Peel Cathedral

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Peel Cathedral, Isle of Man
The Cathedral Church of St German
Peel Cathedral 2006.jpg
Peel Cathedral, Isle of Man is located in Isle of Man
Peel Cathedral, Isle of Man
Peel Cathedral, Isle of Man
Shown within Isle of Man
Coordinates: 54°13′18″N 4°41′28″W / 54.22167°N 4.69111°W / 54.22167; -4.69111
Location Peel
Country Isle of Man
Denomination Church of England
Website Cathedral Isle of Man
Former name(s) Kirk German, Peel Parish Church
Consecrated 1890
Designated 1980
Previous cathedrals Peel Cathedral & Castle (on St. Patrick's Isle)
Diocese Sodor and Man
Province York
Bishop(s) Rt Revd Robert Paterson
Dean Very Revd Nigel Godfrey
Precentor Revd Ian Faulds
Canon(s) Canon of St. Patrick: Revd Dr Jules Gomes, Canon Theologian
Canon of St. Columba: Revd Margaret Burrow
Canon of St. Maughold: Revd Philip Frear
Canon of St German: Revd Ian Brady, Canon Evangelist
Archdeacon The Ven Andie Brown, Archdeacon of Man
Director of music Dr Peter Litman

The Cathedral Church of Saint German or Peel Cathedral, rebranded as Cathedral Isle of Man is located in Peel, Isle of Man. The cathedral is also one of the parish churches in the parish of the West Coast which includes the town of Peel,[1] and was built in 1879–84.[2] It was made the cathedral by Act of Tynwald in 1980.[3]


Original cathedral

The Patron of the Cathedral, St German of Man (not to be confused with Germanus of Auxerre), was a Celtic missionary and holy man who lived from about 410 to 474. St German's Day is celebrated on 13 July.[4]

The original cathedral of St German was inside the walls of Peel Castle and was built sometime in the 12th century when St Patrick's Isle was in the possession of Norse kings. At that time the church followed the Sarum Rite, prevalent throughout much of the British Isles. Around 1333 the Lords of Man refortified St. Patrick’s Island and occupied the church as a fortress. In 1392 William Le Scroop repaired the Cathedral.[5]

The building fell into ruin in the 18th century. After a considerable period of debate over who owned the ruins and site, it was decided not to rebuild that cathedral. The present building was constructed in 1879–84 to replace St Peter's Church in Peel's market place.[6] In 1895, the bishop consecrated his chapel at the bishop's palace as pro-cathedral and instituted a chapter of canons with himself as Dean. That arrangement (bishop as dean) persisted even after the consecration of the new cathedral. The bishop was later described by John Betjeman as "that luckless Bishop whose cathedral is a beautiful ruin of green slate and red sandstone on an islet overlooking Peel".[7]

The cathedral has a Dean and Chapter.[8] Until 15 October 2011, the Bishop of Sodor and Man was Dean ex officio, but on that date the vicar of the parish became Dean ex officio,[9] as had been the historical arrangement from the 12th century until the late 19th century.[10] The chapter consists of the Archdeacon of Man ex officio and four canons who are all parochial clergy in the Diocese.

In July 2015, the Princess Royal, as patron of a development campaign regarding the Cathedral, attended a thanksgiving service at Peel Cathedral.[11] St. German's Cathedral is the mother Church of the Diocese of Sodor and Man, which today consists of the Isle of Man.[12]

Vicars of German[edit]

  • 1575–1585 Philip Hogget
  • 1585–1621 John Cosnahan
  • 1621–1660 William Cosnahan
  • 1660–1661 Thomas Harrison
  • 1661–1680 Henry Lowcay
  • 1680–1682 John Woods, (elder)
  • 5 July 1682 – 1710 Samuel Wattleworth
  • 10 June 1710 – 1730 Matthias Curghey
  • 26 September 1730 – 1733 John Woods (younger)
  • 1733–1741 Thomas Christian
  • 28 July 1741 – 1742 John Craine
  • 1744–1752 James Wilks
  • 11 November 1752 – December 1754 Robert Christian
  • 15 April 1758 – 1761 Robert Brew
  • 4 March 1761 – November 1801 Henry Corlett
  • 23 November 1801 – 1839 James Gelling
  • 28 March 1839–? John Stowell

Deans of St German[edit]


  • Archdeacon of Man – The Ven Andie Brown (since 15 October 2011 collation)[14]
  • Canon of St German – Joe Heaton
  • Canon of St Patrick – John Coldwell
  • Canon of St Columba – Janice Ward
  • Canon of St Maughold – Clive Burgess


The Cathedral Choir consists of a mixed boy and girl treble line (aged 7–14 years old) and an adult voluntary section (SATB) who sing both a Choral Eucharist and Choral Evensong on Sundays.

There is a developing programme of Choral Scholarships for secondary school students.

The Cathedral has a large two-manual Brindley & Foster organ in the chancel. Over the next five years it is planned that the pipe organ will be rebuilt, re-ordered and significantly enlarged to meet the demands of the cathedral's developing choral programme.

The Cathedral Precentor is Revd. Ian Faulds.

The Organist & Director of Music (since 2012) is Dr Peter Litman.[15] The organ scholar for 2016-2017 is Maximillian Smith.


  1. ^ Church Act 1980 and Western Pastoral Scheme 2012
  2. ^ "German Parish and Churches, Isle of Man". Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  3. ^ Cathedral Church Act 1980 (of Tynwald)
  4. ^ "History". Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  5. ^ Qualtrough, John K. (May 2003). "Field Visit to Peel Castle & St. German's Cathedral" (PDF). Isle of Man College. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  6. ^ "Unholy row erupts over St German". IOM Today. IOM Today. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  7. ^ Betjeman, John. The Best of Betjeman (2000 ed.). Penguin Books. p. 162. 
  8. ^ Church Act 1895 (of Tynwald), section 4
  9. ^ Church Offices Measure (Isle of Man) 2011 (Statutory Document 624/11)[1], amending Church Act 1895 section 4
  10. ^ "St German's Cathedral, Isle of Man: New dean installed". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  11. ^ "Princess Royal attends Service of Thanksgiving in Peel". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  12. ^ "St. German’s, Peel". The Church of England, Diocese of Sodor and Man. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  13. ^ "Cathedral Isle Of Man". Peel Cathedral. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  14. ^ "Diocese announces new Isle of Man Archdeacon". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  15. ^ "Peel Cathedral". Friends of Cathedral Music. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 

External links[edit]