Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury

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Diocese of Shrewsbury

Dioecesis Salopiensis
Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Shrewsbury.jpg
Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Shrewsbury
TerritoryHistoric counties of Cheshire and Shropshire.
Ecclesiastical provinceProvince of Birmingham
Coordinates52°42′29″N 2°45′14″W / 52.708°N 2.754°W / 52.708; -2.754Coordinates: 52°42′29″N 2°45′14″W / 52.708°N 2.754°W / 52.708; -2.754
Area6,136 km2 (2,369 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2014)
203,800 (10.7%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteLatin Rite
Established29 September 1850
CathedralShrewsbury Cathedral
Secular priests141
Current leadership
BishopMark Davies
Metropolitan ArchbishopBernard Longley
Vicar General
  • Michael Gannon
  • Philip Moor
Episcopal Vicars
  • Michael Gannon
  • Philip Moor
  • Jonathan Mitchell
  • David Roberts
Bishops emeritusBrian Michael Noble
Diocese of Shrewsbury within the Province of Birmingham
Diocese of Shrewsbury within the Province of Birmingham

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury is a Roman Catholic diocese which encompasses the pre-1974 counties of Shropshire and Cheshire in the North West and West Midlands of England.

The diocese includes rural areas of Shropshire as well as Manchester south of the River Mersey and other urban areas such as Birkenhead, Stockport and Ellesmere Port. The current bishop, Mark Davies, succeeded on 1 October 2010.[1]

Geographical location[edit]

The diocese comprises the counties of Shropshire and Cheshire and the parts of Greater Manchester and Merseyside which were formerly in Cheshire. Before 1895, it also included North Wales. In 2007, new pastoral areas and regions were created, replacing the former deaneries.[2]

Region Name Regional Dean[3]
A Shropshire & Wrekin Canon Stephan Coonan
B Central Cheshire Fr John Daly
C North Cheshire Fr Russell Cooke
D South Trafford & Wythenshawe Canon John Rafferty
E Stockport & Tameside
F Wirral Fr Nick Kern

Past and present bishops[edit]

Mark Davies is the current Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury.
  • James Brown (appointed 27 June 1851 – died 14 October 1881)
  • Edmund Knight (appointed 25 April 1882 – resigned 28 May 1895)
  • John Carroll (succeeded 11 May 1895 – died 14 January 1897)
  • Samuel Webster Allen (appointed 19 April 1897 – died 13 May 1908)
  • Hugh Singleton (appointed 1 August 1908 – died 17 December 1934)
  • Ambrose James Moriarty (succeeded 17 December 1934 – died 3 June 1949)
  • John Aloysius Murphy (succeeded 3 June 1949 – translated to the Archdiocese of Cardiff on 22 August 1961)
  • William Eric Grasar (appointed 26 April 1962 – resigned 20 March 1980)
  • Joseph Gray (appointed 19 August 1980 – retired 23 June 1995)
  • Brian Michael Noble (appointed 23 June 1995 – retired 1 October 2010)
  • Mark Davies (current bishop, succeeded 1 October 2010)

Catholic education in the diocese[edit]

There are 112 Catholic schools and colleges serving 43,915 pupils. [4]

School Type Voluntary Aided Primary Voluntary Aided Secondary Sixth Form Colleges Independent Schools
Number of schools 86 19 1 6
Number of Students 21,984 18,395 2,046 1,490
  • All figures are as of January 2015

Patron saints of the diocese[edit]

1) Our Lady, Help of Christians – 24 May
2) Saint Winefride – 3 November

Parish pastoral areas and regions[edit]

On 1 October 2007, local deaneries were abolished and parishes grouped together to form 'Pastoral Areas', not as a replacement of parishes but to strengthen local Catholic communities, ensuring the sharing of services and groups and to avoid unnecessary duplication.
Each LPT (local pastoral team [see below]) has two co-leaders (one priest; one layperson) and each region is headed by a Regional Dean.[2]

Region A – Shropshire & Wrekin Catholic Region[edit]

Regional Dean: Canon Stephen Coonan

Region Pastoral Area Parishes/Mass Centres Primary Schools Secondary Schools Hospitals & Other Chaplaincies
A LPA 1 Shrewsbury Cathedral (

