Lent Appeal 2023

Tears of joy flowed from my eyes – A mother’s thank you to our supporters!

As I reflected on the contents of my letter to you this Lent, I realised that February 2023 also marks my tenth year as Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers. Looking back over the pictures I have taken in that time, some of the most striking are those with the many crew I have met. Like so many migrant workers, I have never ceased to be struck by the enormous sacrifices they make,
for all of us. Perhaps that period of the pandemic, when their difficulties and sufferings were so real and a bit more public, reminded us of the heroism shown in sustaining world trade. We are all so reliant on these incredible people for most of the essential and luxuries of our lives, and yet we are generally so blind to all those efforts.

While there are, of course, positives to seafarers’ lives – and many find fulfilment in them – the sacrifices are very real. Long, long months, perhaps even over a year, on contracts which take you far away from loved ones. Remote from those family and friendship networks which most of us take for granted. Distanced from those intimacies which bring comfort and reassurance. Absent from children, perhaps, whose vital growing years and milestones can be missed. Then there are the inevitable physical challenges and dangers of working in the shipboard environment, often with dangerous cargoes. The pandemic and the Ukraine war have reminded us of the vulnerability of crew to unexpected global crises. These often hit them with particular speed and ferocity. There is much to reflect on as we move into Lent.

Donate to our Lent 2023 Appeal

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


Even as I write, restrictions on shore leave continue to bring hardship. The circumstances of the conflict in Ukraine have brought great pain to Ukrainian (and indeed Russian) crew, as well as families caught up in it, displaced from their homes and country. Others, of course, face deep scourges such as abandonment, usually out of sight and out of mind.

Given that sacrificial love lies at the very heart of faith, again and again I have reflected on the extraordinary “Christlike” nature of seafarer lives, though most would never claim such a thing. It is a deep and profound thing – and very humbling to most of us.

Our teams across the world are proud to be working with this truly amazing group of people. It is our absolute focus to support seafarers and their families in the midst of all their challenges – in ports, through our advocacy work, and through our growing range of wider programmes, including our excellent Family Support Networks. There are a myriad different ways in which we bring transformational help, including human connection and compassion. Here is just one little story, from Halifax in Canada, in which small things changed lives in big ways:

“One day, my son Patrick, an international seafarer sent me his ship’s itinerary. I was surprised when I read that their ship would go to Halifax, in Canada. I whispered to my port and starboard side ears that this was the ‘few and far between’ opportunity to meet my son who I haven’t seen in 7 years.
Beforehand my son had a port visit in the USA but at that time there was a pandemic, and it was extremely difficult to reach him. My dream of seeing my son was not to be, due to numerous anti-covid restrictions and protocols. But I’m thankful that God gave me another chance. After confirmation of my son’s journey, we set off for Halifax and ‘The Mission to Seafarers’ Centre.
At ‘The Mission’ we met Joy and Deacon Art. I was amazed by the beauty and coziness of the Halifax Centre. The attentiveness and kindness of the staff was striking. Since we hadn’t met Ms. Helen Glenn yet, Danny took us to other beautiful spots in Halifax (Downtown, Titanic Grave Site and the Citadel).
The day my son’s ship arrived, early in the morning, Ms. Helen Glenn, picked us from the hotel personally. Our reunion with our son was expedited by the efforts of the Canadian Angels from ‘The Mission to Seafarers Halifax’ Centre. Thank you so much Ms. Helen Glenn! You are really very good and organized in coordinating our get-together. I was impressed with your remarkable energy
and expeditious assistance to us to make all this possible.
You did not miss any information regarding my son’s ship situation as we found out from you that the ship would only stay in Halifax for a few hours and depart in the evening. I was so nervous, happy and my feeling was indescribable while I was waiting for my son at the dock.
What we have been hoping for a long time as mother and son happened – we hugged and kissed each other. Tears of joy flowed from my eyes, as I really missed my son. The MtS Halifax is really a great place to visit. They gave us transportation and took care of our needs.
We were appreciative and a bit overwhelmed of the amount of support that was given to us. We were captivated by the dedication of the staff to help the seafarers.”
Donate to our Lent 2023 Appeal

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


This is a great example of the diverse ways in which we help seafarers and their families, but none of our work is possible without you, our supporters, upon whom we depend. You help us by individual donations and regular giving, you help with legacies and In Memoriam gifts, when sadly a loved one passes away, and via your churches and local communities.

In the long, hard months at sea – your care truly matters. Thank you!

We are currently growing our work, in response to increased need, including investing £750,000 over three years to expand our ship visiting across all our nine regions (including in Halifax). We want to maximise our outreach to crew, most especially during these times when life is very challenging for many of us, but very especially for seafarers.

As we all reflect during Lent, spare a thought for seafarers – now more than ever in need of our in-person care. Through your own sacrifice this Lent, please help us reach our goal in providing this much-needed care, by making a donation to help families like Patrick and his mum. Please do help us in whatever way you can. We thank you for all your support and for your prayers.

In friendship, as ever.
The Revd. Canon Andrew Wright
Secretary General

P.S. Please share with us what you gave up this Lent to support seafarers
Donate to our Lent 2023 Appeal

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

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