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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. 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. Parts 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.125 (48%) of our parishes fall within the 10% most deprived nationally.

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, before the impact of the pandemic, the diocese had a regular average weekly adult attendance of around 14,750 and total weekly attendance for all ages of 24,500. Attendance fell significantly during the pandemic with regular average weekly attendance increasing back up to almost 13,000 in 2023 and all-age weekly attendance to 21,300.

Parishes and chaplaincies across the diocese are supported by a dedicated team based at St John’s House in Bury town centre. Officers support churches and congregations across the diocese with our three mission goals of Growing, Nurturing and Serving and our wider transformation programme. They also provide support with governance, clergy housing and stipends, management of the property portfolio and safeguarding.

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. The team which supports these schools is also based at St John’s House, under the authority of the Diocesan Board of Education.



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