The News Room

We are open to the public every Sunday from 12:00 until 4:00pm unless a special event is taking place. Please see the What's On and Sunday Diary page for up-to-date information. Refreshments are available in the Friars Pantry and there is free parking. 

Tours, Concerts and Special Events take place every week, please see our What’s On section. Alternatively please contact the Sales Team by email or phone 0161 223 3211 for Tour availability and details. Our office hours are 8:30am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday.

Armed Forces Convenant

The Monastery Manchester commits to honour the Armed Forces Covenant and support the Armed Forces community. We recognise the value of serving Personnel, both Regular and Reservists, Veterans and Military families contribute to our business and our country.

MARCH 2017


Summer News

Please click here to read our Summer Newsletter

Celebrating Volunteers

The Monastery hosted an awards ceremony for the Manchester recipients of the Queens Award For Voluntary Service on Monday.
The event was covered by That's Manchester TV (please click on link to watch)
MON 4 JUL 2016

Royal Visit

His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex, escorted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith, visited The Monastery in February to share his vision for the DofE scheme in Greater Manchester and the North-West of England at a private lunch celebrating and highlighting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

April 2016

Spring News

For the latest Monastery news this spring, click here.
Spring 2016

Monastery Wins Six Years In a Row

The Monastery again collects industry 'Oscar' in Best Value for Money Conference Venue Category and makes it six year's running at the National M&IT Awards.

Ground-breaking Ceremony Signals a New Chapter for Gorton Monastery

Businessman and philanthropist, Sir Norman Stoller, performed the ground-breaking ceremony at Gorton Monastery, marking the start on site to construct the £3million Welcome Wing as well as further conservation work.

25 FEB 2016

Contractor Appointed for £3m Welcome Wing

Award-winning Manchester based constructor HH Smith & Sons Ltd has been awarded the contract for the Monastery’s new £3million eco-friendly Welcome Wing, with building and restoration work due to start next month (February 2016).

Profits Double at The Monastery Manchester

The Monastery Manchester Ltd, the trading subsidiary of The Monastery of St. Francis & Gorton Trust, has seen its profits double in the last year, and the charity has returned a profit for the fifth consecutive year with its profits up a third year-on -year.

Announcing results for the year ending 3 January 2015, The Monastery Manchester Ltd, which manages and delivers events at the historic venue in Gorton, east Manchester, reported a profit of £119k, up from £56k on the previous year.   

Work will start in January 2016 on the second phase, a £3million development project called ’Sharing the Story’, realising the Trust’s ambition to be a community facility as well as a commercial events venue.  This will allow the general public access every day.    The new carbon neutral Welcome Wing, which will house a permanent education and community facility, is due to open in 2017.

Please click More Details (below) for full story:


Christmas News

Please click here for our latest Monastery News and an overview of Christmas events.
December 2015

An Evening With Terry Waite

Come along and share an evening in conversation with Terry Waite CBE about contemporary events, captivity, hostage negotiation, humour and his new comic novel.

Afterwards Terry will be signing copies of ‘The Voyage of the Golden Handshake’.

Starts at 7pm, doors open 6pm, cash bar & refreshments available.

Tickets available via

FRI 4 SEP 2015

Monastery Wins Coveted Disability Awareness Award

The Monastery was announced a winner and first as one of only 4 North-West winners of this prestigous prize. 12th July was National Disability Awareness Day (DAD) and it sealed a week long National celebration of people living with disabilities.

The Chair of Disability Partnership Dave Thompson and the Chair of event sponsor Your Housing Group Kathy Cowell presented the award. Both organisations have used The Monastery in the past and as Dave Thompson announced The Monastery as a winner he said that “The Monastery in Gorton, Manchester, had proved that it was perfectly possible to properly accomodate people with Disability in a Grade II* Heritage building. He congratulated The Trust on raising the £3million last December and also said that when he gave a speech (from his wheelchair) on the Chancel steps of The Monastery earlier this year, it made him feel out of this world” 

12 JULY 2015

Honours at NW Business Masters

People, pride and passion were the over-riding themes as outstanding achievement was celebrated at the North West Business Masters Awards held on the 12th March

The Monastery, Manchester was crowned with The Pride/CSR Award, recognising community commitment and social responsibility in the North West Region. 

(Photo: Chris Barry, Managing Editor Business desk,Paul Griffiths, Chairman The Monastery, Manchester, David Grundy and presenter Nina Warhurst)

2015 Wedding Industry Award Winner

In our first nomination in these national awards, the Monastery Manchester was named the Best Town or City Venue in the North West. These are nominated by and voted for by clients, which is always the best indication that we are delivering a truly memorable, high-quality service.

