ST MARY'S church, the oldest Catholic church in the Isle of Man, is to open its doors again on December 8. almost two years after it had closed for vital repairs.
Bishop Kevin O'Connor. auxiliary bishop of Liverpool, is to be present at the opening ceremonies. The building, situated on Bowling Green Road, Castletown, has now had its roof completely replaced at a cost of £35,000. The church has an interesting history which reflects the interest in Catholicism on the Island since the Reformation, During the Reformation faith on the Island suffered not so much from violent persecution as from gradual neglect. In 1777, Wesley reported that there were only six Catholics on the Island, but two years later this number had risen to 29 faithful who attended Mass in cottages, parlours of pubs, lofts and even in an old barn.