For the fictional Island of Sodor, see Sodor (fictional island).
Sodor and Man is a diocese of the Church of England. Originally much larger, today it covers just the Isle of Man and its adjacent islets.
The Norwegian diocese of Sodor was formed 1154, covering the Hebrides and the other islands along the west coast of Scotland. The name in the original Norse was Súðreyjar or Sudreys, or "southern isles", in contrast to the Norðreyjar, the "northern isles" of Orkney and Shetland. The Isle of Man was included in with these southern isles. This diocese was a part of the archdiocese of Trondheim.
Norway controlled all these islands until 1266, when they were ceded to Scotland. The Isle of Man was detached from the Scottish islands and came under the suzerainty of the Kings of England in 1334. Thereafter it was held by feudal Lords of Man (the Stanleys, Earls of Derby, from 1406 to 1736 and the Dukes of Atholl from 1736) until the lordship was purchased by the British Crown in 1765. The right to appoint the Bishop of Sodor and Man belonged to the Lords of Man, and continued to be exercised by the Dukes of Atholl after the 'revestment' in 1765 until it was surrendered to the Crown in 1828.
It is possible that the origin of the name "Sodor" was lost and its meaning was applied to this islet as the seat of the bishop. The termination "and Man" appears to have been added in the 17th century by a legal draughtsman ignorant of the proper application of the name of Sodor to the bishopric of Man. By the latter part of the 16th century the terms "Sodor" and "Man" had become interchangeable, the bishopric being spoken of as that of Sodor or Man. Until 1604 the bishops invariably signed themselves "Sodorensis"; between that date and 1684, sometimes they used "Soderensis" and sometimes "Sodor and Man"; and since 1684 all bishops have invariably signed "Sodor and Man".
The original cathedral of the Diocese of Sodor and Man was on St Patrick's Isle at Peel (the only city on Man). This cathedral fell into disuse during the 18th century and for many years there was only a Pro-cathedral in Douglas. In 1980, the present cathedral of the Diocese of Sodor and Man, the parish church of St German in Peel, was designated by Act of Tynwald.
Since Man is outside of the United Kingdom, the Bishop does not count as a Lord Spiritual and does not sit in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom. However, he is a member of the Legislative Council of the Isle of Man.
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