Monkmoor, St Winefride
Harlescott, Our Lady of Pity

St Mary's

St Winefride's

Holy Trinity Academy Royal Shrewsbury

Shropshire Nuffield
S & Mid W Hospice
+ Prison
+ Forces

A LPA 2 Ellesmere, St Michael

Malpas, St Joseph
Oswestry, Our Lady
Shawbury, St Andrew & St Peter
Tattenhall, St Plegmund
Wem, Our Lady
Whitchurch, St George

Our Lady & St Oswald Holy Trinity Academy Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt H

+ Forces

A LPA 3 Church Stretton, St Milburga

Cleobury Mortimer, St Elizabeth
Ludlow, St Peter
Plowden, St Walburga

Moor Park Holy trinity Academy
A LPA 4 Bridgnorth, St John

Donnington, Our Lady

Telford, The Good Shepherd
(Madeley, Stirchley & Dawley)
Wellington, St Patrick (

St John's

St Luke's
St Mary's, Madeley
St Patrick's

Holy Trinity Academy Princess Royal
A LPA 5 Albrighton, St Joseph

Market Drayton, Ss Thomas &
Newport, Ss Peter & Paul
Shifnal, St Mary

Ss Peter & Paul's

St Mary's, Madeley
St Winefride's

Holy Trinity Academy (+Cosford)

+ Stoke Heath
+ TernHill

Region B – Central Cheshire[edit]

Regional Dean: Fr John Daly

Region Pastoral Area Parishes/Mass Centres Primary Schools Secondary Schools Hospitals & Other Chaplaincies
B LPA 6 Alderley Edge, St Pius X

Handforth, St Benedict
Knutsford, St Vincent
Wilmslow, St Teresa

St Benedict's

St Vincent's

All Hallows CH

St Nicholas CH

Styal Prison
B LPA 7 Bollington, St Gregory

Congleton, St Mary
Macclesfield, St Alban
Macclesfield, St Edward
Poynton, St Paul
Whaley Bridge, Sacred Heart

St Alban's

St Edward's
St Gregory's
St Mary's
St Mary's

All Hallows CH Macclesfield District Gen

East Cheshire Hospice

B LPA 8 Barnton, Our Lady of Fatima

Holmes Chapel, St Margaret
Middlewich, St Mary
Northwich, St Wilfrid
Weaverham, St Bede
Winsford, St Joseph

St Bede's

St Joseph's
St Mary's
St Wilfrid's

St Nicholas CH St Luke's Hospice
B LPA 9 Alsager, St Gabriel

Crewe, St Mary
Nantwich, St Anne
Sandbach, St Winefride

St Anne's

St Gabriel's
St Mary's

St Thomas More CH Leighton Hosp

+ M'chester Metropolitan Univ
Crewe & Alsager site

Region C – North Cheshire[edit]

Regional Dean: Fr Russell Cooke

Region Pastoral Area Parishes/Mass Centres Primary Schools Secondary Schools Hospitals & Other Chaplaincies
C LPA 10 Ellesmere Port, Our Lady

Ellesmere Port, St Bernard
Ellesmere Port, St Saviour
Hooton, St Mary

Our Lady star of the Sea

St Bernard's
St Mary of the Angels
St Saviour's Infants
St Saviour's Juniors

Ellesmere Port Catholic High Ellesmere Port Hospice

Good Shepherd Hospice

C LPA 11 Blacon, St Theresa

Chester, St Francis
Chester, St Werburgh
Lache, St Clare
Plas Newton, St Columba
Tarporley, St Thomas Becket

St Clare's

St Theresa's
St Werburgh & St Col's
St Wilfrid's

Chester Catholic High School

St Nicholas Catholic High

Countess of Chester

Grosvenor Nuffield
+ Forces

C LPA 12 Castlefields, St Augustine

Frodsham, St Luke
Halton Brook, Holy Spirit
Murdishaw, St Martin
Palace Fields, Our Lady
Runcorn, St Edward

