18. Registration of burials

(1) Subject to subsection (4), the minister officiating at a burial according to the rites of the Established Church shall as soon as possible after the burial has taken place enter the prescribed particulars in the appropriate register of burials and shall sign the register in the place provided.

(2) Subject to subsection (4), where a burial according to the said rites takes place 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 burial takes place in the burial ground of an institution for which a register of burials has been provided by virtue of section 20, the minister officiating at the burial shall as soon as possible after the burial has taken place send a certificate —

(a) signed by him,
(b) certifying when and where the burial took place, and
(c) containing such other particulars as are prescribed,

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

(3) On receiving such certificate the incumbent or priest in charge shall enter the prescribed particulars of the burial to which the certificate relates in the appropriate register of burials.

(4) This section does not apply in relation to a burial which takes place in the cemetery provided under the Douglas Cemetery Act 1895.

(5) In this section "minister" means any person who is authorised to bury the dead according to the rites of the Established Church.

NOTE: S.18: "prescribed": see Parochial Registers (Forms) Regulations 2017 (SD 2017/33).

19. Corrections of errors in register of baptisms or burials

(1) A person required to register a baptism or a burial under this Measure who discovers an error in the form or substance of an entry made in the register of baptisms or burials, as the case may be, shall not be liable to any penalty under the Forgery Act 1952 by reason only that within one month after the discovery of the error he corrects the erroneous entry in the presence of the persons specified in subsection (2) by entry in the margin of the register, without any alteration of the original entry.

(2) The persons referred to in subsection (1) are —

(a) in the case of an erroneous entry in a register of baptisms, either or both of the parents of the child to whom the entry relates or, in the case of the death or absence of both of them, the churchwardens of the parish to which the register belongs; and
(b) in the case of an erroneous entry in a register of burials, 2 persons who were present at the burial to which the entry relates or the churchwardens of the parish to which the register belongs.

(3) Any such marginal entry as is referred to in subsection (1) shall be signed by the person by whom the entry is made and shall be attested by the persons in whose presence the entry is required to be made, and the person by whom the entry is made shall add the date when it is made.

20. Application of ss.16-19 to certain institutions

Sections 16 to 19, so far as applicable and with the necessary modifications, apply in relation to —

(a) the provision of registers of baptisms or burials for any 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;
(b) the registration of baptisms performed in any such institution; and
(c) the registration of burials which take place in any burial ground belonging to any such institution.

Exhibitions, research etc.

21. Making certain registers etc. in record office available for exhibition or research

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section and section 22(1), where a request in that behalf is made to the diocesan records officer, he may authorise —

(a) such of the diocesan records in his custody by virtue of section 4 or 6, or
(b) such of the registers or records in his custody by virtue of section 11 or 13,

as may be specified in the authorisation to be transferred to, and deposited for such period as may be so specified in, a suitable and safe place for the purpose of exhibition or research.

(2) Subsections (3) and (4) apply to a request under this section relating to registers or records falling within subsection (1)(b).

(3) Where such a request is made by the parochial church council of the parish to which the registers or records in question belong, the diocesan records officer shall issue the authorisation requested if he is satisfied that the place of a deposit specified in the request is a suitable and safe place.

(4) Where such a request is made by any person other than that parochial church council, the diocesan records officer may issue the authorisation requested only with the consent of that council.

22. Making registers etc. in parochial custody available for certain purposes

(1) Subject to subsection (2), any person having the custody of any registers or records in parochial custody may deposit any of them for a limited period —

(a) in the diocesan record office, or
(b) in some other suitable and safe place approved by the Bishop,

for the purpose of exhibition or research or for the purpose of enabling copies or lists to be made of them or copies of any part thereof.

(2) The power conferred by subsection (1) on a person having the custody of such registers or records may be exercised at the request of any other person, but, whether or not any such request is made, the first mentioned person, if not the parochial church council concerned, may exercise that power only with the consent of that council.

(3) Where a request for the deposit in accordance with subsection (1) of any such registers or records is made to the person having the custody of them, then —

(a) if that person refuses or fails to comply with the request, or
(b) where subsection (2) applies, the parochial church council refuses to consent to the deposit being made,

the Bishop, on the application of the person who made the request and after giving the parochial church council concerned and any other person who has the custody of them an opportunity to make representations to him, may order them to be deposited for a period specified in the order in the diocesan record office or other suitable and safe place approved by him for any of the purposes mentioned in subsection (1).

