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Missions to Seamen 1903

Missions to Seamen 1903

Missions to Seamen building, Wellington, 1903
Architects: Crichton and McKay.
NZHPT: register no. 3611, category I

The Missions to Seamen is a world mission agency of the anglican church founded in 1856. In 1895 James Moore was sent to Wellington to establish a branch of the mission. The main goal seems to have been to provide sailors with an alternative to drink and other temptations. In this they were very successful and attracted support from a number of wealthy people including Mrs Mary Anne Williams, widow of Capt William (Bully) Williams, who gave £7,800 to build a permanent home for the mission. The building was officially opened in 1904 by the then Governor General, Lord Plunket.

Moore fell out with the parent body of the mission in 1912 but continued his work with the Wellington branch under a trust deed until his death in 1932, after which the parent body regained control. In 1975 the mission relocated to smaller premises then sold the building to the Government.

A proposal to demolish the building in 1985 prompted one of the largest campaigns to save a historic building ever seen. Given the strength of feeling the Government agreed to its preservation but eventually sold the building in 1994 for conversion to apartments.

Continuous practice since 1892... design for your needs, not for ours