Collage of photos depicting different projects and events for our diocese, including pilgrimage, prayer, synod, environment, and restoration

Journeying together through 2024

Wednesday 10th January 2024

Another new year is upon us and as we look ahead to the coming months, our diocese is set to continue its journey of transformation and growth as more landmark events fill the calendar.

2023 was a milestone year for our diocese as we completed our six-year Hope in the Future programme and welcomed the start of our diocesan synod. This idea of journeying together also saw parishioners travel to the much-loved shrines of Walsingham and Lourdes on our diocesan pilgrimages, as well as to Fatima, as part of our World Youth Day pilgrimage to Lisbon.

Bishop John was also joined by cathedral dean, Canon Michael Jones, and diocesan head of environment, Dr Emma Gardner, as they led an interfaith visit to The Vatican. Together, faith and civic leaders from across Greater Manchester joined them in pledging unified environmental action across Greater Manchester, further solidifying our commitment to care for our common home and encourage others to join us in that challenge.

Our environmental work continues to be a priority as we head into 2024, as we continue along our decarbonisation pathway and seek new ways to live out our call to be responsible stewards of creation.

In addition, we continue to pray for vocations to all ministries in our diocese, as well as accompanying people in faith through key events such as our diocesan synod, the Year of Prayer for the 2025 Pilgrims of Hope Jubilee, and our Lourdes centenary.


Our 2023 Chrism Mass welcome the launch of our diocesan synod – a two year process that seeks to better understand how God is calling us to respond to the needs and challenges of our diocese.

Young adults sit around a table with a sister in discussion over Synod questions

This January will see the close of the first key stage of our diocesan synod – The Big Listen. This formative part of our synodal journey seeks to engage with as many people as possible – in our pews and beyond – to help identify priority themes from the responses. These will be shared with parishes later this year for further discernment as we seek new ways to respond to these themes as a diocese.

There’s still time to respond to our Big Listen – ask your parish priest for any upcoming parish events or respond online at

Year of Prayer – Jubilee

This year will also see the continuation of our Year of Prayer for the 2025 Pilgrims of Hope Jubilee. Last year, Pope Francis announced a jubilee year would be taking place between Advent 2024 and Epiphany 2026. To help us prepare, the pope invited Catholics around the world to join him in a special Year of Prayer.

The Year of Prayer, which began in Advent 2023, has a special focus on The Lord’s Prayer and encourages us to deepen our commitment to prayer, to accompany others in their own prayer lives, and to go back to basics to reflect on how and why we pray.

We will be sharing a range of resources over the coming months and more information can be found at


The logo for the 2025 jubilee shows four shapes that look like people or ship sails holding onto a cross, which turns into an anchor at the bottom. A blue line is underneath this, depicting the sea. It is accompanied by words saying "Jubilee 2025" and "Pilgrims of Hope".

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes Centenary Year

This year also marks 100 years of our diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. Over the coming months, we will be looking at the remarkable impact of this much-loved pilgrimage and how it has shaped the faith of families in our diocese for generations.

If you would like to join us for our special centenary pilgrimage, please register your interest online at

As well as our overseas pilgrimage, we will also be returning to Walsingham in May. Further details can be found at

Cathedral Restoration

This January, our exciting restoration project reaches its halfway point as our new-look cathedral begins to take shape.

2023 was a busy year for the Cathedral Restoration, with Phase 1 of the project focusing on the exterior of the building, with extensive stonework repairs and replacements, and conservation work to our exquisite stained glass windows. We are also installing secondary protective glazing to ensure the building remains weathertight and more energy efficient.

During the middle of 2023, we moved into Phase 2 and the temporary closure of the building so that we can work on its interior.

Initial works took place on breaking out the existing modern floor inside the cathedral. Asbestos was removed, under controlled conditions, and a sensitive steam cleaning process took place to strip away modern paintwork from the architectural stonework.

We have made intriguing discoveries so far, including the unearthing of original Minton floor tilework that had been broken up and discarded as backfill beneath the modern floor. A few elements of carved stonework, possibly from the original Caen stone reredos or chancel screens (demolished mid-century) have also been found.

As we look ahead to 2024, we are delighted that the decorating team will begin their work soon to bring the vision of our new-look cathedral to life. Decorating the vast space will the primary focus for this year, alongside reinstating windows, floors, and some lost gems.

Someone dressed in high-vis and a hard hat stands on scaffolding and looks at the ongoing restoration worked to one of the cathedral's windows

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Tagged | Catholic Church | Diocese | Environment | Events | Hope in the Future | Lourdes | Parishes | permanent diaconate | Pilgrimage | Pope Francis | Prayer | Priesthood | Salford Cathedral | Synod | vocations

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