No. 1040 - Hobart - Mission to Seafarers - Hobart Station

The Mission to Seafarers (originally called The Mission to Seamen) is a Christian welfare charity serving merchant crews around the world. It operates through a global network of chaplains, staff and volunteers. The missions provide practical, emotional and spiritual support through ship visits, seafarers centres and welfare and emergency support services.

The Mission to Seafarers has its roots in the work of an Anglican priest, John Ashley, who in 1835 was asked how people working on ships in the Bristol Channel attended church. Recognising the needs of seafarers living on the four hundred sailing vessels in the Channel, Ashley created the Bristol Channel Mission. In 1839 he redesigned a ship, a cutter named Eirene, for mission work. The ship’s main cabin was converted into a chapel accomodating 100 people.

John Ashley’s work inspired similar ministries across Britain and in 1856 these groups were formally organised under the name ‘The Mission to Seamen Afloat, at Home and Abroad’. In 1858, this was changed to ‘The Missions to Seamen’ and more recently to ‘The Mission to Seafarers’. The Flying Angel logo, which was adopted in 1858, is still in use to this day.

Australia currently has 27 Mission to Seafarers' centres, including three in Tasmania; at Hobart, Burnie and Bell Bay. In addition to recreational facilities the centres house chapels.

The Hobart Mission is located on Morrison Street on the city’s waterfront. The Mission was established in 1915 and was located in the former St David’s Mission Chapel on Cameron Street. The history of the Cameron Street ‘Mission to Seamen’ (1915-1956) will be the subject of a seperate article. 

The Hobart Station - Image source: Google images 'Charlie'

The Mission Chapel - Image source: Google images 'Justin Ang'



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