(4) Before approving a place as suitable and safe place for the purposes of this section the Bishop shall consult the diocesan records officer.

23. Provisions supplemental to ss.21 and 22

(1) The period during which any registers or records formerly or for the time being in parochial custody may be deposited in any place by virtue of any provision of section 21 or 22 shall not exceed one year; but the person by whom that period was fixed may, with the consent of the parochial church council concerned, extend that period for a further period, not exceeding one year; and that said power may be exercised from time to time before or after the expiration of an extension of a period of deposit.

(2) The expenses arising out of the transfer, deposit and return of registers and records in pursuance of any provision of section 21 or 22 shall be paid by the person at whose request the deposit is made.

(3) Before —

(a) the Bishop makes an order under section 22(3) on the application of the person who made such request, or
(b) the diocesan records officer issues an authorisation under section 21 at the request of any person other than the parochial church council of the parish to which the registers and records described in the request belong, or
(c) any person agrees to comply with a request for the deposit in accordance with section 22(1) of any such registers or records as are referred to therein,

he may require the person who made the request to effect insurance with such insurer as may be agreed between that person and that council or, in default of agreement, as the Bishop may direct.

(4) Insurance under subsection (3) must cover risks of loss of, or damage to, the registers and records —

(a) while in transit to or from the place in which they are to be deposited in accordance with the request, order or authorisation, as the case may be, and
(b) while so deposited in that place,

for such sum as may be agreed or directed as mentioned in that subsection.

23A. Making electronic register book of services available for certain purposes

(1) Any person who has the custody of an electronic register book of services may, for a limited period and in the manner approved by the Bishop, make the register book available for the purpose of exhibition or research or for the purpose of enabling a copy to be made of the register book or any part of it.

(2) The power conferred by subsection (1) may be exercised at the request of any person; but, whether or not such a request is made, the power may be exercised only with the consent of the parochial church council concerned.

(3) Where such a request is refused or the parochial church council refuses to give its consent, the Bishop may, on the application of the person who made the request, order the register book to be made available for the period and in the manner specified in the order.

(4) Before exercising the power under subsection (3), the Bishop must give the person who has the custody of the register book and the parochial church council concerned an opportunity to make representations.

NOTE S.23A inserted by Church (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure (Isle of Man) 2021 Sch.4 para.7(2). Not yet in force.

Miscellaneous and supplemental

24. Access to registers and records

(1) Subject to the following provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the diocesan records officer to arrange that reasonable facilities are available to the public for inspecting and obtaining registers and records deposited in the diocesan record office under this Measure.

(2) If it appears to the Bishop that any records deposited in the diocesan record office under this Measure that they contain information of such a kind, or obtained in such circumstances, that the opening of those records to the public would or might constitute a breach of confidence or good faith on the part of the Church or of the persons who obtained the information, he shall notify the diocesan records officer accordingly.

(3) Where a notification is given under subsection (2), the records in question shall not be available in the diocesan record office for public inspection even after the expiration of the said period except in such circumstances and subject to such conditions, if any, as the Bishop may approve, or, if the Bishop thinks fit, after the expiration of such period as he may direct.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed as granting any right to inspect public records or any part of them which appear to the diocesan records officer to be in danger of damage through inspection by the public; but where any records are withheld from inspection by the public by virtue of this subsection the diocesan records officer shall, if possible, make copies of them available for inspection by the public.

(5) The foregoing provisions of this section are subject to any statutory provision, whenever made, which prohibits or restricts the disclosure of information.

25. Disposal of registers etc. on dissolution of parish, etc.

(1) Where a parish is dissolved by a pastoral scheme, whether in consequence of a union of parishes or otherwise, then, subject to the provisions of that scheme, the registers belonging to that parish and any records in parochial custody therein shall be dealt with in such manner as the Bishop may direct.

(2) Subject to section 47 of the Marriage Act 1984 (disposal of registers of marriage on church ceasing to be used for marriages), where a church (within the meaning of the [Mission and Pastoral Measure (Isle of Man 2012]) ceases to be used as such, whether by reason of a declaration of [closure for regular public worship], demolition or otherwise, then, unless the Bishop otherwise directs or any pastoral scheme otherwise provides, the registers and records kept in or relating to that church shall be deposited in the diocesan record office.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) are without prejudice to the power of the Bishop to make an order under section 13 with respect to such registers or records; and section 15, with the omission of subsection (3), shall apply in relation to any such registers or records which in compliance with the direction of the Bishop have been deposited in a place which is not the diocesan record office.

