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Isle of Man hymnody

I was agreeably surprised. I have not heard better singing either at Bristol or Lincoln. Many, both men and women, have admirable voices; and they sing with good judgement. Who would have expected this in the Isle of Man? So wrote John Wesley*, in tones of some surprise, on 6 June 1781. His diary entry is one of the very first eye-witness accounts of Manx singing and suggests that there was already established on the Island a firm tradition of a congregational style that would have been familiar to Wesley. It demonstrates the Manx love of music that continued to flourish during the steady growth of Manx Methodism and can still be found at the beginning of the 21st century. While the...

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