Pope Francis grants ‘rare honour’ to St Mary’s Church, Douglas

In an honour for Douglas and the unique faith story of the Isle of Man St Mary’s RC Church has been granted cathedral status by Pope Francis.

The Church of Saint Mary of the Isle will be a co-cathedral to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, based 80 miles away in Liverpool city centre and will be the first Catholic co-cathedral in the British Isles.

Constructed in 1859 and located across from the Tynwald Parliament building, the announcement comes after Douglas was awarded city status as part of the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022.

Co-cathedrals are rare in the Catholic Church, but exist when two dioceses, each with its own cathedral, are merged or when a single diocese spans two distinct civil jurisdictions.

Peel Cathedral was granted cathedral status by the Act of Tynwald in 1980, and is the established Church of England Diocese of Sodor and Man.

A cathedral is where the bishop of a diocese has his seat or cathedral.

Plans are in place for an official ceremony during which Archbishop Malcolm will formally take possession of his seat to mark the Church becoming a Cathedral.