again of the importance of our work and of the particularly stressful challenges faced by seafarers and their families. Never has it been more important to take forward the duty which we have – to look not to our own interests but to those of others. Thank you so very much for doing just that.

We hope you enjoy reading and participating in our special maritime Lent Reflections. As you know, we rely entirely on voluntary donations for our global work so your gift at this important time of the year – however large or small – has an even more powerful impact. Please give a donation if you can – we would be most grateful.

In friendship.

The Revd. Canon Andrew Wright
Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers

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