Two more industry Oscars for the Monastery

The Monastery Manchester has achieved another events industry milestone by taking the runners up trophy in the UK’S BEST UNUSUAL VENUE category. 

(Photo: Executive Director Lizzie Harwood collecting the Silver Award)

Monastery Nominated Again For Record Fifth Time

At the M&IT Awards 2015

The Monastery has been nominated as Best UK Unusual Venue for a record fifth year in a row, at the prestigious industry-leading Meetings and Incentive Travel Awards 2015.

The Pugin-designed Grade II* listed buildings have won the Gold Award in this category in each of the last three years, so expectations are high for another placing. Since its first nomination for the 2011 event, the Monastery has scooped a total of six Gold and Silver Awards, in this and other categories, making if by far the most successful venue in the North of England during that period. It has also been nominated this year for Best Value for Money Conference Venue, for which it won Silver in 2012.

The awards are voted for by clients and as such are a real reflection of the support and affection that the Monastery's customers have for these unique and inspiring buildings. The vast majority of nominations are for venues in the South and the Monastery is proudly carrying the torch for Manchester and for the region again this year.

The results will be announced at a Gala Dinner held at Battersea Evolution in London on 3rd March 2015, presented by TV broadcaster Kate Silverton.

13 FEB 2015

Russell Watson to sing at the Monastery

A candlelight Christmas

We're delighted to announce that the UK's best-selling classical artist, Russell Watson, is to perform at the Monastery as part of his Cathedral tour on Monday 15 December.Please click on More Info for further details and booking information.

MON 15 DEC 2014

Heritage Lottery Fund Bid Success

The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust has been awarded a £1.7 million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant – as part of a wider £3m project,  to enable the charitable trust to complete the restoration and conservation of the Pugin designed Victorian gothic masterpiece after 18 years.  The funding will also allow the Trust to build a new ‘Welcome Wing’ creating a new entrance.

This follows a £1 million pledge of financial support in September by The Stoller Charitable Trust whose chairman is Norman Stoller CBE, a private benefactor, philanthropist and former Oldham businessman. The Stoller Charitable Trust’s donation was conditional and to be used as matched funding if a submission for the £1.7 million grant from the HLF was successful.

The £3 million total funding will allow for the construction of a permanent and sustainable carbon neutral front wing, designed to welcome the general public and enable the Monastery to share its story and be ‘open every day for everyone’.  This will result in the creation of new community and educational space, enhanced visitor facilities, making the Monastery a permanent resource that schools, the community and the general public can experience and enjoy all of the time. 

The funding will also allow the Trust to carry out urgent conservation work and repair of the Grade II* listed building. Including initial support of more than £200,000 awarded in March 2013, this grant brings HLF’s total investment to almost £2m.

11 DEC 2014

BBC Songs of Praise

See The Monastery on Songs of Praise every Sunday during Advent

The Monastery is making its third appearance on the BBC's flagship religious programme, Songs of Praise, following recordings made in November 2014. The stunning Grade II* listed buildings will appear in all of the programme's epsiodes from Sunday 30th November to Sunday 21st December, on BBC1 at 4.15pm.

Songs of Praise have used the Pugin-designed former Church as its venue on two previous occasions, one of which was in 2007, during the massive restoration project

SUN 30 NOV TO SUN 21 DEC 2014 BBC1 4:15pm

As Monastery Celebrates 18th Year

The Monastery of St. Francis & Gorton Trust and its trading subsidiary The Monastery, Manchester announces its annual results for year ending January 3rd 2014

Highlights from group accounts
• Sales level year on year at £1.4 million (2013: £1.4 million).
• The charity has returned a surplus on unrestricted funds for the fourth consecutive year
• The trading subsidiary achieved a surplus of £56k for the year (2013 total gain £60k).
• Fundamental financial resilience has improved.
• Reported group profit (surplus) on unrestricted funds of £50k (2012: £60k)
• Trading prospects for 2014 are more favourable and ahead of budget.
• Major fundraising campaign for next phase progressing well. This will complete essential conservation work and create permanent education and community facilities in the new Welcome Wing
Other news
• The project further enhanced by visit of Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
• Fundraising for next phase restoration of The Monastery has gathered pace with a single £1m pledge from The Stoller Charitable Trust towards match funding requirements.
• Bid submitted to Heritage Lottery Fund in August 2014 for £2million of Grant funding to enable The Monastery to be open ‘Everyday for Everyone’. HLF decision expected December 2014.
• Voted by National M&IT magazine clients as the Best UK Unusual Venue third year running.
• Ambition to gain ISO 20121 International Standard for Sustainable Event Management.

