The Archbishop of Westminster has paid a visit to Catholic charity Liverpool Seafarers Centre, encouraging local communities to support seafarers ahead of Sea Sunday this month.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols visited the charity’s Crosby headquarters on 15 June to hear about the support it offers the 50,000 seafarers passing through the Port of Liverpool annually. The cardinal, who grew up in Crosby, said: ‘It’s wonderful to know the centre is there to respond to the needs of seafarers, with practical and spiritual support, and I really do want to thank them. Seafarers have long been synonymous with the city of Liverpool, but more importantly they play a fundamental role in each of our lives, with 95 per cent of British imports and exports transported by sea.’
Sea Sunday falls on 14 July and charities including the national Apostleship of the Sea, the Mission to Seafarers and the Sailors’ Society as well as non-denominational groups such as Sea Cadets are planning fundraisers, parades and awareness campaigns. Cardinal Nichols added: ‘We’re encouraging all parishes to reach out ahead of Sea Sunday and help raise greater awareness of the important contribution that seafarers make to all of our lives.
‘When I visited Tilbury Docks, I was surprised to learn about the speed with which ships turn around and the limited opportunities crew members have to get off the ships and to do the things you can’t do on ships, such as go to church, shop, get medical attention and contact their families.’
Liverpool Seafarers Centre CEO John Wilson said it was ‘a privilege’ to welcome the cardinal and added: ‘We were thrilled he was able to pay tribute to the work of all those involved with our charity while acknowledging the professionalism, dedication and sacrifice of our visiting seafarers. He said the Church will continue supporting their faith and welfare needs through its maritime mission agency, the Apostleship of the Sea.’
Liverpool Seafarers Centre is a partnership between the Catholic Apostleship of the Sea and the Anglican Mersey Mission to Seafarers and offers a place to rest and receive practical and emotional support through its bases in Liverpool Cruise Terminal, Crosby and Eastham.
• For more information, visit: www.liverpoolseafarerscentre.org