The fascinating 200-year past of Jurby Church, the significance of the prehistoric and early Christian site, and plans for the building’s future are set to gain wider exposure after the Friends of Jurby Church received a Celton Manx Recognition award, which provided for the professional production of a leaflet outlining the church’s historical significance, its treasures and appeal campaign.
The award also saw Celton Manx donate Manx Radio airtime to the Friends to promote the first in a series of three exhibitions at the church.
The Friends of Jurby Church was established in 2014 and became a Manx-registered charity in 2015 to, as the leaflet explains: ‘give the church a future when it was in danger of closing completely.
The Friends are now raising funds to repair and renovate the building for its new life as a festival church. The church will close for regular worship although a number of special services will take place each year. The church will become a focal point for the Jurby community and visitors to the parish, serving as a centre for exhibitions and events linked to the church’s religious and cultural heritage as well as to its Second World War RAF connections.
The Friends’ Sandra Kerrison, who researched and wrote the content of the leaflet, said: ‘We are very grateful to have received this Recognition award; the radio advertisement and leaflet have prompted a very positive response. The award is a tremendous boost to promoting the significance of Jurby Church as part of an important historic site. Funds raised will enable us to make a start on the necessary renovation and to restore the building to its former glory so that it can benefit not only the parish and the Isle of Man but also encourage more visitors to Jurby Church.
Celton Manx executive director Bill Mummery said: ‘Jurby Church has a fascinating story to tell, recounted so vividly by Sandra who, together with the Friends from across the Island, the British Isles and the US, clearly hold this landmark church and its enduring links to the parish in great affection and are passionate about its survival.
‘The leaflet illustrates how the church is a symbol of the strong sense of community that still survives in Jurby. As a business committed to investing in the community and promoting the Island to a wider audience Celton Manx applauds the aims of the Friends of Jurby Church and we have been pleased to lend visibility to their campaign with this Recognition award.’
The first Isle of Man History at Jurby Church exhibition is now on daily until June 26.
The second in the series, from July 2 to 17, will see the return of the Jurby Mice, hundreds of mice in tableaux depicting Jurby and the history and folklore of the Island.
The final exhibition, ‘Jurby and the Vikings’ will run from August 20 to October 31.
Jurby Church is open daily from 10am to 4pm.