No. 1117 - Burnie - Mission to Seafarers

The Mission to Seafarers (formerly The Missions to Seamen) is a Christian welfare charity serving merchant crews around the world. It operates through a global Mission family network of chaplains, staff and volunteers and provides practical, emotional and spiritual support through ship visits, drop-in seafarers centres and a range of welfare and emergency support services.

The Mission to Seafarers has its roots in the work of Anglican priest John Ashley. In 1835 Ashley was asked by his son how sailors on ships in the Bristol Channel could go to church. Recognising the needs of the seafarers on the four hundred sailing vessels in the Bristol Channel, Ashley created the Bristol Channel Mission. In 1839 a specially designed mission cutter named Eirene was built with a main cabin designed to be converted into a chapel for 100 people.

John Ashley's work inspired similar ministries in the UK, and it was decided in 1856 that these groups should be formally organised under the name The Mission to Seamen Afloat, at Home and Abroad. In 1858, this name was changed to ‘The Missions to Seamen’ and more recently to ‘The Mission to Seafarers’. The Flying Angel logo which was adopted in 1858 is still in use to this day.

Australia currently has 27 Mission to Seafarers' centres, including three in Tasmania, at Hobart, Bell Bay and the Port of Burnie.

The Mission at Burnie is located at 7 Anchor Avenue within the port precinct. Missions typically include a small shop, as well as access to a chapel, phones, computers, WiFi, and someone to talk with.

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