The Saint Mary of the Isle Church in Douglas will officially be elevated to cathedral status on Friday, November 3 in a special service at 12pm.

The service will be attended by visiting bishops from the UK such as the Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon and the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía.

Canons of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool will also attend as well as bishops from across England and Wales.

Visitors to the island will be joined by dignitaries from the Isle of Man Government and Douglas City Council, while parishioners from across the island will also be in attendance.

During the ceremony, the Apostolic Nuncio will read a decree from Pope Francis elevating the church to the status of cathedral, while installing Archbishop Malcolm in his chair.

Monsignor John Devine, parish priest of St Mary of the Isle, and Dean of the new cathedral, said: 'The service has been planned to have a Manx flavour. The Lord’s prayer will be said in Manx Gaelic and the Manx national anthem will be sung. 

'Children from St Mary’s Primary School will sing and prayers will be read by the chair of our deanery synodal council, the Mayor of Douglas, the chair of the Methodist District and a member of St Mary’s parish council. The Dean of the Anglican Cathedral will read the Gospel.

'It is set to be a joyous occasion celebrating both the ancient Celtic traditions of the Catholic Church on the island and its links to the church in Liverpool.'

As a ‘co-cathedral’ to the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral 80 miles away, it will be the first Catholic co-cathedral in the British Isles.

A spokesperson from the Archdiocese of Liverpool said: 'Co-cathedrals are rare in the Catholic Church, but can exist when two dioceses, each with its own cathedral, are merged or when a single diocese spans two distinct civil jurisdictions.

'The church was elevated to cathedral status by Pope Francis following Douglas being awarded city status as part of the late Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee in June 2022.'

Monsignor John added: 'The Archbishop’s chair will remain permanently fixed in the new cathedral with its specially designed coat of arms incorporating both Manx and Archdiocesan symbols.

'It will be a constant reminder to the people on the island that they are part of the Archdiocese of Liverpool and the archbishop is their archbishop too.  

'We’re also looking to commission two Manx artefacts, one for St Mary’s and the other in the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool, to signify the link between the two co-cathedrals.'

The inauguration ceremony is available to watch live online on the 'Manx Catholic' website at