Holy Spirit

Our Lady's
St Augustine's
St Clement's
St Edward's
St Luke's
St Martin's

Chester Catholic High School

St Chad's Catholic High

Halton General Hospital

Halton Haven Hospice

C LPA 13 Appleton, St Monica

Latchford, Our Lady & St Augustine
Lymm, St Winefride

Our Lady's

St Augustine's
St Monica's

Cardinal Newman Catholic High North Cheshire Hospital

+ Thorn Cross YOI

Region D – South Trafford & Wythenshawe[edit]

Regional Dean: Fr John Rafferty

Region Pastoral Area Parishes/Mass Centres Primary Schools Secondary Schools Hospitals & Other Chaplaincies
D LPA 14 Baguley, Sacred Heart & St Peter

Benchill, St John & St Thomas
Northenden, St Hilda & St Aidan
Peel Hall, St Elizabeth
Woodhouse Park, St Anthony

Sacred Heart

St Aidan's
St Anthony's
St Elizabeth's
St John's
St Peter's

St Paul's CH Wythenshawe General
D LPA 15 Altrincham, St Vincent

Hale Barns, Holy Angels
Timperley, St John
West Timperley, St Hugh

St Hugh's

St Vincent's Infants
St Vincent's Juniors
Loreto Prep
St Ambrose Prep

Blessed Thomas Holford

St Ambrose College
Loreto Grammar School for Girls

St Ann's Hospice
D LPA 16 Ashton-on-Mersey, All Saints

Partington, Our Lady
Sale, St Joseph
Sale, St Margaret Ward
Sale Moor, Holy Family

All Saints

Holy Family
Our Lady of Lourdes
St Joseph's
St Margaret Ward's

Blessed Thomas Holford

St Ambrose College
Loreto Grammar School for Girls

Region E – Stockport & Tameside[edit]

Regional Dean:

Region Pastoral Area Parishes/Mass Centres Primary Schools Secondary Schools Hospitals & Other Chaplaincies
E LPA 17 Brinnington, St Bernadette

Marple, Holy Spirit
Offerton, St Philip
Romiley, Our Lady & St Christopher [1]
Stockport, St Joseph

St Joseph's

St Bernadette's
Cheadle Infants & Junior
St Philip's
St Christopher's
(St Mary's, Marple Bridge)

Harrytown CH

Aquinas College

Stepping Hill Hospital

Cherry Tree Hospital

E LPA 18 Dukinfield, St Mary

Hattersley, St James
Hyde, St Paul
Stalybridge, St Peter
Stalybridge, St Raphael

St James'

St Mary's
St Paul's
St Peter's
St Raphael's

All Saints CC
E LPA 19 Cheadle, St Chad

Cheadle Hulme, St Ann
Heald Green, Christ Church

Cheadle Infants

Cheadle Juniors

St James CH

Aquinas College

Cheadle Royal Hospital

Stepping Hill Hospital
Alexandra Hospital
St Ann's Hospice

E LPA 20 Adswood, St Ambrose

Bramhall, St Vincent
Hazel Grove, St Peter
Edgeley, Our Lady

Cheadle Infant

Cheadle Primary
Our Lady's
St Ambrose
St Peter's
St Simon's

Harrytown CH

St James CH
Aquinas College

Stepping Hill Hospital

Region F – Wirral[edit]

Regional Dean: Fr Nick Kern

Region Pastoral Area Parishes/Mass Centres Primary Schools Secondary Schools Hospitals & Other Chaplaincies
F LPA 21 Leasowe, Our Lady of Lourdes

Liscard, St Alban
New Brighton, Ss Peter & Paul
Seacombe, Our Lady & St Joseph
Wallasey Village, English Martyrs

