SBU Celebrates 200 years of caring for Seafarers

Photo Caption: MtS Sydney Chair Peter Janssen congratulates SBU Chair Clive Goodwin.

Congratulations from Mission to Seafarers President HRH Princess Anne was one of the highlights when about 140 people gathered at the National Maritime Museum to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Sydney Bethel Union (SBU). 

In 1822, Reverend William Cowper and his supporters established the Sydney Bethel Union Society to care for the spiritual and physical welfare of the crews of ships. The crew’s long, arduous, and dangerous voyages were the only link between the remote colony of New South Wales and the rest of the world. Princess Anne shared in her letter that this was 34 years before the global Mission to Seafarers organisation was established in London. 

She congratulated the SBU on “their compassion and foresight” for continuing to care for seafarers who spent most of their lives away from home, family, and friends. The SBU continues to fulfil their calling in 2022 by supporting Mission to Seafarers operations in Sydney, Newcastle, Port Kembla and Eden, a partnership which began in 1896. SBU Chair Clive Goodwin was moved as he read this letter and recalling the dedicated service of so many over the 200 years.

Guest speakers from NSW Ports, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Port Authority of New South Wales congratulated the SBU on their remarkable milestone and emphasised the importance of Mission to Seafarers care for the welfare of seafarers in modern times. Mission to Seafarers Sydney thanks the SBU for their ongoing support, especially for enabling us to continue to run our Mission centre in a central and welcoming location, offering care, respite and rejuvenation for the Seafarers. 

For more details, See DCN 17th November article:.

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