Rev Bruce Mitchell retires after 15 years as Chaplain of Mission to Seafarers

Rev RB (Bruce) Mitchell retired as Chaplain of Mission to Seafarers (MtS) Hobart on 30 September 2020 after 15 years of service.

Bruce is the longest serving Chaplain of MtS in Tasmania in its 105 years of operation, and since 2005, Chair of the MtS Hobart Management Committee, Pru Bonham, estimates that the MtS team in Hobart have cared for around 45,000 seafarers.

Bruce’s ministry included welcoming seafarers to our Flying Angel Centre in Morrison St, and also ship visits and services on board, hospital visits, organising soccer and cricket matches or visits to Bonorong.

Bruce taught us that, “care of seafarers is a reflection of Jesus’ injunction to care for all, regardless of their race, rank or religion as we strive to show God’s love for all.” He trained us to always greet seafarers at the door and to enquire briefly after their welfare before explaining the services of the Centre.

Bruce Mitchell, Bishop Richard Condie and Pru Bonham

Bruce Mitchell, Bishop Richard Condie and Pru Bonham

Over the years, the work of MtS has changed due to the rise in popularity of cruise ships and the decline of merchant shipping in Tasmania. These days, seafarers pop in to the Centre to contact their families, or just access a place in which to relax, away from their “steel box”.

“The Australian Council of the Mission to Seafarers would like to sincerely thank the Reverend Bruce Mitchell for his faithful service to the Mission to Seafarers Hobart and for his contribution to the national Mission,” says Regional Director of MtS Rev Garry Dodd.

“We acknowledge his incredible generosity of time and spirit as he laboured long and hard for the Seafarers entering Hobart. His pastoral care to Seafarers and Mission family is greatly appreciated and we will pray for Bruce in his retirement.”

Bruce says he appreciated the cooperation of the Diocesan staff, the support from several parishes, and the wonderful beanie knitters who knit love into their beanies.

Bruce and his wife Barbara will be missed by the MtS Hobart team, and many more people across the Diocese. We wish them a peaceful retirement.

Mission to Seafarers Hobart Station Inc., 31 Morrison St, Hobart 7000
For information, please phone 6234 6016 or email