Caring across the globe
Mission to Seafarers is an Anglican mission located in ports across the world. We genuinely care for seafarers, not just physically in time of illness or injury, but spiritually and emotionally through the provision of a chaplain. We also distribute Bibles and portions of the Scriptures and provide a Christian environment 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.
Meet 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, he was in parish ministry on the south coast of NSW. Jake is married to Jennifer and they have five children: Malakai, Esther, Reggie, Jonah and Fenella. They have settled in well and are enjoying life in the Pilbara.
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 particularly enjoys visiting ships and spending time with seafarers, especially when they need a helping hand.
How we work
Each mission has a centre providing a safe-haven for seafarers who live and work in a dangerous environment. At these centres, seafarers will find a place to relax, have a coffee, and a chat with sympathetic listeners. They’re often away from their families for long periods of time, so we also provide an opportunity to obtain phone cards, or inexpensive internet to connect with loved ones. Seafarers can stock up on essentials for life at sea or purchase gifts to take back home. They will also be offered Bibles or other Christian literature and 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.
Chaplains will advocate for seafarers when there’s a need — whether it be raising unfair wages or conditions with the appropriate maritime authorities, advocating for better medical evacuation procedures, or supporting seafarers who have had a serious accident while in port.
Our chaplains visit ships anchored in port to speak with the Captain and crew — sometimes to run a church service, or to read the Bible and pray with people. It’s 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.
We can provide transport to the centre if required, into the town for shopping, or from ship to shore. Centres also provide currency exchange facilities. There is a chapel at each centre where church 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.