Church is marking 150 years

By Siobhan Fletcher   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 28th June 2022 10:05 am
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One of the Nicholson murals within St Thomas’ Church ()

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St Thomas’ Church in Douglas is celebrating 150 years of continuous worship.

To celebrate, it will be holding a week-long series of events during the island’s National Week (Tynwald Week) from July 3 to 8.

The church was officially opened by the Bishop of Sodor and Man Rowley Hill on Saturday, June 29, 1872 following an acrimonious dispute between the Bishop and the vicar of the parish of Braddan.

The church had been first opened in 1849, but the dispute - about who had the right to appoint a new vicar for St. Thomas’ - led the bishop to withdraw his license and therefore force the closure of the church in December 1867.

The dispute dragged on for several years but it was finally resolved in favour of the vicar of Braddan in 1872. The church was then officially reopened.

It would appear that the bishop remained unhappy with the result and a report in the Isle of Man Times about the reopening of the church stated: ‘The Bishop hurried through the ceremony as quickly as possible, and the whole affair occupied only 18 minutes.’

Now, 150 years later, St. Thomas’ is still open and active in the heart of Douglas and is looking forward to the next 150 years.

It is the home of Nicholson murals, beautiful stained glass windows and the Archibald Knox designed war memorial.

The church is holding a variety of events to celebrate the big anniversary, with all invited to visit the church and take in its history.

Throughout the week refreshments will be available throughout each day.

Plans will also be on display for the future reordering of the building to make the layout more flexible and improve its availability for wider community use.

lSunday, July 3: Brunch at 9.30am, family service at 11am

l Monday, July 4: Church open from 10am to 4pm, St Thomas’ School special service at 2.15pm, St Thomas’ School reunion at 6pm

l Tuesday, July 5: Church open from 10am - 4pm

l Wednesday, July 6: Church open from 10am to 4pm, Summer concert with ‘The Summer Singers’ followed by refreshments at 7.45pm

l Thursday, July 7: Church open from 10am to 4pm

l Friday, July 8: Coffee and chat from 10.30am to 12pm, celebratory light lunch from 12.30pm to 1.30pm, event ends at 4pm

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