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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Praying the Keeills Week Celebrates Saints and their Keeills
of the more unusual events on the Manx calendar is the annual Praying the
Keeills Week, which incorporates visits to a number of ancient, holy sites
across the Island with other events during the week.
in its tenth year, their chosen theme for 2015 is Saints and their Keeills,
which begins and finishes with a challenging full day walk, taking in some of
the Island's beautiful scenery.
historical keeill (Manx Gaelic: church, kirk) is a Christian chapel built
during the 8th - 12th century, some rarely larger than three metres by five
the earliest examples were built of earth sods, others were more substantial,
both in size and substance, being made of stone. It's thought there may have
been approximately two hundred keeills throughout the Island, of which only
about thirty five survive; albeit just their remains.
Lag ny Keeilley
served a number of functions, incorporating family chapels, wayside shrines,
places of retreat and hermitage,with a
walled graveyard sometimes surrounding the building and a well nearby.
selection of memorial crosses and other decorated stones discovered during
excavations of the keeills are on display at some of the Island's parish
the Keeills Week has adopted the idea of prayer and meditation, which were
important to those who historically worshipped at these sites; describing them
as 'thin places' where they could draw closer to God.
the Keeills Week is organised by a number of local churches and offers an
opportunity to step aside from the busyness of life and perhaps rediscover lost
Lag ny Keeilley
first event will be a Service of Welcome at Glen Maye Chapel before heading
towards the now deserted mining community of Glen Rushen, with other visits to
keeill sites at Union Mills, Jurby, Scarlett to Balladoole in the south of the
Island and Lonan in the east.
outings scheduled for the week include an illustrated talk about Manx Saints, a
'saints-themed' coach trip and an opportunity to visit both the old and new St
are welcome at any of the scheduled events (see their website for details)
although the coach trip will need to be booked in advance.