23 Sep 2014

Stoller Trust Makes Major Pledge to Monastery

£1m Donation Promise Kick Starts Monastery Trusts 18th Year

As the Monastery Trust comes of age, it secures a pledge for a major donation to help complete the project and the restoration of Gorton Monastery after 18 years.

The Monastery of St. Francis & Gorton Trust, which was established 18 years ago this month,  has been given its most significant pledge of financial support by a private benefactor in the form of  a £1million donation from The Stoller Charitable Trust.

The announcement was made at Gorton Monastery as The Stoller Charitable Trust’s founder, Norman Stoller CBE, former Oldham businessman and philanthropist, celebrated his 80th birthday with family and friends.

MON 8 SEP 2014

Monastery wins Gold for a Third Consecutive Year


The Monastery Manchester won Gold for Best Unusual UK Venue for an unprecedented third year in a row,  at the prestigious Meeting and Incentive Travel Industry (M&IT) Awards in London last night  Tuesday 25 February 2014.

In the presence of more than  1,000 industry professionals, the grade II* listed building was yet again the only finalist from the North West region in this category, beating Alton Towers, Center Parcs, The Natural History Museum London, Tower Bridge London, Troxy (London) and The Pines Calyx (Kent).

The Monastery was also a finalist in two other categories, Best Value For Money Conference Venue and Best Conference and Banqueting Staff, making it by far the most successful nominated venue in the North West.

The M&IT Industry Awards ceremony is organised by Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine and rewards excellence of service and product across the events sector.

26 FEB 2014


Monastery Announces Further Progress

Annual results for The Monastery of St. Francis & Gorton Trust and its trading subsidiary The Monastery, Manchester for year ending January 3rd 2013.

3 OCT 2013

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Queens Award for Monastery Volunteers

We are delighted to announce that our dedicated team of volunteers have been recognised at the highest level, with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, 2013.

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Gorton Monastery in east Manchester has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) including development funding of a quarter of a million pounds (£222,600). 
The HLF’s support will kick-start the next phase of work which will enable essential repairs and conservation to the deteriorating stonework, original Pugin stencils, marouflage paint schemes and original tiled floors. It will also allow vital stabilisation and repair to the altar areas.

WED 27 MAR 2013

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The Monastery Manchester scooped the hat trick at the Meeting and Incentive Travel Industry (M&IT) Awards in London last night (19 March 2013), making it the most successful venue at this year’s awards. 

In the presence of more than 1,000 industry professionals, the grade II* listed building won Gold for Best UK Unusual Venue, retaining the title and also was awarded a Silver in the Best Value for Money Conference Venueand Best Conference and Banqueting Staff categories.

20 MAR 2013

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Heritage Alliance Heroes Award for Gorton Monastery

The Heritage Alliance has awarded the title of Heritage Alliance Hero 2012 to Paul Griffiths (59), Chairman of the Monastery of St Francis and Gorton Trust in Manchester.  The presentation of the award was made today (Thursday 6 December) in London by the Chairman of The Heritage Alliance, Loyd Grossman and Hon. Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communication and the Creative Industries.

6 DEC 2012

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The Monastery Announces Profits for 2011

The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust and its trading subsidiary The Monastery, Manchester, reports a significant rise in profit for 2011.

Despite difficult market conditions and increased competition from other event venues in the region, profits for the group were considerably up, at almost £90k for 2011, compared to a shortfall of £76k in 2010. Although sales of £1.4m were the same as in 2010, significant progress has been made in strengthening the balance sheet and improving liquidity.

Mon 8 Oct 2012

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The Return of the Saints

After a 17 year exile, the Saints have come marching home. The twelve irreplaceable Saints of Gorton Monastery were finally reinstated in their original home in May 2012, after a precarious journey around the country that almost saw them lost forever.

Thu 21 June 2012


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The Saints raised up onto their plinths at the Monastery

After more than 16 years in storage, and eight months being carefully restored, the 12 Monastery saints’ statues will be hoisted 40 ft up back onto their plinths in the Great Nave at Gorton Monastery today.

Tue 28 May 2012

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Launch of Monastery Publications and Historical Reprint Series

and the long awaited Book Launch of BEGGARS & BUILDERS by the late TONY HURLEY

The Trustees of the Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust would like to invite you to join us for the launch of MONASTERY PUBLICATIONS and our HISTORICAL REPRINT SERIES. Plus the Book Launch of BEGGARS & BUILDERS, the personal story of Gorton Monastery by the late TONY HURLEY.

