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About the Diocese of Manchester

The Diocese of Manchester serves a vibrant, dynamic and creative community in the North West of England. It covers an area of 416 square miles and has a total population of 2.2 million. 125 (48%) of our parishes fall within the 10% most deprived nationally. The diocese is divided into four archdeaconries, seven deaneries and 33 mission communities.

There are more than 300 places of worship and chaplaincies, which are organised into 256 parishes (including Manchester Cathedral) and 175 benefices. Geographically, the diocese takes in the two cities of Salford and Manchester and the metropolitan boroughs of Oldham, Rochdale, Bury and Bolton. Part of the metropolitan boroughs of Wigan, Trafford, Stockport, Tameside and Blackburn with Darwen, and most of the borough of Rossendale in Lancashire, are also within the diocese.

While predominantly urban, a significant part of the diocese is rural, although less than 3% of the population of the diocese lives in these areas.

The diocese has over 300 churches, ranging from historic listed buildings to more modern places of worship. Over 300 licensed clergy serve in the diocese along with 140 licensed Readers who help with leading services and pastoral work. Over 280 Authorised Lay Ministers also play an important part in the life of our parishes.

In 2019 the diocese had all-age average weekly attendance of 24,400. After significant reductions during the pandemic, in 2022 adult attendance increased back up to 20,400.

Across the diocese there are 192 Church of England primary and secondary schools educating over 58,000 pupils every day. These schools are mostly funded by local authorities, with the diocese providing support with religious education and Christian ethos, as well as governance, the recruitment of head- teachers, admissions and building projects.

Parishes, chaplaincies and schools across our diocese are supported by a dedicated team, based at St John’s House in Bury. This team supports churches and congregations across the diocese with our three mission goals of Growing, Nurturing and Serving. It also provides support with clergy housing and stipends, finance, safeguarding and governance.


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