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Manchester Diocese

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Founded: 1847
Parishes: 257
Churches: 314
Geography: Manchester, except for a few parishes in the south, in the diocese of Chester; Salford; Bolton; Bury; Rochdale; Oldham; the western half of Tameside; an area of Wigan; an area of Trafford; an area of Stockport; an area of southern Lancashire
Overseas Link Dioceses: Lahore, Namibia, Tampere
Population: 2153000
Area Square Miles: 420
Full time Stipendiary Parochial Clergy: 199
Benefices: 181
Source: The Church of England Year Book. For more information visit the Diocese page on Crockford's here

The Diocese of Manchester is the Church of England in Bolton, Bury, Leigh, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Rossendale, Salford, and parts of Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan boroughs.


The diocese has a population of 1.9 million people. It is divided into four archdeaconries and 20 deaneries. There are 325 places of worship and chaplaincies in the diocese. These are organised into 259 parishes and 199 benefices. Average weekly attendance (all age) across the diocese is approximately 25,000.

In addition we look after the education of over 55,000 children in our 191 church schools.


We look after over 1,000 properties. We contribute millions of pounds to the local economy in both voluntary work and through our economic activity. We are a significant economic and social force and a partner in the work of the Greater Manchester Poverty Commission. We have over 700 ministers who can take church services.


About the Diocese of Manchester

The cities and towns grew during the industrial revolution, with much centred on industries such as textiles and engineering. This reliance on industrial production left the area vulnerable to the decline of manufacturing and there was an associated social and economic decline.


In recent years there has been substantial regeneration of significant parts of the Greater Manchester conurbation. The internationally significant development of Media City at Salford Quays exemplifies this. This has led to a repopulation of the urban core.


Greater Manchester is of huge economic significance. It generates £47 billion of Gross Value Added (GVA) on an annual basis, accounting for around 40% of GVA in the North West. This is more than the whole of the North East region. The key economic sectors are: Financial & Professional Services; Health and Life Sciences; Education; Advanced Manufacturing and Sport.


There is a hugely significant higher education sector in Greater Manchester. There are 105,000 people studying at the five higher education institutions:

  • University of Manchester
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Salford
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • University of Bolton.

The diversity of its communities, and its sporting and heritage pedigree all contribute to this vibrancy. Manchester is the second most popular destination for overseas visitors in England.


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