Historical information

This altar cloth is representative of ecclesiastical linen in use in the early to mid-20th century. It is used in the Chapel of the St Nicholas Seamen's Church at Flagstaff HIll Maritime Museum and Village.

The Missions to Seamen organisation

The Missions to Seamen is an Anglican (Church of England) charity that has been serving the world's seafarers since 1856. It was inspired by the work of Rev. John Ashley who, 20 years earlier, had pioneered a ministry to seafarers in the Bristol Channel in Great Britain. When Ashley retired because of ill health, others determined that the work should continue, and they founded the Missions to Seamen. It adopted as its symbol a Flying Angel, inspired by a verse from Revelation 14 in the Bible. Today there are over 200 ports worldwide where the Missions to Seamen has centres and chaplains.

A Missions to Seamen’s Club offers a warm welcome to sailors of all colours, creeds and races. A sailor can watch television, have a drink and a chat, change money or buy goods from the club shop or worship in the Chapel. In Victoria, the Missions to Seamen still has clubs in Melbourne, Portland and Geelong.


The altar cloth is representative of the ecclesiastical linen in use in the early to mid-20th century, when the original St Nicholas Seamen's Church was opened in Williamstown, Victoria.

Physical description

Altar cloth: simple white linen cloth, long rectangle shape with wide hems.