Roman Catholic Diocese of Lancaster

Diocese of Lancaster
Dioecesis Lancastrensis

Coat of arms of the Diocese of Lancaster
Country England
Territory County of Cumbria and the North Western part of the County of Lancashire (the Hundreds of Lonsdale and Amounderness).
Ecclesiastical province Liverpool
Metropolitan Liverpool
Deaneries 11
Coordinates 54°03′00″N 2°47′53″W / 54.050°N 2.798°W / 54.050; -2.798Coordinates: 54°03′00″N 2°47′53″W / 54.050°N 2.798°W / 54.050; -2.798
Area 2,900 km2 (1,100 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
105,552 (8.8%)
Parishes 110
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Latin Rite
Established 22 November 1924
Cathedral Lancaster Cathedral
Secular priests 134
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Michael Gregory Campbell OSA
Metropolitan Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
Vicar General
  • Patrick J Mulvany
  • Aidan J Turner
Episcopal Vicars
  • Francis Slattery
  • Chris Cousens
Emeritus Bishops Patrick O’Donoghue

The Diocese of Lancaster within the Province of Liverpool

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lancaster is a Latin Rite Roman Catholic diocese centred on Lancaster Cathedral in the city of Lancaster in Lancashire, England.


The diocese was erected in 1924, taking areas and parishes from the Archdiocese of Liverpool and the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. The current Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster|Bishop of Lancaster is the Right Reverend Bishop Michael Gregory Campbell OSA The emeritus bishop is The Right Rev Patrick O'Donoghue.


It is in the province of Liverpool. It extends along the west of England from the Ribble River in the south of Preston to the Scottish border, comprising the counties of Cumbria and much of Lancashire. The diocese has around 90 active priests, 50 permanent deacons, 12 secondary schools, over a hundred primary schools and a similar number of parishes.

Central organisations of the diocese include the residential youth centre Castlerigg Manor, the Diocesan Youth Service, the Education Centre, Catholic Caring Services and others including the monthly diocesan newspaper, The Voice. There are also many other committees, societies and other informal organisations in the diocese.

Area and Population

The diocesan area is 2,900 km2 (1,100 sq mi). In 2004 the Catholic population of the diocese was 111,264 for a total of 1,050,000 inhabitants (10.6%).

Areas in the diocese include the city of Preston; a city with an uncharacteristically high Catholic population - the highest anywhere in England & Wales in fact, due in no small part to the fact that the Protestant Reformation never took hold in Preston to the same extent as it did in other places. Also notable in the diocese are: the Lake District, Sellafield nuclear power station, and towns and cities including Carlisle, Lancaster, Blackpool, Whitehaven, Workington, Barrow-in-Furness, the major shipbuilding town.

Bishops of Lancaster

Since the erection of the Diocese in 1924, there have been six bishops. The longest-serving Bishop was the third (Brian Charles Foley), who served from 1962 until 1985. The current incumbent is Michael Gregory Campbell. Campbell was installed on 1 May 2009 following the retirement of Patrick O'Donoghue.

St. Peter's Cathedral

Further information: Lancaster Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of St Peter on Balmoral Road, Lancaster, is the diocesan cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of Lancaster. Completed in 1859 as a parish Church of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, and raised to the status of a cathedral upon the establishment of the diocese in 1924, St. Peter's is a functioning parish. In addition, its grounds host numerous diocesan offices, including the Bishop's Office, Finance Office and the Diocesan Youth Service.

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