The Flying Angel

The Flying Angel ~ Bronze and Stainless Steel
~ Maurice Harron

The Flying Angel, outside modern Seafarers’ Centre at Prince’s Dock Street in Belfast.

The Flying Angel is a worldwide symbol of the Seafarers Mission set up in the 19th century by Anglican clergy to provide shelter for sailors coming off long sea journeys. The Angel, as a protective force, is in the act of calming the waves.

“Then I saw another angel flying high in the air,
With an eternal message of good news to announce
To the peoples of the earth, to every race, tribe,
Language and nation”
~ Revelation 14 v16

The Mission to Seafarers in Belfast, is one of many centres based in over 250 seaports across the world. They are there to provide help, support and advice for the world’s 1.2 million seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs.

Flying Angel centres offer food and drink, television, books and a place to relax away from your ship. They also provide free wifi internet for Skype calls, as well as phone connections. If one of the seafarers just needs someone to talk to about worries or problems, then chaplains or staff will be happy to sit and listen.

In many ports transport can be arranged to take seafarers to the nearest town for shopping and sightseeing, so that you can make the most of your time ashore.

The original The Mission to Seafarers church, now derelict.

A close up of that plaque.

Maurice Harron was born in 1946 in Derry and studied sculpture at the Ulster College of Art and Design in Belfast.

Much of his work is in the public realm; two of his most acclaimed commissions are Reconciliation/Hands Across the Divide in Carlisle Square, Derry, overlooking the Craigavon Bridge crossing the River Foyle, and the Gaelic Chieftain sited in the Curlew Mountains, County Roscommon.

17 thoughts on “The Flying Angel

  1. Grannymar Post author

    Nick, I first noticed it from a bus on my way to Belfast. It took me some time to actually find it on foot. It looks very secure.

    Ramana – The Mission to Seafarers rely purely on voluntary support to continue this work.

  2. Alice

    I don’t know if you’re aware that you’re one of the best ambassadors for tourism in Ireland–at least on this side of the pond as you say. Beautiful sculpture. So far Ireland (or the U.K. as a whole) rates among the best public art I’ve seen though I admit I’m just getting started.

  3. Grannymar Post author

    Gigi – I agree. The centre does wonderful work for the seafarers of many nationalities who find themselves in the Port of Belfast.

    Alice – We have some terrific public Art, but nothing to compare with Art on the Corner (AOTC) the year long outdoor sculpture exhibit displayed in Downtown Grand Junction, Colorado.

    WWW – It was difficult to get a clear photo without the background distractions of building and lamp posts. To me they are all part of what you see when at the site, so why remove them (anyway, I am not sure I have the ability to do so).

  4. Alice

    There you go, G’mar! Here I sit close enough to Grand Junction to drive there in a 7/8 hour timeframe (it’s just across the Colorado border), and I’d never heard of it or been there as far as I remember, although the mother of one of our neighbors lives there. Now I have another daytripping (more like a long weekend) adventure ahead of me right here in my own country. To think I learned of it from a blogger in Ireland! (I presume you discovered it on your visit here?)

  5. Grannymar Post author

    Alice – I have only visited your side of the pond on one occasion and that was to the Cape Cod area. I learned about Grand Junction and Art on the Corner from Mike at Exit 78

  6. The Old Fossil

    I love this sculpture!

    The main thing Grand Junction is noted for in my mind is my making a sandwich at a friend’s house there in the 70’s only to have him swoop in from the other room when I turned my head, grabbing the sandwich, and having the thing half eaten before I could catch him! 😆

  7. Grannymar Post author

    Fos – My granny taught me that many moons ago! Like all her lessons, I never forgot! 😀

  8. Maxi

    Thanks for the history, Grannymar. I have seen photos of “The Flying Angel” but not an actual sculpture. Don’t know if there is such in Central, Florida USA.
    Blessings – Maxi

  9. Grannymar Post author

    Tilly – Maybe I should organise a sculpture tour of Ireland. 🙂

    speccy – You need to take a walk through Clarindon Dock off Corporation Street.

    Maxi – I think this sculpture is one off.


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