St Nick’s and the maritime community

The church is an amalgamation of two late medieval Chapels – one dedicated to Our Lady of the Quay and one to St Nicholas, both saints whose prayers have assisted sailors over the centuries. Mary is traditionally thought of as the ‘Star of the Sea’, who guides us to our home in Christ just as a sailor uses the stars to map his journey home. Nicholas, being a 3rd century AD Bishop of a port (Myra), is the patron saint of sailors.

From its inception, therefore, this church has had a close relationship with the maritime community. It is the physical home to a large number of memorial books and plaques and the spiritual home to an even larger number of Royal and Merchant seafarers.

Until the buildings of the twentieth century the parish church was the first and last thing sailors saw as their ships approached or departed the city. Even today the church hosts a large number of services each year to commemorate a wide variety of significant maritime events.

Books of remembrance are held at the parish church which contain the names of those killed serving the Merchant and Fishing Fleets during the Second World War and also those drowned in the sinking of the MV Derbyshire off the Japanese coast in 1980. Enquiries about the books should be addressed to the Parish Office in the first instance.


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