[From Manx Quarterly, #12 June 1913]
Church of St Ninian, Douglas
St. Ninian's Church, which has been erected by the trustees of the estate of the late H. B. Noble, was dedicated to divine service with all due pomp and ceremony on Tuesday, March 25th. The public assembled in droves, and although the service was advertised to commence at three o'clock, the church was packed by 2-40. It would have needed another St. Ninian's to accommodate all the people who sought admission. For this remarkable attendance many thanks are due to the exceptionally fine weather, for the sun shone in all its glory, and there was hardly a breath of wind. A Union Jack floated from the tower, and the ringing of the bell, with its first call of the faithful to worship, had a spirit of joyousness which well harmonised with the beauty of Nature.
Rev D. C. Woodhouse M.A. B.D.
The ceremony commenced with a procession from the Eastern door along the aisles to the chancel, the order of procession being:-The choir (in their robes), unbeneficed clergy, beneficed clergy, rural cleans, canons, the Noble Trustees, the church trustees, the Vicar-designate, the Archdeacon, the Vicar-General, the Lord Bishop, the Bishop's chaplains, and the Diocesan Registrar. After the singing of the processional hymn, the trustees petitioned the Bishop, seated in his chair, to dedicate the church. This having been done, and prayers having been offered, the Bishop proceeded to the chapel of St. Martin, on the West side of the church. Standing at the Holy Table, and turning his face to the kneeling congregation, his Lordship reverently dedicated the chapel. The " license for publick worship of St. Ninian's Church" was then read by the Vicar-General, and the Bishop signed it and directed that it be preserved among the muniments of the diocese. Then came the license for the Vicar-designate (Rev Disney Charles Woodhouse, M.A., B.D.) to officiate in the Church of St. Ninian, also read by the V scar-General. The Bishop signed the license and handed it to the Vicar-designate, kneeling before him, and laying his hand on the Vicar-designate's head, the Bishop said: " The Lord bless thy outgoings and thy incomings from this time forth and for evermore." Evening prayer, commencing with the words " Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost," followed, Psalms 24 and 84 being chanted. The Clerk of the Rolls (chairman of the Noble trustees) read the first lesson (1st Kings, viii., 10-81), and Mr G. F. Clucas (who is a fellow church trustee with Mr E. T, Kissack) the second lesson (1st Corinthians, iii., 10-17). Further devotions were engaged in, led by the Bishop and the Archdeacon respectively, the hymn " Pleasant are Thy courts above" being heartily joined in after the third collect, for aid against all perils.
After she singing of the hymn, "Blessed city, heavenly Salem," the Bishep preached an eloq-rent and arrestsve sermon from the words " I m as glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."
Upon the conclusion of the sermon, the hymn " O Lord of heaven, and earth and sea" was suns while the collection eas being taken. The Bishop then led in further petitions, and after bestowing Ids blessing on the Vicar-designate, closed the proceedings with the Benediction. The congregation stood while the clergy filed out of the East door, the choir afterwards leaving by the main South entrance, the hymn " Christ is made the sure Foundation" being sung the while. The organist was Mr J. R. Boardman.
Important Insular personages were well represented at the service. The Lieut.Governor, Lady Raglan, and the Hon. Miss Somerset were present. The following clergymen took part in the service:The Bishop, the Archdeacon, Revs R. Jones (Santon), H. F. Shenton (St. Baxnabas), J. H. Cain (Lezayre), F. W. Stubbs (Arbory), M. W. Harrison (St. Paul's, Ramsey), R. Wakeford (Onchau), Canon Savage (St. Thomas'), W. A.. Lewis (Peel), J. M. Spicer (Malew), H. S. Taggart (St. Matthew's), W. A. Rushworth (Braddan), - Manning (Principal, Bishop's Hostel), R. B. Jolley (Diocesan Chaplain), R. Cain (Foxda.le), W. W. Warren (Port St. Mary), F. R. Whittaker (Baldwin), R. Ferguson (Port St. Mary), -- Torr (Peel), A. P. Bradshaw (Dolby), H. Sidebotha.m (Cronk-e-Voddy), - Rawcliffe (St. Mark's), H. Maddrell (St. George's), G. J. F. Burnet (Braddan), and H. Robinson (St. Thomas'). The Corporation of Douglas was represented by the Mayor (Alderman Corlett), Aldermen íMoore, Craine, Joughin, and Calev ; Councillors Corrin, Corlett, Cowin, and J. Kelly. The Mayor's Chaplain (Rev J. R. Ellis), the Town Clerk (Mr A. Robertson), the Librarian (Mr W.Cubbon); and the Car Inspector (Mr W. J. Coole) were also present.
The coilection on Tuesday aruounted to zls.
No more commanding or appropriate position could be found than that at Parkfield, where the new church is situated. The land slopes away to the South and East, while to the West there is a view of quiet, subdued country, shut in by the five-mile distant mountain range. On a declining summer evening, the worshippers, on leaving the church, will have their religious feelings deepened by the flush of sunset. Were it not for a cluster of trees, the expansive sweep of the bay would be stretched out below the observer from the Eastern side of the church. The stately tower on the North end is an imposing landmark from land or sea. The edifice, with its elegant proportions and its traditional ecclesiastical architecture, lends dignity to the town and Island in its massiveness and beauty. It has been erected of Manx rough building stone, imported material being employed only in the columns and in a small extent in the windows, where dressed stone from St. Bees has been adopted. Provision has been made in the tower for a peal of bells, one of which has already been installed, and the tower is constructed to form a ventilator to the building. The money at disposal was insufficient to vault the whole church. It has, however, been constructed of stone instead of wood principals, forming at each bay transverse arcades with secondary arches in the roofs. The accommodation is for 650, including the choir. An organ is now being constructed by Messrs Norman and Board, of Norwich, but it will not be introduced into the church until the walls are perfectly dry. The Noble Trustees are also introducing into the windows of the chancel and the side chapel memorial glass to the memory of the late Mr Noble, which is being executed by Mr Horace Wilkinson, of London. In the porch is a memorial tablet to the late Mr Noble, bearing the following inscription:
To the Glory of God,
and for the good of the people of Douglas,
HENRY BLOOM NOBLE
bequeathed money to build and furnish this
House of God, which was erected with
pious care, and dedicated to
All who draw near unto God here should be grateful for that gift, and do their
utmost to gain for themselves, and for others, in their worship within these
walls, all the blessing, that God is willing to bestow.
The work was executed by Messrs R. Costain and Sons, Blundellsands, near Liverpool. The stalls and other fittings are by Messrs Dart and Francis, Crediton. Mr A. J. White has fulfilled the post of clerk of the works, greatly to the satisfaction of the trustees, and the architect it Mr W, D. Caröe, of London.