NOTE S.25: subs.(2): first words in square brackets inserted by Mission and Pastoral Measure (Isle of Man) 2012 Sch.8 para.8; second words in square brackets substituted by Mission and Pastoral (Amendment) Measure (Isle of Man) 2018 Sch.3 para.6.

26. Searches of certain registers

(1) Every person having the custody of any register of baptisms or burials, being an incumbent, priest in charge or churchwarden, shall at all reasonable hours allow searches to be made in that register on payment of such fee, if any, as may be prescribed and shall, if requested to do so, give a copy certified under his hand of any entry in that register on payment of such fee, if any, as may be prescribed under [the Church Fees Measure (Isle of Man) 2014].

(2) Where any registers of baptisms or burials are deposited in the diocesan record office —

(a) the diocesan records officer shall at all reasonable hours allow searches to be made in any such register and shall, if requested to do so, give a copy, certified under the hand of an officer of the record office, of any entry therein; and
(b) the authority or body under whose control that office is may charge such fees, if any, for allowing a search to be made in any such register or for providing a copy of an entry therein as is payable to an incumbent for the same service by virtue of any order for the time being in force made under the [Church Fees Measure (Isle of Man) 2014].

(3) Where any registers of marriages are deposited in the diocesan record office, section 48 of the Marriage Act 1984 (searches in marriage registers) shall have effect as if for references therein to an incumbent there were substituted references to the diocesan records officer.

(4) Where a search is made —

(a) under subsection (1) or (2), or
(b) in the case of a register of marriages in which the first entry was made before 27th September 1910, under the said section 48,

the person having the custody of the register or the diocesan records officer may require the search to be made in an authenticated photographic copy of the register.

For the purposes of this subsection a copy shall be regarded as authenticated if it bears a certificate signed by the person who had the custody of the register or the person who was the diocesan records officer, as the case may be, at the time the certificate was issued to the effect that it is a true copy of the register.

(5) Where a search is required under subsection (4) to be made in an authenticated photographic copy of a register, the person making the search may request the person having custody of the register (the "custodian") or diocesan records officer to allow the search to be made in the register on the grounds that the copy is not accurate or that the quality of reproduction of the copy is not adequate for the purpose of the search.

(6) Where a request is made under subsection (5), the custodian or diocesan records officer, if —

(a) he is satisfied that the grounds for the request are reasonable, or
(b) he is directed to do so by the Archdeacon under subsection (7),

shall allow the search to be made in the register, but only under the supervision of the custodian or diocesan records officer or other person designated by the custodian or diocesan records officer for the purposes of this subsection.

(7) Where a request made under subsection (5) is refused, the person making the search may refer the matter to the Archdeacon; and thereupon the Archdeacon, if satisfied that the grounds for the request are reasonable, may direct the custodian or diocesan records officer to allow the search to be made in the register.

(8) No part of any fee paid to the diocesan records officer by virtue of this section shall be payable by him to any person who would have had the custody of any register had it not been deposited in the diocesan record office.

NOTE: S.26: subss.(1) & (2)(b): words in square brackets substituted by Church Fees Measure (Isle of Man) 2014 Sch.3 para.3; subs.(9) repealed by ib. Sch.4.

27. Recovery of registers from unauthorised persons

(1) Where any registers which belong to a parish or were originally in parochial custody are in the possession of any other person who has no title to or right to the possession of them, the Bishop may apply to the High Court for an order that that person do deliver those registers to him, and the court, if satisfied that that person has no title to or right to the possession of them, may order him to deliver them to the Bishop.

(2) Registers delivered to a Bishop in accordance with an order of the court under subsection (1) may, as he thinks fit, be —

(a) placed by him in the custody of the person who would have had the custody of them had they remained in parochial custody, or
(b) deposited by him in the diocesan record office.

(3) For the removal of doubt it is declared that, subject to the provisions of this Measure and of the Marriage Act 1984, the title to or right to the possession of registers in the custody of any person by virtue of this Measure is incapable of assignment, whether for value or otherwise.

28. Special provisions as to marriage registers

(1) Where the diocesan records officer has in his custody any register of marriages solemnised on or after the 27th September 1910, he shall —

(a) furnish the Chief Registrar with particulars of such registers; and
(b) if any such register is required for the purpose of correcting any erroneous entry therein in accordance with section 46 of the Marriage Act 1984, deliver that register to the minister concerned and permit him to retain it for such period as may be necessary for that purpose.

