Ecumenical charity the Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC) is urging churches to remember seafarers caught in the Coronavirus pandemic during Holy Week and Easter.
Seafarers are providing a vital service as 95% of the UK imports and exports come via sea including food and medicines.
On Palm Sunday, LSC members were able to hand out ‘blessed’ crosses to visiting workers. LSC CEO, John Wilson said “The biggest challenge we are hearing from seafarers is that they are unclear how or when they will return home when their contracts end. They are also far from home, with most seafarers coming from South East Asia, and worried about loved ones. This is putting real pressure on their mental health. They must not be forgotten.”
The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP the Archbishop of Liverpool Catholic diocese added: “The work of seafarers is vital…We must support them in prayer and in every practical way allowed under current government restrictions.”
The Liverpool Seafarers Centre’s roots date back to the 19th century. It is a partnership between the Catholic Apostleship of the Sea (Liverpool) and the Anglican Mersey Mission to Seafarers. LSC supports around 50,000 seafarers passing through the city each year. They offer a listening ear to help combat isolation and loneliness and providing places ashore for seafarers to relax away from their working environment.
LSC is appealing for donations during Holy Week and beyond of toiletries, puzzles and games, warm clothing, fresh fruit, CDs and recently released DVDs. You can donate online or if you are nearby then goods can be left in the porch of LSC’s Crosby headquarters or Eastham base from where the LSC team will take them out to ships.