A MEASURE enacted pursuant to the Church Legislation Procedure Act 1993 to make provision with respect to the deposit, custody and care of certain registers and other ecclesiastical records, and with respect to the registration of baptisms and burials; and for connected purposes

NOTE: This Measure came into force on 1st January 2001.

Diocesan record office

1. Provision of diocesan record office

(1) There shall be a diocesan record office for the diocese, being such repository in the Island as is for the time being designated by the Bishop as such office by an instrument in writing.

(2) The Bishop shall not designate a repository as the diocesan record office unless that place is —

(a) the Manx Museum;
(b) the Public Record Office provided under the Public Records Act 1999;
(c) a repository specified in a direction under section 1(6) of that Act; or
(d) in the opinion of the Bishop a suitable place to be appointed as a place of deposit under this Measure.

(3) The Bishop shall not designate a repository as the diocesan record office without the consent of the authority or other body by whom it is provided or managed.

NOTE The Manx Museum is designated as the diocesan record office (SD 685/00).

2. Custody etc. of records held in diocesan record office

The diocesan records officer shall have the custody of any records or registers which are deposited in the diocesan record office in pursuance of this Measure and shall be responsible for their safe-keeping, care and preservation.

Diocesan records

3. Meaning of "diocesan record"

(1) In this Measure "diocesan record" means a record of —

(a) a body specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1;
(b) a person specified in Part 2 of Schedule 1; or
(c) any other person or body specified in an order made by the Bishop for the purpose of this section, being a person holding an office in, or a body exercising functions in relation to, the Established Church in the Island (other than an incumbent, priest in charge, churchwarden or parochial church council).

(2) A reference to any person in Part 2 of Schedule 1;, or in an order under subsection (1)(c), is to that person in his official capacity and not in any other capacity.

4. Deposit of diocesan records in diocesan record office

(1) Subject to section 5(2), every person who has the custody of any diocesan record, being a record to which this subsection applies, shall as soon as practicable after the end of the year 2005 and each fifth year thereafter deposit that record in the diocesan record office.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to any record which was completed 50 years or more before the end of the year in question.

(3) Without prejudice to subsection (1), any person who has the custody of any diocesan records may deposit any of those records in the diocesan record office.

(4) Any deposit under this section shall be accompanied by —

(a) a list describing the records which are being deposited; and
(b) a list describing the records which are being retained by the person making the deposit.

(5) Each of the lists referred to in subsection (4)(b) shall specify the usual place of custody of the records to which the list relates.

(6) A copy of each of the lists referred to in subsection (4) shall be sent to the Bishop or to such person as he may designate for the purpose.

(7) Any person who under this section deposits any records in the diocesan record office shall obtain from the diocesan records officer a receipt for the records deposited, and that receipt shall be kept with the records which are being retained by that person.

5. Care etc. of diocesan records

(1) Every person having the custody of any diocesan records shall be responsible for their safe-keeping, care and preservation.

(2) The Bishop may in writing authorise the person having the custody of any diocesan record which —

(a) is required by section 4(1) to be deposited in the diocesan record office, and
(b) is specified in the authorisation,

to retain the record in his custody.

(3) An application for an authorisation under subsection (2) shall be made in writing by the person or persons having the custody of the record, and where any relevant directions under subsection (5) are in force, the Bishop shall not issue the authorisation unless he is satisfied that the requirements of those directions are being and will be complied with as respects that record.

(4) If it appears to the Bishop that any such requirements are not being complied with as respects any record to which an authorisation under subsection (2) relates, he shall revoke the authorisation.

(5) The Bishop shall from time to time issue directions with respect to the safekeeping, care and preservation of diocesan records not kept in the diocesan record office; and all persons concerned shall comply with such directions.

(6) Directions under subsection (5) may either —

(a) relate to diocesan records generally and be addressed to all persons concerned, or
(b) relate to particular diocesan records or be addressed to a particular person or body.

(7) The expense of complying with directions issued under this section shall be met by the Sodor and Man Diocesan Board of Finance.

