Flying Angel

     Missions to Seamen


Home Page


Missions to Seamen, Swansea

The 'Flying Angel'


Founded in 1856 to cater for the spiritual needs of visiting seafarers, the original Seamen's Mission at Swansea was little more than an old iron shed near the South Dock until the construction of St. Nicholas Church in Gloucester Place in 1868. St. Nicholas Church remained a Seamen's Mission until 1919, during which time a further Mission building was opened near the New Cut Bridge in 1905. In 1920 St. Nicholas Church was sold for use as a warehouse, and the New Cut Bridge building became the principal Seamen's Mission for the Port of Swansea. Nevertheless, St. Nicholas Church can still be seen in Gloucester Place today in its present role as an art establishment known as the 'Mission Gallery'.

The New Cut Bridge Mission building was renovated and enlarged in 1926, and was further extended in 1934 with the building of a new Church which was opened by the Duke of Kent, later to become King George VI. Unfortunately the New Cut Bridge Mission suffered severe bomb damage in an enemy air raid at the beginning of 1941, whereupon temporary accommodation was obtained in Castle Square, although this was also bombed later that same year.

  After the war, the local committee sought alternative accommodation for the Swansea Mission and, in 1947, they eventually secured temporary occupation of the building on the Prince of Wales Dock which was to become known to all as the 'Flying Angel'. However, in this particular case, 'temporary' was to mean a period of almost fifty years! Finally, in the face of advancing redevelopment, the 'temporary' premises were abandoned and a new Mission building - also known as the 'Flying Angel' - was established near 'A' Shed at Kings Dock, Swansea. The new Mission was officially opened by Princess Anne on the 24th June 1994 and finally closed its doors in 2010, bringing to an end over 150 years of uninterrupted pastoral care to seafarers at the Port of Swansea.

On the left, St Nicholas Church Mission to Seamen built in 1868.

View of St Nicholas Church taken from almost the same place on June 17th 2008.

St Nicholas Church, now used as an art gallery. A plaque can be seen on the round wall of the building.

The plaque on the round wall.

New Cut bridge Mission,  opened in 1905.

 Gwyn Lewis manager of the Flying Angel Mission on the Prince of Wales Dock.

An earlier view Prince of Wales Dock Mission.

Chapel of the Convoys in the Prince of Wales Dock Mission.

Flying Angel Kings Dock.

Flying Angel Kings Dock.

Plaque commemorating the opening of the Kings Dock Mission by Princess Ann on the 24th June 1994.

The first Mission ship, the Rev. John Ashley's cutter  'Eirene', pictured in the Bristol Channel in 1843.
Drawing by James Holland.

Chapel in the Kings Dock Mission, Swansea.

The above murals, painted in the 1950's by students from the Swansea College of Art, were originally displayed
in the Chapel of the Convoys at the Prince of Wales Dock Mission. They were transferred to the new Mission
building in 1994, and are currently on display in the foyer of All Saints Church Hall, Mumbles

The two photos above are of the games room.

TV lounge.

Top of Page