On Sunday 21 July at 6.30pm Bishop Bill Wright of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will bless the Port of Newcastle and the newly re-furbished Seafarers Centre at Wickham.
The occasion coincides with Sea Sunday, an annual commemoration of all people who sail the seas.
Bishop Bill will ask God's blessing on all seafarers and those associated with the sea.
The Seafarers Centre is an ecumenical venture between the Anglican and Catholic dioceses and has been operating in Newcastle for almost 70 years. Since 2009 there has been a 271% increase in contact with seafarers, with this number set to grow as the port expands.
Catholic Chaplain at the Seafarers Centre, Rick McCosker, said the important work of the Centre could not be done without the generous support of 30 volunteers who take turns with daytime and evening shifts.
"The volunteers are our lifeblood – they drive, serve tea and coffee, act as tourist guides, cooks and entertainers, and a whole lot more," Mr McCosker said.
"Most importantly they generously give of their time, have caring ears to listen and hearts to love," he said.
The Centre has recently gained grants from various organisations totalling over $100,000. These grants have allowed some much needed renovations to be completed and Mr McCosker said the chaplains, volunteers and seafarers are thrilled with the results.
"We are proud that we can now offer a first class facility for the seafarers to enjoy. It is now comparable with any other seafarers centre in the world," Mr McCosker said.
Sea Sunday blessing of the Port of Newcastle and the Newcastle Seafarers Centre.
Where: Newcastle Seafarers Centre, 96 Hannell Street, Wickham.
Media are invited to attend this event. For all media enquiries please phone Communications Manager, Emma Blackford, 0419 263 901.