Development Project

Vision 2035, sets out the Cathedral’s strategic and business plan for the coming years. 

Across different themes our vision describes the present situation and our ambitious and far-reaching aims for 2035, which once achieved, become the new baseline for the next stage of growth and improvement. The means by which we shall achieve these aims is through the Development Project.

We aim to carry out limited and sensitive interventions to the fabric of the building. These alterations will greatly improve access for visitors and enable the provision of appropriate facilities for them, and create better working conditions for staff and volunteers.

We will also renew and grow our links with the local community, sharing the Cathedral’s heritage and core mission of service to all in partnership with residents, visitors and local organisations across Greater Manchester and beyond.  A particular emphasis will be on the needs and aspirations of young people. Like all such plans, we know they will evolve and change as we shape our future together and reach out to the deprived and the marginalised.

We invite you to read and think about Vision 2035, enjoy the images that illustrate our diverse and inclusive working life, and tell us how you would like to become involved in these exciting developments for a sustainable future.

Vision 2035

Since Vision 2030 much has happened in the life of the Cathedral. We were able to celebrate the 600th anniversary in 2021of the founding of the collegiate church by the publication of a important new history of the Cathedral, and an outstanding celebratory service at which the Archbishop of York presided and preached. In 2023 a Cathedral-led delegation to Pope Francis demonstrated our commitment to the principles of Our Faith, Our Planet and a sustainable environment across all Manchester’s leading institutions.

A Chapter away day to work on Vision 2035 in April 2023 ensured the new plan fulfilled the aspirations and ambitions of all members, prior to its endorsement by Chapter in July. The contents represent a confident and significant statement of our development projects, our profile in the diocese, city and county, and our ever-deepening service to the community.

This strategic and business plan will guide our ministry and mission, together with the improvements to our infrastructure and facilities, and our ability to reach out more comprehensively to our community.  Like all such plans, the document will continue to evolve and develop as God’s Spirit shapes and leads us in the present and into a sustainable future.

The vision seeks to bring about the transformation that the good news of Jesus calls us to offer to the world.  I commend Vision 2035 for your prayers, support and participation.

Rogers Govender, Dean, Manchester Cathedral - 7 August 2023


The Cathedral community, as a place of worship, prayer and welcome, serves God and all people through its hospitality, education, music, and social inclusion.


To be the Cathedral both for the Diocese of Manchester and all the people of Greater Manchester

To bear witness to the Christian faith through worship, service and discipleship

To be a place of welcome for people of all faiths or none, and to promote religious understanding and harmony

To enable all who participate in the life of the Cathedral to grow in Christian faith and spirituality and to develop a deeper understanding of and connections with all other faith communities

To develop programmes of education, music and heritage for the benefit of all ages and educational backgrounds

To be a prophetic learning community that fosters debate and engagement with contemporary social issues.


We shall support all people as a centre of excellence through our acts of worship and our welcome, education, music and heritage.  We shall reach out to our local community through events that foster advocacy, offer radical challenge and achieve bridge building. We shall improve our infrastructure to increase further our organisational effectiveness, to enlarge capacity, to provide enhanced worship and learning opportunities, and to demonstrate our care for creation and our financial sustainability. Through the accessibility, discipleship and relevance of our Cathedral, we shall show the path to God for all who come near, of all faiths and none. 


In 2023

The Cathedral constitutes a Christian community that brings together diverse worshipping communities based on Christian heritage and traditions.

The Cathedral seeks to develop the theological and spiritual literacy and wellbeing of the wider community.

The Cathedral constantly challenges contemporary society to develop constructive visions for the future and facilitates change and renewal.

The Cathedral’s distinctive role includes close working with other Church of England parishes in Greater Manchester and across the Diocese of Manchester.

The Cathedral educates and informs its congregations, students, visitors and volunteers, through heritage and history, the arts, music and by all other means available to it.

The Cathedral hosts activities that contribute to the learning and quality of life of its community, both income-generating and as free gifts.

The Cathedral shares its fabric, its setting, its archaeology, and its history and heritage, with all who come.

The Cathedral values its external partnerships as fundamental to the growth and development of its mission, including its growing international connections.

The Cathedral enjoys strong partnerships with Manchester City Council and with neighbours within the Medieval Quarter, seeking to optimise heritage and community-based opportunities that flow from the Cathedral’s location in the City.

The Cathedral recruits, trains and supports a team of 50 visitor offer volunteers.

To 2035

The Cathedral will develop and deepen the theological understanding and spiritual literacy of the wider community.

The Cathedral will improve information and heighten communication internally and externally, encouraging greater participation in the life and activities of the Cathedral and developing more opportunities to work collaboratively with the community.

The Cathedral, working collaboratively with Church House and the Diocese, and  with other parishes and other denominations, will reach out to new and existing residents in close proximity to the Cathedral, to ensure that Christian faith and values are proclaimed within developing Manchester and all its diverse communities.

The Cathedral will enhance and strengthen its visitor offer, including the interpretation of its 600 years of heritage and history; increasing its visitor numbers to 300,000 per annum.


In 2023

The Cathedral follows the liturgical year and the Canons of the Church of England with appropriate services of the word and by the celebration of the sacraments.

The Cathedral provides high standard diocesan, interfaith, civic, education and other special services, with different liturgical expressions that minister to the needs of each community.

The Cathedral’s worship is supported and enhanced by high quality music of all kinds.

