Mariner's Church - 100 George Street, The Rocks
The Mariner’s Church was built in the 1850’s and served for the spiritual welfare of sailors on shore leave.
The Sailors’ Home was located close by the Mariners’ Church and the chapel of the Mariner’s Church was often used for the weddings of sailors and local women. In later years the church also boasted a gym and other recreational past-times for sailors including billiard’s tables. The sandstone building was upgraded in 1909 to what can be seen today. The Bethel Union, who operated the church, vacated the site in the 1980s when it was restored and became a craft centre. Since then the building has had other uses.
Amongst the earliest ministers of the Mariners Church was the Reverend John Reid whose son George Houston Reid (later Sir George Houston Reid) was Australia’s fourth Prime Minister. The Reid family lived in Princes Street on the upper parts of The Rocks. Reid’s house, along with hundreds of others in Princes Street, was demolished in the 1920s to make way for the Bradfield Highway approach to the Harbour Bridge.
The Bethel Union still functions, and operates the Seafarer’s Mission in Sussex Street which carries on the tradition of administering to the needs of visiting sailors.