Mission to Seafarers is an Anglican mission located in ports across the world. The international office is in London. The mission seeks to care for the welfare of seafarers, not just physically, but spiritually through the provision of a chaplain, the distribution of Bibles and portions of the Scriptures; a Christian environment in the centres with people willing to listen and share the good news of Jesus.
Our diocese is privileged to have three Mission to Seafarers operating in the ports of Geraldton, Dampier and Port Hedland.
how DOes mission to seafarers operate?
Each mission has a centre providing a safe haven for seafarers who live and work in a dangerous environment. As well, they are often away from their families for long periods of time. So what will seafarers find in our MTS centres? A place to relax, have a coffee, and a chat with sympathetic listeners. An opportunity to obtain phone cards, or inexpensive internet to connect with family. A chance to stock up on essentials for life at sea, as well as purchasing gifts to take back home. Seafarers will also be offered Bibles or Christian literature or an opportunity to discuss the Christian faith.
Each centre enlists the help of volunteers from the community, usually recruited from churches in the town. They are an invaluable ingredient in the provision of care for seafarers – without them centres could not meet the needs of seafarers in an adequate or sustainable way.
Our chaplains visit ships anchored in port to speak with the captain and the crew; sometimes to run a church service, or to read the Bible and pray with people. It’s also an opportunity for members of the crew to speak with someone who isn’t part of the ship’s structure, especially if there is a matter of concern, worry or injustice. These visits may also enable the chaplain to facilitate assistance if crew members are suffering from illness or grief.
Our centres usually provide transport to the centre if required, or into the town for supermarket shopping; or, from ship to shore as is the case in Port Hedland. Centres also provide currency exchange facilities.
There is a chapel at each centre where services are held; or, it may simply provide a space for people to quietly sit, pray and reflect on God’s love in Christ.
At times chaplains are able to provide ongoing Bible study materials for seafarers that maintain the link established during a port visit. They offer a means of encouragement to Christians in the lonely times of life at sea.
Chaplains will advocate for seafarers when there’s a need – whether it be raising unfair wages or conditions with the appropriate maritime authorities; or, advocating for better medical evacuation procedures; or, supporting seafarers who have had serous accidents while in port.
WHO are OUR chaplains?
Rev Wayne Sutton
Wayne previously served as the diocesan registrar before taking on the role as the MTS chaplain in Geraldton. He is married to Gladys, who manages the MTS shop.
Rev Jake de Salis
Jake was appointed chaplain at Dampier in 2016. Before coming to the North West Jake was in parish ministry on the south coast of NSW. He is married to Jennifer and they have 5 children: Malakai, Esther, Reggie, Jonah and Fenella.
They have settled in well an are enjoying life in the Pilbara.
Rev Derek McArtney
Derek moved from parish ministry in Newman to this senior chaplain at Port hedland MTS in 2017. He is married to Amanda and they have adult children with 2 grandchildren. Derek’s role includes support of the other MTS chaplains and overall responsibility for the very large centre at Port Hedland.
Amanda co-ordinates safe ministry training for the diocese.
Garry is the assistant chaplain at Port Hedland. He and his wife Kathy, who works in administration in the centre, have been involved in MTS ministry for many years. Garry really enjoys visiting ships and spending time with seafarers, especially when they need a helping hand.
HOW CAN YOU CONTACT US?
mobile – 0466 128 285
email – email@example.com
phone – (08) 9183 1424
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Derek’s mobile – 0499 778 116
Derek’s email – email@example.com
Garry’s phone – (08) 9173 1315
Garry’s email – firstname.lastname@example.org
WHERE WILL YOU FIND US?
Geraldton: 272 Marine Terrace (just near the Port Authority)
post: PO Box 744, Geraldton, WA 6531
phone: +61 8 99 21 3272
Dampier: The Esplanade, Dampier
phone: +61 8 9183 1424
Port Hedland: corner of Wilson and Wedge Streets
post: PO Box 63, Port Hedland WA 6721, Australia
phone: +61 8 9173 1315