Diocese of Manchester

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Diocese of Manchester
Church of England
Province: York
Arms of the Bishop of Manchester
Manchester Cathedral - geograph.org.uk - 1423509.jpg
Bishop: David Walker
signs as: Manchester
Cathedral: Manchester Cathedral
Bishop of Bolton, Bishop of Middleton
Archdeaconries: Bolton, Manchester, Rochdale, Salford
No. of parishes: 292
No. of churches: 353
Website: manchester.anglican.org

The Diocese of Manchester is a Church of England diocese in the Province of York. It is based in the city of Manchester, the diocese covers much of southeast of Lancashire and adjoining parts of Cheshire and also Saddleworth in Yorkshire.


The Diocese of Manchester was founded on 1 September 1847;[1] one of the new bishoprics created to cater for the growing industrial cities; south Lancashire had previously been part of the Diocese of Chester.

The diocese was founded in accordance with the Third Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, appointed to consider the state of the Church of England, printed in 1836. It recommended the formation of the bishopric of Manchester, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners Act 1836 (6 and 7 William IV cap. 77)[2] was passed that year to enable the recommendations of the commissioners to be brought into effect, as it was by an Order-in-Council.

The diocese originally covered the historic hundreds of Salford, Blackburn, Leyland and Amounderness. However, with the foundation of the Diocese of Blackburn in 1926, which took the three northern hundreds, Manchester was left with just Salfordshire. The final boundary change to the diocese was by annexing Wythenshawe in Cheshire from the Diocese of Chester,[3] when that town was developed by the Manchester Corporation as a 'colony' of the city.

The Diocese extended into Yorkshire from its very foundation. The villages of Saddleworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire formed, from the Middle Ages, a chapelry of the parish of Rochdale, and so when Rochdale became part of the new Diocese of Manchester, it brought Saddleworth with it.

With the growth of the population in and around Manchester, the bishop appointed the first suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Hulme, in 1924 to assist in overseeing the diocese. Three years later a second was appointed, the Bishop of Middleton. After nearly sixty years, the third and final suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Bolton, was appointed in 1984.[3]


The cathedral of the diocese is the Cathedral Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George, commonly called Manchester Cathedral. Before 1847 this church in Manchetser was the 'Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George', and when the diocese was founded it was elevated to cathedral status.[4]


The Bishop of Manchester presides over the diocese. The current bishop is Right Reverend David Walker who was enthroned on 30 November 2013. The bishop's official residence is Bishopscourt, Bury New Road, in Salford.[5]

List of bishops

Bishops of Manchester
From Until Incumbent Notes
1848 1869 James Prince Lee Died in office.
1870 1885 James Fraser Died in office.
1886 1903 James Moorhouse Translated from Melbourne; retired
1903 1921 Edmund Knox Translated from Coventry
1921 1929 William Temple Translated to York then Canterbury
1929 1947 Guy Warman Translated from Chelmsford; retired
1947 1970 William Greer Retired
1970 1978 Patrick Rodger Translated to Oxford
1979 1993 Stanley Booth-Clibborn Retired
1993 2002 Christopher Mayfield Translated from Wolverhampton; retired.
2002 17 January 2013 Nigel McCulloch Translated from Wakefield.
2013 onwards David Walker Translated from Dudley
Source(s): [6]


The diocesan bishop, the Bishop of Manchester, is assisted throughout the diocese by suffragans; the Bishop of Bolton and Bishop of Middleton. Alternative episcopal oversight (for parishes in the diocese who reject the ministry of priests who are women) is provided by the provincial episcopal visitor (PEV) the Bishop of Beverley, who is licensed as an honorary assistant bishop of the diocese in order to facilitate his work there.

The diocese is divided into four archdeaconries, each divided into a number of deaneries.[7]

Archdeaconry of Manchester (created 1843)

Archdeaconry of Bolton (created 1982)

Archdeaconry of Rochdale (created 1910)

Archdeaconry of Salford (created 2009)[8]

Outside links


  1. London Gazette: no. 20769, pp. 3157–3160, 31 August 1847. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  2. Text of Ecclesiastical Commissioners Act 1836
  3. 3.0 3.1 Manchester and its many bishops. BBC. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
  4. Manchester Cathedral official website, Retrieved 17 February 2009.
  5. Provincial Directory: Manchester. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
  6. "Historical successions: Manchester". Crockford's Clerical Directory. http://www.crockford.org.uk/listing.asp?id=816. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  7. "Churches". Diocese of Manchester. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. http://web.archive.org/web/20090614203718/http://www.manchester.anglican.org/churches?. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  8. Diocese of Manchester – New Archdeacon of Salford
  • Dobb, Arthur J. (1978) Like a Mighty Tortoise: the history of the Diocese of Manchester; illustrated by Arthur J. Dobb and Derek Simpson. [Manchester] : [The author] ; Littleborough : [Distributed by] Upjohn and Bottomley (Printers)
  • Dobb, Arthur J. et al. (comps.) (2007) The Mighty Tortoise Marches On; or the Seven Stages of Man...chester. (The present study... began by being asked to prepare a presentation on the diocese for the annual national conference of the Central Council for the Care of Churches to be held in Manchester in 2009", preface)

Dioceses of the Church of England

Province of Canterbury:
Bath & Wells •
Birmingham • Bristol • Canterbury • Chelmsford • Chichester • Coventry • Derby • Ely • Exeter • Gibraltar in Europe • Gloucester • Guildford • Hereford • Leicester • Lichfield • Lincoln • London • Norwich • Oxford • Peterborough • Portsmouth • Rochester • Saint Albans • Saint Edmundsbury & Ipswich • Salisbury • Southwark • Truro • Winchester • Worcester
Province of York:
Blackburn •
Carlisle • Chester • Durham • Leeds • Liverpool • Manchester • Newcastle • Sheffield • Sodor & Man • Southwell & Nottingham • York