2020 is going to be a big year for The Mission to Seafarers. Aren’t they all? Amongst so much that is happening, I will highlight just two things. In October, of course, we are holding our first MtS World Conference since 2006. The sheer logistics of putting on such a conference are quite terrifying. We hope we will have a programme that will inspire and a week together that will promote friendship, unity and common purpose.
2020 is also the year in which we have to draw together the threads of our new five-year strategy. At present, this is with the Regions and with IHQ teams for further work as we make practical plans for responding to the strategic challenges – locally, regionally and globally. Last week I spent a day with our Development Team. Many of the team are quite new, and I am so pleased with the way they have taken their work forward in recent months individually and together. 2019 was a year of many successes for them against a background of very formidable challenges. I am delighted with the progress. There were many good news stories, and the meeting was bubbling with great ideas. Of particular importance in the coming years will be enhanced work to help the Regions achieve sustainability, building on the work which Jan Webber has initiated. In 2019 those initiatives included productive liaison with Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. I am excited by what might emerge in 2020, not just in fundraising but in Comms as well.
By the way, does anyone fancy joining me as part of the MtS team to take on a sponsored cycle from London to Paris in July? I am constantly being reminded that we are a team – whether we are involved at the front line or in a supportive capacity, we all need each other and everybody who plays any part in The Mission to Seafarers is integral to its effectiveness. What was it St Paul said about “the body”? It is so good to see that in daily action in our amazingly global and diverse ministry. I hope 2020 will be a year of growing together in our common service to seafarers and their families.