6. Order for deposit of records in diocesan record office

If it appears to the Bishop —

(a) that section 4(1) has not been complied with as respects any diocesan records to which that provision applies, or
(b) that directions issued by him under section 5 with respect to any diocesan records have not been complied with, or
(c) that any diocesan records are for any other reason exposed to danger of loss or damage,
the provisions of Schedule 2 shall apply.
6A. Access to electronic register book of services

(1) This section applies where there is an online facility provided by one or more of the National Institutions of the Church of England for enabling any person who has the custody of an electronic register book of services to allow any of the National Institutions and certain other persons to have access to the information contained in that register book.

(2) Every person who has the custody of an electronic register book of services must follow the procedure provided for by the online facility so as to allow any of the National Institutions of the Church of England, and such other persons as the Institution or Institutions concerned may authorise, to have access to the information contained in that register book.

(3) Where a person is given access under subsection (2) to the information contained in an electronic register book of services, the person shall be responsible for the safe-keeping, care and preservation of the information which the person obtains as a result.

NOTE S.6A inserted by Church (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure (Isle of Man) 2021 Sch.4 para.7(1). Not yet in force.

7. Return of diocesan records deposited in diocesan record office

(1) Where —

(a) any diocesan records have been deposited in the diocesan record office, and
(b) an application for the purpose is made to the Bishop by any person who would have been entitled to have the custody of them had they not been so deposited,

the Bishop shall order that those records or such of them as may be specified in the order shall be returned to and placed in the custody of that person.

(2) The Bishop shall not make an order under this section unless he is satisfied that any relevant directions issued by him under section 5(5) will be complied with by the applicant for the order.

(3) At least one month before making an order under this section the Bishop shall give to the diocesan records officer notice of his intention, containing particulars of such records and stating the name and address of the person into whose custody they are to be returned.

(4) The making of an order under this section with respect to any records shall not be taken as —

(a) preventing the subsequent deposit of those records in the diocesan record office under section 4, or
(b) affecting the power to make an order under Schedule 2 with respect to them.

Parochial registers and records

8. Custody of registers in parochial custody

(1) The incumbent of the benefice to which a parish belongs shall have the custody of the registers of baptisms, confirmations, banns of marriage, marriages, burials or services which in accordance with any statutory provision or Canon are provided for any parish church or other place of public worship in the parish.

(2) During a vacancy in the benefice the churchwardens of the parish shall, subject to subsection (3), have the custody of the registers mentioned in subsection (1).

(3) Where the bishop appoints a priest in charge for any benefice to which a suspension period (within the meaning of the [Mission and Pastoral Measure (Isle of Man) 2012]) applies, the priest in charge shall during that period have the custody of the said registers.

(4) Subsections (1) to (3) do not apply to any registers which are for the time being deposited in the diocesan record office.

NOTE S.9: subs.(3): words in square brackets inserted by Mission and Pastoral Measure (Isle of Man) 2012 Sch.8 para.8.

9. Inspection of registers and records in parochial custody

(1) The Archdeacon shall cause the registers and records in parochial custody, including registers in use for the purpose of making entries therein, to be inspected and reported on periodically by such person or persons as he may appoint.

(2) Before making an appointment under subsection (1) the Archdeacon shall consult the diocesan records officer.

(3) The Archdeacon —

(a) shall cause the first inspection under this section affecting every parish to be begun not later than the end of 2005; and
(b) shall cause an inspection under this section affecting any parish to be begun not more than 5 years after the date on which the immediately preceding inspection affecting that parish was completed.

(4) A report under this section shall be made to the Archdeacon or to such person as he may designate for the purpose.

(5) Any person carrying out an inspection under this section shall compile a list of the registers, and a list describing the records, which have been inspected by him under this section.

(6) Any person carrying out an inspection under this section affecting any parish may comply with subsection (5) by certifying in writing that any such list previously compiled on a inspection affecting the same parish, with such additions or omissions, if any, as are specified in the certificate is a list of the registers or a list describing the records, as the case may be, which have been inspected by him under this section.

(7) The person in whose custody such registers or records are shall allow any person carrying out an inspection under this section to have access to those registers and records at any reasonable time and shall give him such facilities as he may reasonably require to enable him to carry out his functions under this section.

(8) Any person carrying out an inspection under this section shall send a copy of any list or certificate compiled or issued by him thereunder to —

(a) the Archdeacon,
(b) the diocesan records officer,
(c) the incumbent or priest in charge of the parish affected, and
(d) the parochial church council of that parish.

