Saint Sanctain Church

Santon, Isle of Man

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Description

Kirk Santan is dedicated to the Celtic saint, Sanctain. The church is one of the ancient Parish churches of the Island. The parochial system in Man is supposed to have been established in the 12th century, when the native Norse King, Olaf 1, ruled the Island. He gave considerable grants of land to the Church. Christianity in the Isle of Man traditionally dates from 447 A.D. and it is commonly thought that the faith arrived here from Ireland, although it perhaps more likely that the arrival was somewhat later by virtue of monks possibly from the celtic church of St Columba of Iona, or even from Wales. Wherever these missionaries came from, each seems to have picked a suitable spot, usually near a well or spring of water. There was built a small 'keeill' or chapel, about 20 feet long and 12 feet wide. Close beside it, the monk would build a small cell in which he lived. In the keeill, mass and the daily offices would be said, and days would be spent preaching to the families in the area. This present parish church has been built on the site of such an early keeill.
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Saint Sanctain Church, Created by Darren watkinson, Santon, Isle of Man