Church Recorders

Church Floor Mosaic

The Church Recorders are a sub-group of The Arts Society.

Secular groups of volunteers interested in preserving national heritage work together to record the contents of places of worship. Records assist with compilation of terriers and inventories, preserve information for posterity in case of closure, provide information for police in cases of theft or other damage and provide basic information for researchers.

Isle of Man Church Recorder: Review 2009-2010

Between September 2009 and May 2010 the Manx Church Recorders continued to record the contents of St. Thomas’ Church in Douglas. Encouragingly, by May first drafts of the memorials, the metalwork, the woodwork and paintings etc. had nearly been completed.

At the end of March 2010 the Recorders visited the Centre for Manx Studies (CMS), recently moved to the Old Stables at Nunnery in Douglas. The Director, Dr. Harold Mytum explained his fascinating work recording graveyards and invited Recorders to join in his forthcoming community project to record Manx graveyards. Afterwards the Recorders were free to explore the old chapel which they had spent many happy months recording in the past, to view its renovation, before enjoying tea with CMS staff.

In May the Church Recorders commenced a well earned break from their hard work in St. Thomas’ Church. In June they met for an enjoyable and informative afternoon out exploring Arbory Parish Church followed by a picnic tea and a tour of the beautiful gardens of the adjacent Parville House. The weather was perfect and it was nice to meet socially with fellow Recorders after the previous year’s exertions.

Some of the IOM DFAS Church Recorders 
during a visit to Arbory

During the summer a number of members joined in with the recording of gravestones in St. Mark’s graveyard run from the Centre for Manx Studies at The Nunnery, which is now nearly completed. Recording continues in other Island churchyards. Anyone interested in joining in please contact Kate Chapman at the Centre for Manx Studies at The Nunnery.

In August the group met again for their annual summer picnic. This time the group met at Rushen Parish Church where an interesting time was had discovering the interior of another historic Manx church interior, followed by a picnic in a member’s garden in Port Erin. The location was perfect, the welcome warm, and it was wonderful to catch up with friends and colleagues informally.

The Church Recorders recommenced work in August at St. Thomas’ after the summer break, where the record of the interior furnishings is nearing completion. It is hoped that a complete first draft will be ready by Christmas, so that checking, proof-reading and the selection and insertion of digital photographic images can take place. It is anticipated that the compilation and checking process will take a number of months, not least because the St. Thomas’ Record is the first carried out in such a large Manx church and because St. Thomas’ is the first Manx record carried out using digital photography. The new photography is stunning, but the use of digital images raises a number of new challenges running up to the completion of the record, which will, for the first time, be presented digitally, rather than on paper, to archive facilities like the Victoria and Albert Museum.

It is planned that after Christmas the group will move on to new and exciting work in the north of the Island that will run simultaneously with preparations to present the St. Thomas’ Record around September 2011, which will also mark the tenth anniversary of the Isle of Man Church Recording Group.

Trails of Discovery

Isle of man Church

Trails of Discovery are aimed at children aged 8-12 years, but can be fun for the whole family.


The Trails of Discovery consist of illustrated questionnaires that take you on a trail around a specific church on the Island.

Click here for more information on Trails of Discovery and where you can find them on the Isle of Man

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