Opened in 1849, the Gloucester Mariners Chapel (later Church) was built on a site in the Docks to meet the spiritual needs of the sailors, boatmen and workers, and so that they could attend services without feeling self-conscious about their work clothes. The site was leased originally from the Docks Company, but subsequently from the British Waterways Board. A new long-term lease has now been drawn up with the present owners of the site, SWRDA (South West Regional Development Agency). The Church is a proprietary chapel in the Church of England, with an evangelical tradition, independent of the parish system, but still part of the Church. Originally the Church was run by a ‘Committee of Gentlemen’, also responsible for nominating the Chaplain to the Bishop. The Committee continued to be trustees until the Deed of Appointment, dated 3rd June 1939, when Church Association Trust became the Trustee of all the property of the Church and having the right of presentation. (see also under Gloucester Mariners Hall).
Church Association Trust was renamed in 1950 to Church Society Trust. On 16th December 1996 the Charity Commissioners approved a scheme, which made Church Society the trustees of ‘Charities in connection with the Gloucester Mariners Church’ (among others).
Church Society continues as Trustee (including of the Mission Trust Deed) and, in consultation with the Mariners Church Council, appoints the Chaplain.
1884 Indenture (Mission Trust Deed)
1902 Epitome of Trusts, Mariners’ Chapel Gloucester
1939 Deed of Appointment of the Church Association Trust as Trustees
1996 Charity Commissioners Scheme