At the north of the island, St Andrew’s Church is one of the largest churches on the island and is set in a large graveyard. Several crosses have been found in the area and are displayed in the church. The church was built in 1802 using stone from Sulby Glen. It replaced an earlier church which was in a very poor state of repair. Many of the slates from the old church were reused to keep down costs.
The church was originally built with a tower at the west end, but this was demolished in 1867-9 when the roof was raised and a new, very tall tower built alongside the church. The west end was extended to include a vestibule which now houses the font, crosses and stair to the gallery at the west end.
When an airfield was built at Andreas in 1941, permission was given to reduce the height of the tower to improve safety of aircraft using the airfield. The stones were stored with the intention to rebuild the tower after the war.
The red sandstone memorial outside the church commemorates the dead from both World Wars.
It is a large aisleless church with a centre block of pews and two smaller side blocks. The RAF Ensign hangs in the church. There is a gallery across the west end.
The beamed ceiling has an inscription painted round the top of the walls and there are two benefactors boards on the walls.
The chancel is small compared with the rest of the church and at the top is the lovely Zodiac Rose Window with St Andrew, the fisherman, at the centre. The fourteen small windows depict the sun and moon along with the twelve signs of the zodiac.
The modern baptistry at the back of the church contains a collection of crosses dating from the C7th to C11th. Many have been broken and only fragments are left. Others are badly eroded and it is difficult to make out details of the carving. Several have scenes from Norse mythology and Runic inscriptions.
The church is open daily and is at the edge of the village, reached down a long drive. The nearest post code is IM7 4EZ. The grid reference is SC 415993.
The collection of crosses is not as good as those found at Kirk Maughold or St Michael and All Angel’s In Kirk Michael.
For more pictures of the “church”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/man/churchesandcrosses/churches/churches_one/andreas/index.html and “crosses.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/man/churchesandcrosses/crosses/cross_andreas/index.html