The Diocese of Manchester is to transfer its headquarters into Bury town centre as it leaves central Manchester.

The diocese, which runs the Church of England throughout Greater Manchester, is vacating its current base, Church House on Deansgate, Manchester, to move to St John’s House, The Rock, Bury.

The diocese currently employs around 80 staff who support hundreds of churches and related functions in the region.

Earlier in the summer the diocese sold Church House, an 80,000 sq/ft office building fronting Deansgate, to development and investment firm Novo.

Church House is also home to Gaucho, Cote and Toni and Guy, among others.

The diocese currently occupies 18,000 sq ft across four floors in Manchester.

Earlier in the summer, the bishop’s council agreed plans for the refurbishment of St John’s House, Bury, which it chose as the new office base for the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) and the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE).

Partner organisations, Mothers’ Union, Greater Together Manchester and the Diocesan Registrar will also be making the move to Bury.

The diocese said Church House is now more than 100 years old and would have required significant capital investment to make it fit for the future.

They said the sale has released funds which "will be invested to ensure a positive future for the diocese in support of our mission and ministry".

The move to Bury is expected to take place early in 2023 once refurbishment is complete.

St John’s House is already owned by the diocese.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Manchester, said: “It is a modern office building in a town-centre location with good transport links.

"The new building will be refurbished so that it has excellent facilities for staff and the diocese more widely.

“We are also taking the opportunity to invest in environmentally friendly heating and lighting systems as part of the diocese’s commitment to the Church of England’s carbon net zero programme.

"There has been a formal consultation with employees on the relocation to Bury, nine of whom have opted to take voluntary severance because of the move.

“The diocese is sincerely grateful to colleagues who are leaving, for their commitment and contribution over the years.

"A service to celebrate all that has been achieved at Church House is being planned for December, to which colleagues past and present will be invited.”

Planning documents, lodged with the council this week, give more details of the refurbishment.

The report states: “The premises has previously housed local authorities such as Citizen’s Advice and the Health Watch Association.

“We propose that this building remains as four floors of office space to serve as the headquarters of the diocese.

"The proposal also includes the creation of a new ground floor entrance which allows visitors and members of the organisation to enter directly into the ground floor reception and welcome lounge via The Rock rather than through the current entrance on John Street.”