The Cathedral offers pastoral support to its congregations and beyond, extending a warm welcome to visitors of all faiths or none.

The Cathedral bears witness to the Christian faith through its worship, its theological and educational programmes, and through the life and witness of its community.

To 2035

The Cathedral will develop and implement its Liturgical Plan, keeping under review its liturgy and worship and introducing changes as agreed by the Chapter.

The Cathedral’s worship will be in person and on line, celebrating both equally.

The Cathedral will support the Bishop of Manchester and the parishes and churches of the Diocese as they serve Christ in a fast-changing world.

The Cathedral will increase the numbers of its congregations by 50% over the period, and enlarge its Electoral Roll by 50%.


In 2023

We treat all staff, members of congregations, volunteers and visitors equally.  We embrace differences of race, sex, gender, age and disability, and the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, with a proven record of support for all.

We open the Cathedral doors to alleviate poverty, hardship, exclusion and hatred, illness and homelessness.  We work towards greater social cohesion and equality, seek to combat and where possible ameliorate these problems, and provide an open and welcoming space to all members of the community.
We warmly welcome visitors of every age and educational background, guided by our values and aspirations and guided by our confident belief in our values.

We support and uphold initiatives in the public square that inter alia challenge hate, care for the planet, and help individuals realise their employment potential through Volition Community.

To 2035

We shall consistently explore means by which to challenge contemporary society and achieve greater equality, diversity and inclusion.

We shall develop our understanding of the Cathedral’s public theology, in partnership with further and higher education institutions throughout Greater Manchester. 

We shall extend and enlarge the Cathedral’s educational, musical and learning activities, with an emphasis on inclusivity, for all ages and educational backgrounds and the disadvantaged and excluded.

We shall increase Volition Community to 400 programme graduates per year, while constantly upholding its whole person approach.

We shall recruit, train and care for increased numbers of volunteers to participate in the life of the Cathedral.

We shall transform access to and interpretation of the Cathedral’s fabric, its treasures and its archives for the enjoyment and learning of all.

We shall make the Cathedral digitally connected, with special reference to its worship, fabric, treasures and history.


Governace - In 2023

The Cathedral is the cathedra (seat of spiritual authority) of the Bishop of Manchester.

The Chapter, led and chaired by the Dean, sets policy for all aspects of the Cathedral’s life, with particular reference to good use of Cathedral resources.
The Chapter’s financial authority is exercised through the Finance Committee.

The Fabric Advisory Committee, currently chaired by Mr Stephen Raw, advises the Chapter on the upkeep and development of the Cathedral’s fabric.

The Manchester Cathedral Development Trust, currently chaired by Mr Robert Hough, has responsibility with the Director of Fundraising and Development for the fundraising activities of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral sets up working and project groups ad hoc with defined terms of reference as and when required.

Governance - To 2035

The Cathedral, principally through the Dean and Chapter, will regularly review this strategic and business plan, paying particular attention to targets and specific objectives, and will adjust policy and procedures to ensure that targets are met and objectives achieved.

The Chapter will implement the provisions of the Cathedrals Measure 2021 and ensure that its financial management and procedures are fully consonant with the Measure.

The Cathedral, through its Chapter and related bodies, will carry out the second phase of the development project and build on the outcome for the Cathedral’s business continuity and long-term sustainability.

The Chapter will encourage new initiatives and responsible risk taking, nurturing its strong relationships with the Diocese of Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Safeguarding - In 2023

TThe Cathedral is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people, and vulnerable adults.

The Chapter, working in line with national legislation and guidance from the House of Bishops and the Archbishops’ Council, sets the safeguarding policy for the Cathedral.


Finance - In 2023

The Chapter fulfils the 1999 Cathedrals Measure by prudent and responsible management of all Cathedral resources.

The Cathedral Chapter, by means of an annual budget and on the advice of the Finance Committee, is responsible for all aspects of the Cathedral’s funding and resources. 

Finance- To 2035

The Cathedral will ensure that its financial structures and procedures are in line with the relevant provisions of the Cathedrals Measure 2021 and accounting best practice.

The Cathedral will deliver break even budgets and year-end returns annually throughout the period, moving to medium and long-term sustainability as a result of approved departmental budgets that cover costs and generate income, and in line with the published reserves policy.

The Cathedral will increase its annual external income by 5% year on year, in line with policies laid down by the Chapter, and as a result of the additional capacity and revenue-generating opportunities arising from the completed development programme.

The Cathedral will diversify its income streams, including by active stewardship, increased visitor contributions, sustainable land and property revenues, and commercial events and related activity, ensuring that all Cathedral assets work to its maximum benefit.

The Cathedral will implement the Parish Giving Scheme in order uplift regular giving and a sense of shared purpose, aiming to increase congregational giving to £75,000 per annum.

The Cathedral will manage its investments and property to realise medium and long-term capital growth of 3% per annum, including the generation of the annual revenue stream from historical property ownership across Greater Manchester.

The Cathedral will continue to provide heritage, educational and artistic services to the community on both a free of charge and revenue generating basis.

The Cathedral will seek donations, grants and other awards from external private and public bodies, including trusts and foundations, and from individuals, to undertake specific projects that interpret heritage and deepen links with the community. In doing so, the Cathedral will seek to work in partnership with such external bodies or individuals.

Fabric - In 2023


Download the full Vision 2035 booklet

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