Sister Mary Scholastica is On Board for the Tall Ships Races in Sunderland

Sunderland's self-styled '˜Powerhouse of Prayer' is taking the Tall Ships message to the world.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 9:00 am
Sister Mary Scholastica with the Wear on Board Tall Ships leaflets she has been giving to visiting sailors

Originally from Ireland, Sister Mary Scholastica has been running the Stella Maris Seafarers’ Centre at the Port for Sunderland for ten years, offering pastoral, spiritual and practical help to sailors from around the world.

A passionate ambassador for Sunderland, she takes pride in highlighting all the city has to offer, with the walls of the centre lined with posters promoting the likes of Hylton Castle, the Illuminations and the Airshow.

Now she is backing the Wear On Board campaign to promote the visit of the Talls Ships Races to the Wear in July.

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More than 50 ships have signed up for this year’s event and will descend on the city for a packed programme of events from July 11.

The event is expected to attract millions of visitors to the city - and Sister Scholastica is keen to play her part.

She has been handing out leaflets and posters promoting the event to visitors to the centre and urging them to have their photos taken with them all over the world.

“I love the city and I love the people,” she said.

“I am sending that love around the world.”

European destinations to which posters and leaflets have been sent include France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Belgium and Poland, while further afield, crews from the likes of America, Canada, China and Australia have also signed up.

The Seafarers’ Centre will be providing support for crews during the Tall Ships Races. Many of the vessels taking part will be crewed by young people, something Sister Scholastica is particularly excited about.

“We will see young people from all over the world,” she said.

“I think it is wonderful for them. It is wonderful to mix with other nationalities and learn about other people.

“It is lovely that the Tall Ships are coming to Sunderland. I am really excited - it is a chance to show people the city.

“I want to tell people about the wonderful history here, I want to teach them about our culture and the love we have.

“I want love in action.”

Donations of warm clothing, toiletries packs, socks and warm ‘thinsulated’ woolly hats are always welcome at the Stella Maris Centre . To donate, contact Sister Scholastica at: [email protected]

How to back the Wear OnBoard campaign

1. Grab a copy of the free tall ships poster which can be downloaded from Keep it safe and take it with you on holiday.

2. When you arrive at your holiday destination, hold your poster up and have your photograph taken with it.

3. Send that picture to us – with the tag ‘Wear On Board’ – so that we can publish it. That way, we can tell the world Sunderland is right behind the Tall Ships Races.

4. Send it to us either by email to [email protected], add it to a message on the Sunderland Echo Facebook page, or post a hard copy of the photograph to Chris Cordner, Sunderland Echo, Alexander House, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.

Don’t forget to include some information about yourself and contact details, so we can find out more about your visit.