(2) Nothing in this Measure authorises the deposit in the diocesan record office of any duplicate register of marriages which, when filled, is to be delivered to the Chief Registrar in accordance with section 45 of the Marriage Act 1984.

29. Service of notices and orders

(1) Any notice or order required or authorised by this Measure to be served on or sent or given to a parochial church council shall be duly served, sent or given if it is served on or sent or given to the secretary of that council.

(2) For the purposes of this section and of section 41 of the Interpretation Act 1976 in its application to this section, the proper address of the person on or to whom any such notice or order is required or authorised to be served, sent or given shall be the last known address of that person.

30. Orders, regulations etc.

(1) The Bishop may make regulations prescribing any matter which by virtue of any provision of this Measure may be prescribed.

(2) The Bishop may make regulations modifying this Measure in its application to registers or records kept otherwise than in documentary form.

(3) The Bishop may by order vary any of the periods specified in section 4(2), 10(2) or 11(2)(a) or (c) (or those periods as varied by a previous order under this subsection).

(4) Regulations under subsection (1) or (2), and orders under section 3(1)(c) and subsection (3), shall not have effect unless they are approved by the Diocesan Synod.

(5) Where the Bishop makes an instrument under section 1, or gives any general directions under section 5(5) or section 12(5), he shall notify the Diocesan Synod that he has done so and of the effect of the instrument or directions.

NOTE Regulations under this Measure: the Parochial Registers and Records Regulations 2000 (SD 683/00)

31. Interpretation

(1) In this Measure —

"burial" includes the disposal of cremated remains;
"churchwarden" includes a chapel warden;
"diocesan record" has the meaning given by section 3;
"diocesan record office" means the repository designated under section 1(1);
"diocesan records officer" means the chief officer of the diocesan record office;
"Diocesan Synod" means the Sodor and Man Diocesan Synod;
"the diocese" means the Diocese of Sodor and Man;
"directions" means directions in writing;
"notice" means a notice in writing;
"in parochial custody" —

(a) in the case of records, means in the custody of an incumbent or priest in charge or of churchwardens or of a parochial church council or in the joint custody of any of them, and
(b) in the case of registers, means in the custody of an incumbent or priest in charge or of churchwardens;
"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations under section 30(1);
""records" means materials in written or other form setting out facts or events or otherwise recording information; but a reference to a record does not include a reference to —

(a) a register,
(b) anything which is or has been fixed to the fabric of a parish church or other place of public worship in a parish, or
(c) a photograph or picture which is or has been displayed in a parish church or other place of public worship in a parish;
"registers" means the registers mentioned in section 8(1); and where a register of services is, by virtue of Canon F 12, kept in electronic form or a form approved by the General Synod, a reference to the registers is to be read as including a reference to that register in that form;

(1A) In the case of a register book of services which is, by virtue of Canon F 12, kept in an electronic or other form approved by the General Synod —

(a) a reference in this Measure to the register book of services includes (where the context allows) a reference to that register book in that form, and
(b) a reference in this Measure to an electronic register book of services is to be construed in accordance with this subsection.

(1B) In subsection (1), the reference in each of paragraphs (b) and (c) of the definition of "records" to a parish church or other place of public worship in a parish includes a reference to <—>

(a) an adjoining building used wholly or mainly as a vestry or sacristy, and
(b) a church hall.

(2) In this Measure references to any Measure of the General Synod or to any provision of such a Measure shall be construed as references to that Measure or provision as it has effect in the Island.

(3) In the case of parish in which there are 2 or more parochial church councils, a reference to the parochial church council of the parish shall be construed —

(a) in relation to registers or records relating to a church, as a reference to the parochial church council of that part of the parish in which the church is;
(b) otherwise, as a reference to all of those councils.

(4) Where records created at different dates are —

(a) entered in one book, or
(b) for administrative purposes kept together in one file or other assembly,

all the records in that book, file or assembly shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as having been completed when the latest of them was completed.

NOTE S.31: subs.(1): definitions of "records" and "registers" substituted by Church (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure (Isle of Man) 2021 Sch.4 para.7(3); words in italics not yet in force; subss.(1A) & (1B) inserted by ib. para.7(4); subs.(1A) not yet in force.

32. Transitional provision, amendments and repeals

(1) Any registers or records, being —

(a) diocesan records, or
(b) registers and records formerly in parochial custody,

which were deposited in a repository before its designation as the diocesan record office shall, after it is so designated, be treated as if they had been deposited there pursuant to this Measure.