Our Lady of Lourdes

St Alban's
St Joseph's
Ss Peter & Paul's

St Mary's

St Anselm's
Upton Hall

F LPA 22 Moreton, Sacred Heart

Greasby, Our Lady of Pity
West Kirby, St Agnes
Hoylake, Ss Catherine & Martina

Sacred Heart

Our Lady of Lourdes
St Alban's
St Joseph's
Ss Peter & Paul's

St Mary's

St Anselm's
Upton Hall

F LPA 23 Heswall, Our Lady & St John

Neston, St Winefride
Pensby, Holy Family

Our Lady of Lourdes

St Alban's
St Joseph's
Ss Peter & Paul's

St Mary's

Chester Catholic High School
St Anselm's
Upton Hall

Murrayfield Hospital
F LPA 24 Bebington, St Luke

Bromborough, Christ the King
New Ferry, St John
Rock Ferry, St Anne

St Anne's

Christ the King
St John's Infants
St John's Juniors

St John Plessington

St Anselm's
Upton Hall

Clatterbridge Hospital

St John's Hospice

F LPA 25 Birkenhead, St Joseph

Noctorum, St Peter
Oxton, Holy Name
Upton, St Joseph
Woodchurch, St Michael & All Angels

St Joseph's, B'head

St Joseph's, Upton
St Michael's
St Peter's

St John Plessington

St Mary's
St Anselm's
Upton Hall

Arrowe Park Hospital
F LPA 26 Birkenhead, Holy Cross & St Paul

Birkenhead, Our Lady
Birkenhead, St Werburgh & St Laurence

Holy Cross

Our Lady's
St Laurence's
St Paul's
St Werburgh's


St Mary's
St Anselm's
Upton Hall

Modern history[edit]

Shrewsbury Cathedral was opened in 1856

The first bishop of the diocese was James Brown, president of Sedgeley Park School, who was consecrated 27 July 1851. Out of a total population of 1,082,617, Catholics numbered about 20,000. There were thirty churches and chapels attended by resident priests, and six stations; one convent, that of the Faithful Companions of Jesus, in Birkenhead, to which was attached a boarding school for young ladies, and also a small day-school for poor children. There were Jesuits at Holywell, who also had a college at St. Bruno's, Flintshire, and a Benedictine at Acton Burnell. When Dr. Brown celebrated the jubilee of his consecration, the secular priests had increased to sixty-six, and the regulars to thirty-two. Instead of one religious house of men and one of women, there were now four of men, and nine of women; and many elementary schools had been provided for the needs of Catholic children.

In 1852 the bitter feeling caused by the re-establishment of the hierarchy found vent in serious riots at Stockport. On 29 June a large mob attacked the Church of St Philip and St James; they broke the windows and attempted to force in the doors, but before they could effect an entrance, Canon Randolph Frith, the rector, succeeded in removing the Blessed Sacrament, and secreting it with the chalices, etc., in a small cupboard in the side chapel. He was compelled to flee immediately to the belltower, and, whilst the rabble were destroying whatever they could lay their hands upon, he made his escape along the roof, and descended by the spouting at the back of the presbytery. Much of the church furniture, with vestments, etc., was piled up in the street and burned. At St Michael's, the Host was desecrated, and the pyx and ciborium carried away.

Although the Catholic population of the diocese was 58,013 (as of the early 20th century), Shropshire contributed under 3,000, partly on account of agricultural depression and the consequent flocking to industrial centres. There were ninety clergy, sixteen convents, representatives of four orders of men, eight secondary schools for girls, an orphanage and industrial school for boys, a home for aged poor, a home for penitents, and an orphanage erected in memory of Bishop Knight. At Oakwood Hall, Romiley, a house of retreats for working-men opened and had done important work; and at New Brighton, the nuns of Our Lady of the Cenacle opened a house of retreats for working-women and ladies.

Shropshire is singularly rich in archaeological interest, its pre-Reformation parish churches, the noble ruins of monasteries round the Wrekin, the Roman city of Viroconium (Wroxeter), the lordly castle of Ludlow, giving the county a place apart in the heart of the antiquary. In Shrewsbury itself, where once Grey, Black, and Austin Friars and the Black Monks of St. Benedict had foundations, there is now the cathedral, designed by Edward Pugin. Chester, too, with its streets, black and white houses, and venerable cathedral and city walls, claims the visitor's attention. When the body of Daniel O'Connell was brought back from Genoa, it rested in the old chapel in Queen's Street on its way to Ireland. [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bishop Mark Davies. Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b The Diocese of Shrewsbury – Pastoral, Spiritual & Practical Care to the Local Communities Archived 23 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ The Shrewsbury Voice – Oct 2007
  4. ^ Shrewsbury Diocese Handbook 2008

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.