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Songs of Praise at Rushen Abbey 26 June 2007

On Sunday 8th July 2007, Manx National Heritage and Churches Together in Mann are inviting worshippers to join them for a special open air ecumenical Songs of Praise service in the grounds of Rushen Abbey at 2.30pm. The open air Songs of Praise service at Rushen Abbey

Rushen Abbey is the Island’s most substantial and important religious site and the grounds include the site of the original Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin, where the original church last held regular acts of worship in June 1540. Shortly after this date the Abbot and six monks were expelled and the Abbey and church fell into disrepair following the dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII.

Since acquiring Rushen Abbey for the Manx nation in 1998, Manx National Heritage has carefully excavated and conserved the site, and Rushen Abbey was reopened to the public on Good Friday 2000.

The Songs of Praise service has become an annual interdenominational event arranged by Manx National Heritage in conjunction with Vicar of Malew, Reverend Michael Roberts, who said:

A number of community based activities have taken place at Rushen Abbey since its opening, including the open air services, which commenced in summer 2001 when the first regular acts of worship were held at Rushen Abbey for over 460 years.

The open air Songs of Praise service at Rushen Abbey“The Open Air Service is always a popular event and enables both the local and the wider community to enjoy worship at Rushen Abbey, where it is very fitting to have such acts of praise and thanksgiving. This year there will be a special floral theme to the service to celebrate the Manx Heritage Flower Festival, which can also be enjoyed at many of the Island’s Churches and Chapels including the Abbey Church in Ballasalla between 1st July and 8th July”.

Peddyr Cubberley, Southern Sites Manager for Manx National Heritage, said:

“2007 is the seventh consecutive year in which Manx National Heritage has worked with the Churches Together in Mann to host the Songs of Praise Service at Rushen Abbey and Manx National Heritage very much look forward to welcoming worshippers to this year’s service”.

During the service, local Manx singers including Terry Qualtrough, Helen Ainsworth and Sarah Mordaunt will lead the hymns, each of which will have a floral theme.

Visitors are advised to bring seating or blankets, although in case of wet weather the service will be conducted at the Abbey Church, Ballasalla, approximately 100 yards away from Rushen Abbey.

Rushen Abbey is part of the award-winning Story of Mann, and is open from 10am to 5pm daily until 28th October 2007.

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