Peel Cathedral

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Peel Cathedral, Isle of Man

The Cathedral Church of St German

Peel, Isle of Man

Peel Cathedral 2006.jpg
Church of England
Diocese of Sodor and Man
Grid reference: SC242844
Location: 54°13’33"N, 4°41’53"W
Website: Cathedral Isle of Man

The Cathedral Church of Saint German or Peel Cathedral is located in Peel, on the Isle of Man. The cathedral serves as the cathedral church of the Diocese of Sodor and Man and the seat of the Bishop of Sodor and Man, but it 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

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 built at some time 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, the decision was eventually taken 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]

In July 2015, the Princess Royal, as patron of a development campaign regarding the Cathedral, attended a Thanksgiving Service at Peel Cathedral.[8]


The cathedral chapter is headed by the Dean.

The Chapter includes the Archdeacon of Man, the Canon Evangelist & Canon of St German, the Canon of St Patrick, the Canon of St Columba and the Canon of St Maughold.


The Cathedral Choir consists of a mixed boy and girl treble line (aged 7–14 years old) which sing Choral Evensong each Sunday at 3.30pm, and an adult voluntary section (SATB) which sing the Choral Eucharist on 1st, 2nd and 4th Sunday mornings each month at 10.30 am.

For festival services and large events the children and adults sing together.

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. Across the next 5 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.

Outside links


  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. Field Visit to Peel Castle & St. German's Cathedral - Qualtrough, John K. (May 2003). Isle of Man College
  6. "Unholy row erupts over St German". IOM Today. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  7. Betjeman, John: The Best of Betjeman (Penguin Books, 2000)
  8. Princess Royal attends Service of Thanksgiving in Peel - BBC News
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