Every year the Anglican Church celebrates and prays for the Seafarers of the world. Bunbury has a long history of supporting the seafarers who have visited Bunbury Port. The Conns sisters established the first mission to Seafarers club in 1903.
There has been a continuous ministry since that date. I served as chaplain and chairman for 10 years in the Bunbury Mission. In general people have many and varied images of a seafarer, from a man who has a wife in every port, hard drinking and not always a desirable person. In reality this is far from the truth. Most seafarers come from the poorest countries in the world who have to spend up to 10 months at a time away from home. They support extended families back home. They live in very cramped conditions and are often very lonely.
The Bunbury mission provides a home from home atmosphere where the seafarers can relax, make contact with their families, receive spiritual guidance from the chaplain, and shop in the central business district. A bus service is provided to bring countless men from ship to shore and return.
At a time when the Christian Church and faith are under attack because of tragic mistakes made by a minority of clergy and laity, we should celebrate the wonderful ministries exercised everyday. The Mission to Seafarers is just one of the
countless organisations that continue the compassionate ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yours in Christ’s Service
Ven. Brian Newing