[From Proc IoMNH&ASoc vol 3]



25 JUNE, 1925.
Read at Santan.

Among the Ecclesiastical Records in the Manx Museum is the following interesting account of a Visitation to Kirk Santan by the Archdeacon and Vicars-General in the year 1743

Bishop's Court, 19th Sept., 1743.

Visitation of the Vicars-General, the Rev. John Cosnahan and Edw. Moore, on the 5th July, 1743.

Having visited the Church of Kirk Santan upon the 5th July last, the Wardens are hereby admonished to provide a new surplice a fair white linen cloth, with two napkins for the Communion Service, as also a dish for the elements; and a herse cloth to be used at burials.

They are also to take care that the font be sufficiently repaired, and that a cover be made for the same; and that for the future no use be made of common vessels for baptising; but that the water be poured into the font according to the rubrick and canons of the Church.

Let these directions be observed, and all things a-wanting be procured within six months next ensuing under pains of ecclesiastical censure; at which time the Vicar and Wardens are to return certificate to the Ep. Registrar of the performance thereof.


To the Vicar of Santan. These to publish.

Fifteen years afterwards-in 1758-there was another visitation, after which Bishop Hildesley wrote to the Vicar as follows:

Bishop's Court, 1st June, 1758.

The Parish Church of Santan having been visited on the 20th July last past, we find that some parts of the roof want new lathing and other parts rendering.

That the lock of the church door is out of repair and several of the seats out of order; especially their floors are rugged and uneven. That the back and sounding board of the pulpit are loose, as also the rails of the altar.

That there is no horse eloath for the decent interment of the dead, and that a new bier is wanted.

And likewise a new Common Prayer Book for the Vicar's use, as also a new offertory basin, and that the surplice is foul and dirty.

The Wardens for the time being are, therefore, hereby admonished, under pain of ecclesiastical censiure, to take care that these things which are wanting be procured, repaired, and perfected within six months after date hereof, and also that the surplice be, for the future, washed onne a quarter, and the Vicar and Wardens are to return certificate to the Episcopal Registrar of the due performance thereof.

And whereas directions have been given for whitewashing the chancel and repairing a small breach in the roof thereof, the Vicar and

Wardens are to certifie as, above whether the same have been observed. And the said Vicar and Wardens are within two months after date hereof to return to the Episcopal Re~gis~try, a just 'Terrier of the glebes of their parish; as also an account how the fifty, shillings left by the late Lord Bishop of this lsle [Wilson] to the poor of this Parish is secured.


To the Vicar of Santan.

These to publish plena Eccla.

Santan, 24th May, 1759.

Reply of the Churchwardens to the Rev. James Wilks, EP. Regis.

Dear Sir,

'The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop's Order, dated June 1,1758, relative to several particulars that were then wanting„ and necessary to be done, in this parish Church, is duly comply'd with

Except the new Lathing and Rendering of the Church, which the Wardens beg, leave to represent is, not yet done, as the carpenters, who new-seated the Church in the month of March last, observed great defects in several parts of the roof, which is intended to be stript off and fully repaired, in order to make the work more perfect and durable, at the request of the parishioners.

And whereas Timber is at present both scarce and dear in the Island, and that the new seating of the Church has been very expensive, the Wardens humbly desire to have reasonable time allowed for perfecting the said work, the Carpenters being, of opinion that, with due care, the roof may remain as it is, a year or two longer.

They also further represent that a new Common Prayer Book and herse, cloath are not yet procured, but shall be forthwith purchased pursuant to sd. Order.

The chancel is not yet whitewashed, nor the breaches therein repaired, but grown worse.

Certified the 24th. of May, 1759, by us,

PAUL CREBBIN, Vicar of Kk. St. Anne.

At the Santan Visitation on 20th July, 1748, the Notes of Rev. James Wilkes, the Vicar-General, state that among the sacred vessels was 'a small silver chalice, shallow, with a long foot; very curious.' This was, in all likelihood, a Pre Reformation chalice of great value. Its presence in the Church was mentioned in several of the old documents, but it seems to have disappeared by 1786. The present silver beaker is of Manx make, of the date about 1758, inscribed ' Kk. St. Anne, 1758. Thos. Appleby faecit Duglis.' Appleby was a Douglas craftsman, and I find records of his family in the Braddan Register.

It will be of interest to learn that in 1786 there were no less than 300 people taking part in the Communion service at Easter.

In the year 1798 the Parish Clerk of Santan was John Crebbin, and a curious complaint was made against him.

It appears that the usual practice before books were used and before the congregations were able to read, was that the Parish Clerk read the metrical Psalms of David line by line before he sang them.

The complaint of a parishioner named John Quinney set forth that this practice

' tends much to the comfort and edification of the unlearned by enabling them to sing with the spirits by singing with the understanding, whereas the present mode of singing of the Psalms by the said John Crebbin, in reading out the first two lines only of the Psalm . . . and then singing two, or three, or four stanzas, can tend no more (with submission to the Court) to the comfort and edification of the illiterate than if he sang them in High Dutch or in any other foreign and barbarous language.'

Thomas Moore, one of the Churchwardens, requested the clerk to comply with the wishes of John Quinney and some others of the parishioners, which request he ' utterly refused.'

The Ecclesiastical Court, however, ordered that the clerk ' do ' in future raise and give out the singing Psalms as he shall be ' directed by the Vicar,' who was at that time the Rev. Charles Crebbin, son of the Rev. Paul Crebbin.


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