The new headquarters of the Diocese of Manchester in Bury has been officially opened after a visit from the Archbishop of York.

The headquarters will be based at St John’s House on The Rock and will be 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 based in the three-storey office building.

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York, made the journey to the site last week.

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The opening celebrations were also attended by the Bishop of Manchester, The Right Reverend Dr David Walker, and local dignitaries including Mrs Sharman Birtles, Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Manchester, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and council leader, Cllr Eamonn O'Brien.

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Staff from the diocese, local clergy, faith leaders and members of diocesan governance boards were present to mark the occasion too.

The diocese currently employs around 80 people who support hundreds of churches and schools in the region.

The relocation to Bury marks the start of a new era for the diocese, having previously been located in Church House on Deansgate in Manchester.

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The event also marked the end of refurbishments at St John’s House, which included investing in environmentally responsible heating and lighting systems which are all part of the diocese’s commitment to the Church of England’s carbon net zero programme.

The official opening was part of a missional visit to the diocese.

The Archbishop travelled around Bury, Rochdale, Salford, Rossendale and Manchester City Centre, spending three days in the area.

In the borough, he visited Bury Market to talk to traders and sample local delicacies.

He then met with children from Bury CE High School at St Peter’s Church to discuss the role of an Archbishop and matters of faith.

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