(9) A copy or a list or certificate sent to a parochial church council under subsection (8) shall be accompanied by an instruction that —

(a) it be inserted in or annexed to the inventory of articles appertaining to the parish church, and
(b) the date or dates on which the inspection was carried out be inserted in the log book relating to the church.

(10) Any expenses incurred by a person carrying out an inspection under this section in complying with the provisions thereof shall be paid by the parochial church council of the parish affected.

10. Closure of old registers

(1) Any register to which this section for the time being applies shall be closed and no further entries shall be made therein.

(2) This section applies to any register in which the earliest entry has (at any time, whether at the coming into force of this section or subsequently) been in existence for 100 years or more, other than a register of marriages in which the earliest entry was made on or after 27th September 1910.

11. Deposit of registers, etc. in diocesan record office

(1) Subject to section 12(3), every person —

(a) who by virtue of section 8 has the custody of any register belonging to a parish, being a register to which this subsection applies, or
(b) who has the custody of any record in parochial custody in such a parish, being a record to which this subsection applies,

shall as soon as practicable after the first and each subsequent inspection under section 9 affecting that parish is begun deposit that register or record in the diocesan record office.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to —

(a) any register in which the date of the latest entry is 100 years or more earlier than the relevant date, other than a register in use for the purpose of making entries therein,
(b) any register to which section 10 applies, and
(c) any record which was completed 100 years or more before the relevant date.

In this subsection "the relevant date" means the date on which each of the inspections referred to in subsection (1) is begun.

(3) Without prejudice to subsection (1), any person —

(a) who by virtue of section 8 has the custody of any registers belonging to a parish, or
(b) who has the custody of any records in parochial custody in a parish,

may, with the consent of the parochial church council of the parish, deposit any of those registers or records, except a register in use for the purpose of making entries therein, in the diocesan record office.

(4) Any deposit under this section shall be accompanied by —

(a) a list of the registers, and a list describing the records, which are being deposited; and
(b) a list of the registers, and a list describing the records, which are being retained in parochial custody, other than registers in use for the purpose of making entries therein.

(5) Each of the lists referred to in subsection (4)(b) shall specify the usual place of custody of the registers or records to which the list relates.

(6) A copy of each of the lists referred to in subsection (4) shall be sent to the Bishop or to such person as he may designate for the purpose.

(7) Any person who under this section deposits any registers or records in the diocesan record office shall obtain from the diocesan records officer a receipt for the registers or records deposited, and that receipt shall be inserted in or annexed to the inventory of articles appertaining to the parish church concerned.

12. Care, etc. of registers and records in parochial custody

(1) Every person having the custody of any registers or records in parochial custody —

(a) shall be responsible for their safe-keeping, care and preservation; and
(b) as respects any register or record which is retained in parochial custody under an authorisation issued under subsection (2), shall comply with such requirements as are prescribed with respect to their safe-keeping, care and preservation.

(2) The Bishop may in writing authorise any register or record which is required by section 11(1) to be deposited in the diocesan record office and is specified in the authorisation to be retained in parochial custody.

(3) An application for an authorisation under subsection (2) shall be made in writing by the person or persons having the custody of the register or record in question, and the Bishop shall issue the authorisation if he is satisfied that the requirements of any relevant directions under subsection (5) are being and will be complied with as respects that register or record.

(4) If it appears to the Bishop that those requirements are not being complied with as respects any register or record to which an authorisation under subsection (2) relates, he shall revoke the authorisation.

(5) The Bishop shall from time to time issue directions with respect to the safekeeping, care and preservation of the other registers and records in parochial custody; and all persons concerned shall comply with such directions.

(6) Directions under subsection (5) may either —

(a) relate to registers and records in parochial custody generally and be addressed to all persons concerned, or
(b) relate to particular registers or records in parochial custody or be addressed to a particular incumbent, priest in charge or parochial church council or to particular churchwardens.

(7) Subject to any particular requirements imposed under subsection (6)(b), directions under subsection (5) shall —

(a) require the registers and records to which the directions apply to be kept in the appropriate parish church or other place of public worship; and
(b) include directions with respect to the type of container in which those registers and records are to be kept.

NOTE: S.12: subs.(1)(b): requirements are prescribed by the Parochial Registers and Records Regulations 2000 (SD 683/00); subs.(5): for directions see the Parochial Registers and Records Directions 2013.

(8) The expense of complying with directions under subsection (5) shall be met by the parochial church council.

