MISSION TO SEAFARERS' HISTORY ALONGSIDE WORLD EVENTS
|1768 || || || Cook begins exploring the Pacific. |
|1833 || || || Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire |
|1835 || || || John Ashley, a young Anglican clergyman, who was to become the Mission's founder, is holidaying at Clevedon near Bristol. The story goes that as he walks along the cliffs with his daughter, the little girl asks how the islanders of Steep Holm and Flat Holm are able to go to church. |
The Revd John Ashley
|1837 || || || |
Ashley founds the Bristol Channel Mission. In the following 15 years he visits over 14,000 ships at sea and sells more than 5,000 Bibles and prayer books to British seamen.
A Mission chaplain holds a service on the deck of a sailing ship
|1838 || || || Regular Atlantic Steamship Service begins |
|1843 || || || First propeller driven ship launched (Isambard Kingdom Brunel's SS Great Britain). |
|1851 || || || The Great Exhibition promotes the best of British Technology. |
|1855 || || || Bristol Channel Missions to Seaman formed. |
|1856 || || || The Missions to Seamen founded. |
|1857 || || || |
Work started on the Mersey, Humber and Tyne rivers, with the appointment of chaplains.
The Mission's flag flies for the first time.
|1858 || || || By 1858 the society was represented by 14 stations manned by seven chaplains, seven honorary chaplains and six scripture readers. The 14 stations were: Southampton, Liverpool, South Shields, Swansea, Tyne and Wear, Avonmouth, Bristol, Great Yarmouth, Hartlepool, The Tees, Ryde, IOW, Milford, Cork, Ireland and London.
Readers were also sent to Nova Scotia and then to Madras and Singapore, the first links in Asia.
|1859 || || || Work commences on the Suez Canal. |
|1863 || || || A seafarer on board a ship at Antwerp spoke gratefully of a visit to the Seamen's Institute at Sydney, and said what a good time he and his shipmates had had there.
"I have been in a good many Missions all over the world", he said, "but never in any of them have I had so hearty a welcome as from The Mission to Seamen. Whenever I see the Flying Angel I know that I am at home."
Christmas at the Sydney Institute
|1869 || || || Suez Canal opens to shipping. |
|1874 || || || 1874-1891 – The Revd Robert Boyer contributes strongly to the eradication of the practice known as crimping. |
The Revd Robert Boyer
|1891 || || || Invention of the periscope, making submarine navigation possible. |
|1899 || || || 1899 – 1902 – The Boer War. |
|1900 || || || 1900 –1910 – The change from sail to steam did not herald improvement in conditions in which seamen lived. It is believed that one seafarer in every 250 died simply because he was a seaman, eating inadequate food and living in appalling accommodation. |
|1903 || || || Early 1900s – The shift from sail to steam dramatically changed the way that The Missions to Seamen operated; chaplains no longer need to visit ships at anchor by launch as ships came alongside as soon as they arrived in port. || |
Sail and steam ships in the port of Shanghai
|1911 || || || 1911–1914 – National Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union of Great Britain and Ireland helped increase pay from a mere £3.50 a month to an average of £5.50 a month. |
|1912 || || || Titanic sinks with the loss of over 1,500 lives. |
|1914 || || || 1914 –1918 – WWI |
With the outbreak of the First World War some smaller stations were closed down and 15 chaplains were called for naval service. However, with encouragement from the Royal Naval Authorities, 27 new stations opened in Britain, and 24 new stations overseas, helped meet war-time emergencies.
First World War
Caring Across the Seas
|1917 || || || The Russian Revolution begins. |
|1918 || || || Following the First World War, The Missions to Seaman came under immense pressure and helped out many unemployed seamen who had lost their jobs in the economic depression. |
|1924 || || || RNLI’s 100th anniversary: 59,975 lives saved, fleet of 221 lifeboats around UK and Ireland. |
|1939 || || || 1939 – 1945 – WWII |
Mission’s involvement begins on the first day of the Second World War.
Second World War
|1940 || || || Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister. |
|1945 || || || Following the Second World War the society, in response to the end of the war and to changes in shipping, began the reorganisation of its network of centres, closing some stations and re-establishing others. || |
The opening and blessing of the Dampier Seafarers’ Centre in Western Australia
|1950 || || || Sea-Land corporation set up by Malcolm Mc Lean – containerisation of shipping, meaning larger ships with smaller crews. |
|1956 || || || Centenary of The Missions to Seamen – the Mission now has centres in 81 ports. |
|1956 || || || The Suez Crisis |
|1960 || || || 1960s to 1970s – Shipping trends change which means that The Mission must change in order to meet the new needs of seafarers.
new needs of seafarers
At the shop in Halifax, Canada, Seafarers can quickly stock up on essentials
|1969 || || || The umbrella organisation, the International Christian Maritime Association, is established to stimulate co-operation between different denominations working to provide welfare facilities for seafarers. |
International Christian Maritime Association
|1969 || || || Neil Armstrong is the first man to walk on the moon. |
|1980 || || || 1980 – 1988 Iran – Iraq war |
Mission chaplains in ports in the Persian Gulf help seafarers caught up in the Iran - Iraq hostilities.
Iran - Iraq war
A tanker burning after being targeted by Iraqi bombers
|1982 || || || The Falklands conflict. |
|1985 || || || Mission appointed its first chaplain to develop the society’s work in the area of justice. |
A protest in Dunkerque about months of unpaid wages
|1991 || || || The Gulf War. |
|1998 || || || Consultative Forum formed to enable meetings of representatives from different parts of the word to discuss seafarers’ changing needs and the future development of the worldwide society. |
|2000 || || || The Mission to Seamen becomes The Mission To Seafarers
The Mission To Seafarers
The Princess Royal, the Mission’s president, looks at the new flag at the rededication service
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| ||Present and Future Challenges || |
|2000 || || || The Mission has full-time chaplains and/or centres in more than 100 ports around the world, and is represented in some 200 others by honorary chaplains.