History of The Mission to Seafarers

The History of The Mission to Seafarers

For more than 150 years, we have had one mission; to provide compassion, care and support to Seafarers around the world when they need it most.

Scroll through our timeline below to learn more about The Mission to Seafarers and how we have evolved to support over 1.89 million Seafarers in 50 countries around the world.


Our founder, John Ashley set up the Bristol Channel Mission having been struck by the difficulties faced by Seafarers.


The Mission to Seaman was created, bringing together several Anglican ministries in one organisation, including the Bristol Channel Mission. Our organisation then quickly grew in line with the growth of the British Maritime Empire


We moved to St Michael Paternoster Royal in London, England. Our new headquarters was opened by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, on 19 December 1968.

opening of HQ Dec 1968 Copywright Three Star press agency

We changed our name to the Mission to Seafarers.


The Mission to Seafarers now has a presence in 200 ports in 50 different countries worldwide. This makes us the largest sea port based welfare organisation in the world. We provide support to seafarers 365 days per year, regardless of their rank, nationality, gender or religion.

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