Mission To Seafarers Gets Boost

 Mission To Sea Farers Gets Boost

Mission To Seafarers Gets Boost
A new minister has been licensed in South Shields, taking on three of the major challenges facing the town. Father Chris Fuller has become vicar of St Hilda’s, part of the Anglican Diocese of Durham, the Town Centre Chaplain and Chaplain to South Shields’ Mission to Seafarers. A former London vicar who was also an Army padre for four years, he said: “The diversity of the job attracted me. This is not just about simply being the vicar of a church. “Being a chaplain means working with people who are not necessarily associated with the church but who still need support. “The big challenge is trying to do the three roles at the same time but, collectively, it is a great opportunity to provide outreach and offer faith.” [expand-contract expand-title=”Read-On” swaptitle=”Read-Less” trigclass=”expand-highlight” trigpos=”below” tag=”readon”] The Ven Stuart Bain, Archdeacon of Sunderland, said that the role was crucial in a town that attracted so many seafarers. He said: “We are bringing a new vision for the church in South Shields and building on the partnership with the mission to be looking outwards all the time. We need to offer a welcome to the many seafarers that come to the town from all over the world.” Commenting on figures that suggest 38 per cent of children in the parish live in poverty, and that the area has high levels deprivation, he said: “We need to engage with people when life is tough at a time when hope is beginning to disappear because of economic pressures and lack of jobs. The church has to be there ministering alongside them. As a church, we need to help people in practical terms.” The Right Rev Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow, said it was important that the church worked with other organisations in the town. He said: “The vision is for a church that, along with lots of other people, can make a real difference for those people for whom life is difficult. We are about bringing good news to the poor, binding up those who are broken-hearted and comforting those who are sad. “My message to other organisations is ‘work with us, we want to work with you‘. We are all going in the same direction, we have the same vision for this place  and together we will be better and stronger.” Revd Canon Hugh Mosswood, Director of  Chaplaincy for the Mission to Seafarers, said: “Seafarers have great numbers of needs. We look after the spiritual, moral and physical welfare needs of the seafarers that come to the town.” St Hilda’s is a key part of the town centre, according to Mayoress Tricia Ridley, who said: “St Hilda’s stands as a figurehead in the market place and has done for many many years. The market traders rely on the church and come into it on a regular basis for one thing or another. It is a very major part within the market.”   [/expand-contract] A selection of images from the Licensing can be viewed here:

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