"(7) In this section "article" does not include any register or record to which the Church Records Measure (Isle of Man) 2000 applies."."

(b) for paragraph 21(3)(b) substitute —
"(b) in paragraph (c), for "section 25 of the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978" substitute "Church Records Measure (Isle of Man) 2000".".

(3) The enactments specified in Schedule 3 are repealed to the extent specified in column 3 of that Schedule.

NOTE: S.32: subs.(2) repealed by Eccles­iastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure (Isle of Man) 2019 Sch.3.

33. Short title and commencement

(1) This Measure may be cited as the Church Records Measure (Isle of Man) 2000.

(2) This Measure shall come into operation on such day or days as the Bishop may by order appoint.

NOTE: the Church Records Measure (Isle of Man) 2000 (Appointed Day) Order 2000 (SD 682/00) brought the Measure into force on 1st January 2001.

SCHEDULE 1
BODIES AND PERSONS WHOSE RECORDS ARE DIOCESAN RECORDS
PART 1

The Diocesan Synod
The diocesan conference of the diocese
The Church Commissioners for the Isle of Man
The Sodor and Man Diocesan Board of Finance
The chapter of the cathedral church of St German
The standing committee of the Diocesan Synod
The legislative committee of the Diocesan Synod
The Diocesan Advisory Committee
The Vacancy in See Committee
Any committee or council established by resolution or standing order of the Diocesan Synod
Any ecclesiastical court
Any tribunal established under the Pastoral Measure 1983 or the Incumbents (Disability) Measure (Isle of Man) 1995
Any deanery synod
Any committee of a deanery synod

PART 2

The Bishop
The Archdeacon
The Vicar General
The Diocesan Registrar
Any officer of a body mentioned in Part 1

SCHEDULE 2
ORDER FOR DEPOSIT OF RECORDS IN RECORD OFFICE

Interpretation

1. In this Schedule "the records" means the diocesan records referred to in section 6, or the registers or records in parochial custody referred to in section 13, as the case may be.

Invitation to make representations

2. In the circumstances mentioned in section 6 or section 13, the Bishop shall notify the person or body who has the custody of the records, and any other person or body appearing to him to be concerned, of the facts as they appear to the Bishop and inform them that he will consider any written representations made to him by any of them before a date specified in the notice, being a date not less than 28 days after service of the notice.

Emergency order

3. If after considering any representations duly made to him under paragraph 2 the Bishop is of opinion that the matter is urgent and the circumstances are such that delay must be avoided, then he may order that such of the records as are specified in the order shall be deposited in the diocesan record office within the period of 7 days beginning with the date of service of the order.

Notice by Bishop in ordinary cases

4. If after considering any such representations the Bishop is of opinion that action by him under paragraph 3 is unnecessary but that he should proceed under this paragraph, he shall serve a further notice on the persons referred to in paragraph 2 informing them that he will make an order under paragraph 5 unless, within such period as may by specified in the notice, they satisfy him —

(a) that section 4(1) or section 11(1) has been complied with as respects any record in their custody to which that provision applies, or
(b) that any relevant directions issued by him under section 5(5) or section 12(5) are being and will be complied with, so far as they are applicable, or
(c) that adequate steps have been taken to remove the danger of loss of, or damage to, the records,

as the circumstances of the case require.

Order requiring deposit in record office

5. If, at the expiration of the period specified in a notice served by him under paragraph 4, the Bishop is not satisfied as to the matters so specified, he shall order that such of the records as are specified in the order shall be deposited in the diocesan record office within the period of 7 days beginning with the date of service of the order.

Service of order

6. An order under this Schedule shall be directed to, and served on, the person or persons having the custody of the records specified in the order.

Application to High Court

7. If any person on whom an order made by the Bishop under this Schedule is served refuses or fails to comply with the order, the Bishop may apply to the High Court for an order that that person deliver the records specified in the first-mentioned order to the diocesan record office, and the court, if satisfied that that order was made in accordance with the provisions of this Schedule, may make an order accordingly.

SCHEDULE 3
ENACTMENTS REPEALED

Reference Short title Extent of repeal
II p.223 The Parish Registers Act 1849. The whole Act.
IV p.298 The Parochial Registers Act 1873. The whole Act.
IX p.90 The Civil Registration (Marriages) Act 1910. The whole Act.
X p.384 The Civil Registration (Marriages) (Amendment) Act 1919. The whole Act.