Historical information

In 1909, assistant Chaplain Rev. Haire presented the Mission with an 'uncommonly artistic pulpit' in memory of his mother. A plaque in memory of Jane King Haire can be found on the side next to the steps.
The dedication was performed by the Archbishop of Melbourne on the 26th January (date engraves on the plaque)

This pulpit was designed by Melbourne architect Rodney Howard Alsop (1881-1932) and manufactured by William John Dalziel (furniture manufacturer). It was initially used in the first Mission in Central Melbourne, Siddeley St.

It is located in the Chapel of Saint Peter of the Mission to Seafarers 717 Flinders St. complex since 1917 (State Heritage listed (H1496).
This complex was designed by Walter Richmond Butler in 1916, and officially opened on 11 September 1917, a day '...of unusually kind weather', by the Governor of Victoria, the Honourable Sir Arthur Stanley.

According to a later article published in 1950: The pulpit is a model, built to scale, of the stern of an old ship of the line in Lord Nelson's day.


This pulpit is significant as it is housed in The Memorial Chapel of Saint Peter forming part of the State Heritage listed Mission to Seafarers Victoria complex. It was built in Melbourne of Australian timbers, and is one of only two known maritime inspired pulpits, both associated with Missions to Seamen of the early 20th C. the other is held in the ANMM Collection see link. Their statement of significance is worth quoting in part as it applies equally to this pulpit "...an extremely rare and unique example of such pulpits. It is highly significant as a wonderfully preserved example of a time when religion was preached to sailors for their spiritual guidance and temperance..."

Rodney Howard Alsop was an important Melbourne architect of the Arts and Crafts movement.

John William Dalziel had sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne in 1862. Seventeen years later Penman and Dalziel founded the business in Lonsdale Street West, and won recognition at the Indian and Colonial Exhibition in London in 1886. Penman and Dalziel were identified in 1937 as one of Melbourne’s early ‘skilled craftsmen’ and ‘leading names’ in the manufacture of fine furniture. He died in February 1918 in a railway accident.

Physical description

Timber pulpit built in the form of a ship's stern including a timber step ladder for access, a timber keel and rudder, a rope fixed from the pulpit to a post mounted to the floor, and a dedication plaque on the side of the pulpit. The pulpit sits on timber legs.
It's likely to be the original rope: traditionally made coir rope with twisted fibres, covered with canvas supported by a thread. At lower end the rope is secured by a monkey fist know and at the top by a turk head knot.

Inscriptions & markings

Inside the pulpit (right) is the cardboard label with the maker details: " On an attached plaque see 0678 To the greater glory of God and in ever loving memory of Jane King Haire. This pulpit is erected by her son. Blessed are the pure in heart. For they shall see God. St. Matt. V.8. 26.1.09