CityofCardiffCARDIFFBAYNorwegianChurch(©crowncopyright2020)3 ©CrownCopyright2020

Norwegian Church

It's not often you see white clapperboard on a Welsh church and the Norwegian Church has a unique story to tell, as well as an intimate connection with one of the world's most favourite childrens authors: Roald Dahl.

Cardiff Bay, City of Cardiff

Opening times

The church is open 10.30am to 4pm daily.


Harbour Drive
Cardiff Bay
City of Cardiff
CF10 4PA

This very special church was founded in 1868 by Herman Lunde of Oslo and is the oldest church in Britain founded by the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission. It was the centre of Scandinavian religion, culture and tradition in the area acted as a Seaman’s mission with Scandinavian newspapers, magazines and facilities for writing letters home. In the 19th century the church welcomed up to 70,000 seafarers annually, with many social evenings being held and a place where sailors could relax and converse with friends in their native tongue.

As the export of coal declined after WWII, the Norwegian ships turned elsewhere for trade. The local congregation continued to use the building until it was closed and deconsecrated in 1974.

In 1987 the Norwegian Church Preservation Trust was established to rescue and rebuild the church. The building was reopened by Princess Martha Louise of Norway in 1992. The church is now an arts centre and coffee shop.

The model ship hanging from the ceiling in the Greig Room symbolises the journey through life and is always facing the altar. It was donated by the Norwegian Church in Liverpool. The stained glass window is dedicated to the memory of Huw Roger Allan, vice chairman of the Norwegian Church Preservation Trust. The window of the fish represents the church’s history with Norwegian Sailors.

The Norwegian Sailors Memorial was donated by the Branch of the Norwegian Veterans Association for S West of Britain. The shield was made as a thank you gift for the Pastor of the Norwegian Church, Rolf Rassmussen. During the Nazi occupation of Norway, in World War II, the church became a lifeline for the Norwegian merchant sailing fleet who were unable to return home.

The anchor and oars were discovered beneath the chancel in the form of a cross. The oars are believed to be from the lifeboat of a Norwegian sailing ship. A small anchor was also discovered and is now displayed as a memory of the church maritime heritage.

Roald Dahl

Harald and Sofie Dahl married in 1911 and settled in Llandaff, Cardiff. Born in 1916, Roald Dahl spent his childhood in the Welsh capital, where his family worshipped at the Norwegian Church. Both Roald & his siblings were christened at the church and their family christening bowl is located in the Dahl Gallery.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • National heritage here

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Car park at church

  • Café in church

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Other

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Paul

Grangetown, City of Cardiff

Architect John Coates Carter is a well kept secret, his buildings embody the Arts & Crafts movement of the early 20th century and St Paul's is said to be the finest of his surviving early churches.


Cardiff, City of Cardiff

Ebenezer Chapel now renamed Cornerstone is in central Cardiff on Charles Street opposite St David’s Catholic Cathedral.

Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral

Cardiff, Glamorgan

The Metropolitan Cathedral is in the heart of Cardiff City Centre, offering a place of worship to people who both visit and work in the capital.