13. Order for deposit of registers etc. in diocesan record office

If it appears to the Bishop —

(a) that section 11(1) has not been complied with as respects any registers or records in parochial custody to which that provision applies,
(b) that any relevant directions issued by him under section 12(5) as respects any such registers or records have not been complied with, or
(c) that any such registers or records are for any other reason exposed to danger of loss or damage,

the provisions of Schedule 2 shall apply.

14. Faculty not required for deposit of registers, etc. in diocesan record office

A register or record may be deposited in the diocesan record office in pursuance of this Measure without a faculty.

15. Return to parochial custody of registers, etc. deposited in diocesan record office

(1) Where —

(a) any registers or records formerly in parochial custody have been deposited in the diocesan record office, and
(b) an application for the purpose is made to the Bishop by any person who would have been entitled to have the custody of them had they not been so deposited,

the Bishop shall order that those registers or records or such of them as may be specified in the order shall be returned to and placed in the custody of that person.

(2) A Bishop shall not make an order under this section unless he is satisfied that any relevant directions issued by him under section 12(5) will be complied with by the applicant for the order.

(3) At least one month before making an order under this section the Bishop shall give to the diocesan records officer notice of his intention, containing particulars of such registers or records and stating the name and address of the person into whose custody they are to be returned.

(4) The making of an order under this section with respect to any registers or records shall not be taken as —

(a) preventing the subsequent deposit of those registers or records in the diocesan record office under section 11, or
(b) affecting the power to make an order under Schedule 2 with respect to them.

Registration of baptisms and burials

16. Provision of registers of baptisms and burials

(1) The parochial church council of every parish shall provide a register book of public and private baptisms for the parish or, in the case of a parish which has more than one parish church, for each such church.

(2) The churchwardens of every parish shall provide a register book of burials for every parish burial ground in the parish; and expenses incurred under this subsection shall be treated for the purposes of the Burials Act 1986 as expenses of maintaining the parish burial ground in question.

(3) The registers referred to in subsections (1) and (2) shall be deemed to belong to the parochial church council or the churchwardens, as the case may be.

(4) Such registers shall be of durable material and the prescribed heads of information to be entered therein shall, in the case of every such register provided after the commencement of this Measure, be printed on every leaf thereof.

(5) Every place of entry in every such register shall be numbered progressively from the beginning to the end of the register, beginning with the number one, and every entry shall be divided from the following entry by a printed line.

NOTE: S.16: "prescribed": see Parochial Registers (Forms) Regulations 2017 (SD 2017/33).

17. Registration of baptisms

(1) Where the ceremony of baptism according to the rites of the Established Church is performed —

(a) in a parish church of a parish, or
(b) in any other place in a parish by a minister of the parish,

the person by whom the ceremony was performed shall as soon as possible thereafter enter the prescribed particulars in the appropriate register of baptisms and shall sign the register in the place provided.

(2) Where the ceremony of baptism according to the said rites is performed in any place in a parish other than a parish church by a person who is not a minister of the parish, the person by whom the ceremony was performed shall as soon as possible thereafter send to the incumbent or priest in charge of the parish a certificate signed by him certifying when and where the ceremony was performed and containing such other particulars as are prescribed.

(3) Where the ceremony of baptism according to the said rites is performed in an institution in respect of which a clerk in Holy Orders is for the time being licensed under section 2 of the Extra-Parochial Ministry Measure 1967 to perform any offices or services, then, unless the ceremony is performed in an institution for which a register of baptisms has been provided by virtue of section 20, the person by whom the ceremony was performed shall as soon as possible thereafter send a certificate —

(a) signed by him,
(b) certifying when and where the ceremony was performed, and
(c) containing such other particulars as are prescribed,

to the incumbent or priest in charge of the parish in which the institution is.

(4) On receiving a certificate under subsection (2) or (3) the incumbent or priest in charge shall enter the prescribed particulars of the baptism to which the certificate relates in the appropriate register of baptisms.

(5) In this section "minister", in relation to a parish, means —

(a) the incumbent of the benefice to which the parish belongs,
(b) a vicar in a team ministry for the area of that benefice,
(c) the priest in charge of the parish, or
(d) any curate licensed to officiate in the parish.

NOTE: S.17: "prescribed": see Parochial Registers (Forms) Regulations 2017 (SD 2017/33).