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Isle of Man Post Office celebrates the Churches of The Parish Walk


Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to present a set of stamps showcasing the Islands churches on the route of the Manx Telecom Parish Walk using the photography of Manxman Peter Killey.

The Parish Walk is an annual event, held on the Island in June and sees walkers of different ages and abilities passing through one or more of the 17 touch points at the parish churches along an 85 mile route. Each year the walk attracts up to 2000 competitors and entrants have 24 hours to complete the course. One of the unique features is that contenders are still classified in the results so long as they reach Santon church, the third church on the course, as a minimum (11 miles in).

The origins of the Parish Walk date back to 1852 when Coroner John Cannell made a 90 mile journey around the Island on horseback in 15 hours. The next year he did it on foot, visiting each of the Island's 17 parishes. In 1913 the event was first undertaken in its current form by the Manx Sporting Club and Isle of Man Times and, although WW1 prevented a repeat the following year, it was reinstated in 1923. Originally the walkers had to touch the church door in each of the 17 parishes but modern timing gates have overtaken that. The Parish Walk remains an integral part of Manx life today.

Renowned photographer, Peter Killey, who resides on the Island provided the images for the stamp collection, and has spent the last 20 years photographing Manx life images from around the Isle of Man mainly comprising of landscape, seascape, nature, architecture, heritage and transport.

The striking stamp collection titled 'Churches of The Parish Walk' uses Peter's high definition photography to capture images of all 17 churches located along The Man Parish Walk, most of which are on ancient sites. These include: St German's Cathedral, Peel, which became the Island's cathedral in 1980 and houses artwork by celebrated Manx artist Archibald Knox and Marown Parish Church, which is said to have been in existence as early as 1214. Also featured is St Lupus Church, Malew, whose origins are unclear, but there are possible signs of mediaeval architecture and it was thought to be one of the most important churches on the Island at that time. Inside, a font possibly dating from the twelfth century and an early representation of the three legs of Man symbol from around 1500, make for items of historical interest. The much commemorated Manx historical figure, William Christian (aka Illiam Dhone), is also buried here. To add to this, is Parish Church of St Columba, Arbory, which was consecrated in 1759 after a dispute with the Duke of Athol over the cost and necessity of the church. It is the resting place of Captain John Quilliam of the Battle of Trafalgar, and Dr John Clague, Manx physician, philanthropist and composer.

Peter Killey said: "Photography, Manx history and Architecture have been a passion of mine since I was a young man growing up on the Island and this latest stamp collection 'Churches of the Parish Walk' has been an absolute pleasure for me to work on and share with you some of my Isle of Man church images into a beautiful Manx stamp set for everyone to enjoy. It has also been very interesting during the project to learn some further interesting facts of the rich history behind these 17 beautiful churches on the Parish Walk.

Peter continues: "It has been a real pleasure to work with Isle of Man Post Office on this latest stamp set and to work with such a dedicated team of people who have collectively produced this wonderful issue of Manx stamps."

Murray Lambden, the publisher of parishwalk.com, said: "The Manx Telecom Parish Walk is embedded into Manx culture as are the 17 parish churches at which walkers visit during the 85 mile walk. I've long been a fan of Peter Killey's photography at manxscenes.com for the high quality of his images and clarity of descriptions and the stamps are equally informative. I'm delighted to announce that Peter 's photos and the church descriptions will be published on parishwalk.com for permanent reference."

Maxine Cannon, Isle of Man Stamps & Coins General Manager said: "To celebrate the churches on the Isle of Man, we decided to take a unique approach and showcase the parish churches that are the historical timing points for the Island's Parish Walk. We would like to thank those individuals who were pivotal in helping to bring the collection together including Peter Killey for his stunning photography and Valarie Caine who provided the accompanying text for the issue. Finally, Isle of Man Post Office would like to wish competitors all the very best in the races."

The stamps are available in a set, presentation pack, first day cover or as a block of six for anyone wishing to purchase specific parish stamps. To view the stamps and to order please click here

Pictured is Richard Gerrard with a stamps blow up, Richard has completed the Parish Walk 8 times, won it 3 times and has the course record, which is 14 hours 40 minutes and 8 seconds.


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