One of the many churches I have seen in my travels is the Mariner’s Chapel in Gloucester. The connection between Mariner’s and Gloucester does seem tenuous, however, Gloucester used to have a thriving harbour, although now it is more about floating gin palaces and narrow boats.
The chapel is a very uncomplicated building and is seemingly lost amongst the former warehouses that surround it. Admittedly there is much less traffic around now, but that could also mean that much of the former congregation is also gone.
The building inside is almost spartan compared to some of the churches I have visited, but it is this simpleness that makes it special.
The history of the church is told on their website, and it is still an active parish church and on both occasions when I was there the door was wide open.
The building was designed John Jaques and it has a nave and a bell tower with the chancel at the west end instead of the normal east. It was built by a local builder; William Wingate and work began in 1848 and was completed a year later. The opening ceremony occurring on the 11th of February 1849 and Rev James Hollins was appointed the first chaplain.
It is a grade II listed building and in a very good condition, even the pulpit has a nautical theme!
There is a small War Memorial, but I have not looked into the context of the names on it yet. obviously there is a connection to Gloucester, but what is the connection to the chapel?
Technically the church is what is known as a “proprietary chapel”, ie. a chapel that originally belonged to a private person.
The High Altar is very simple, and if you did not know otherwise you would think it was a writing desk. There are three stained glass windows above it.
And that is the church in a nutshell. It is worth looking in if ever you are in the area, it is not a cathedral but I am sure the congregation from the docks were more welcome here than they would have been at Gloucester Cathedral.
DRW 2017-2018, Retrospectively created 04/11/2017