Parish of St Matthew the Apostle,
Douglas, Isle of Man

The Current Building

current building

The building that you see today was erected between 1897 and 1907 as a replacement for the old church, which used to stand further along North Quay. It is built of Manx stone, with red sandstone facings, and the total cost of both site and building work, at the turn of the twentieth century, was £8,700.

St. Matthew's was built to the design of the famous Gothic Revival architect, John Loughborough Pearson, who is perhaps best known for designing Truro Cathedral (1880). Locally, he is also noted as the architect of Kirk Braddan new church.

New St. Matthew's was built in gradual stages. The nave was consecrated in 1901, and the chancel on St. Matthew's day (21st September) 1908, on the 200th anniversary of the consecration of the old church. The architect's design specified a belfry with a tall steeple over the entrance porch in Ridgeway Street, but this was never built, and a temporary wooden structure was made to do instead. In 1988 this was replaced by the present belfry and slate roof.

The interior of St. Matthew's is well worth exploring. Notable details include the magnificent Reredos, which depicts the Adoration of the Magi, and the East Window above the High Altar (liturgically, though not geographically, 'East'!), which was designed by the Pre-Raphaelite artist, Edward Burne-Jones, and made by the William Morris Company.

The Lady Chapel, in the north transept, was dedicated in 1914 and also contains a Burne-Jones window. The carved panel affixed to the wall, showing Christ washing the disciples' feet, dates from the 15th Century.

The chapel in the south transept includes furnishings from the chapel of HMS Valkyrie, which was made by the ships' company while they were stationed on the island, and given in memory of their comrades who had been killed in the Second World War.

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As a charity St.Matthew's relies on generous donations to help us with our mission in central Douglas and to pay our running costs
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