Meet the Editors  :  Refreshments Available  :  Everyone Welcome

Sun 29 Apr 2012

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Monastery in top venues list named by Brides Magazine

The March/April issue of the industry-leading Brides Magazine listed The Monastery among its top 100 wedding venues around the UK. The Grade II* listed Monastery was featured alongside just two other Manchester venues, demonstrating its position as one of the very best venues in the city and indeed in the country, for a spectacular big day.

APRIL 2012

Brides Magazine

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GORTON WINS GOLD - Monastery wins national industry award

The Monastery, Manchester won a Gold Award in the Best UK Unusual Venue category at the 2012 Meetings & Incentive Travel Industry Awards, held in London.

As the oldest established awards programme in the meetings industry, to win Gold is a true recognition and reward of excellence, and it follows the Silver Award won by the landmark Grade II* listed Monastery venue  in 2011.

Tue 6 Mar 2012

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150th Anniversary Appeal

15 years ago The Monastery seemed beyond repair. Anyone who saw it in ruins would not have believed that The Trust, set up to rescue and restore the buildings, could possibly succeed. Today the buildings resonate with life again and The Monastery’s majestic beauty impresses and inspires all who enter.

Help to finish what The Trust started in 1996, completing the restoration of The Monastery in its 150th Anniversary year. Please give whatever you can today and join us at one of our fund-raising events to be held this year.

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Saints march back in after 20 years

The Saints are marching back in to a Manchester monastery after a successful 16-year fight for their return. The 12, six-foot tall statues were being reinstalled at Gorton Monastery today, having been removed in the early 1990s by a developer who wanted to turn the building into flats.

8 Sep 2011

North & East Manchester Advertiser

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M.E.N. Saints go marching in

The Saints have come marching back in to the world-famous Gorton Monastery after a 17-year campaign. The 12 six-foot tall figures were removed in the early 1990s by a developer looking to turn the building into flats. They were installed when the monastery was built and spent 133 years looking down on the aisles from plinths. But they were spotted on an auction list at Sotheby’s in 1994 by local historian Janet Wallwork. Manchester council stepped in to buy the historic figures for £25,000 after Gorton MP Gerald Kaufman negotiated their withdrawal from the auction.

9 Sept 2011


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Re:Verb Blues Master Class with David McAlmont

Re:Verb are an incredibly talented music collective of young people from RECLAIM, lead by Tosin and Tamieka. Ruth arranged a master class with soul musicians David McAlmont and Guy Davies at Gorton Monastery where they wrote lyrics and sang the blues.

The results were simply outstanding. Their ‘Breaking Boundaries’ E.P. which will be released in June 2011.

May 2011

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150th Anniversary Appeal Launched by Sing Live Choir

The stone walls of Gorton Monastery echoed with the sound of heavenly voices as a choir launched an appeal to restore 12 of the venue’s statues.

Singers travelled from all across the country for the event to launch the monastery’s 150th anniversary appeal. The aims to raise enough cash to restore 12 stone statues to their former glory and place them back on show in the monastery.

25 Apr 2011

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2011 Meetings and Incentive Travel Industry Awards


The Monastery selected as best in North West and wins prestigious national industry award.

The Monastery, Manchester achieved a Silver Award in the Best UK Unusual Venue category at the 2011 Meetings & Incentive Travel Industry Awards.

Tuesday 1st March 2011

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Tony Hurley 1953 - 2011

The Trustees, team, friends and supporters of the Monastery are sad to report that Tony Hurley passed away peacefully yesterday, Friday 28th January in St Ann’s Hospice at the age of 57, after a short battle with cancer.

Tony worked at the Monastery for many years and was part of the original team who led the campaign to save the Monastery. In recent years Tony’s passion for Franciscan History was shared through his tours and talks as our inspirational Heritage and Tour Director. A wonderful compassionate man who will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Friday 28th January

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HRH Prince of Wales START visit to The Monastery

HRH Prince of Wales START visit to The Monastery

Royal Praise For Gorton Monastery

HRH The Prince of Wales recently attended a Civic Dinner with 400 Businesses and Community leaders as part of his National tour to launch his START sustainability initiative.

8 Sep 2010

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First wedding in 20 years

GORTON Monastery re-opened its wedding book when a Salford couple tied the knot at the magnificent building on Saturday 27 June 2009.

The monastery was the backdrop for Emma Kelly and Daniel Karen's big day - the first there in two decades.

29 Jun 2009

Deborah Linton M.E.N

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Gorton Monastery wins top property honour

The restoration of Gorton Monastery, the stunning 19th Century former friary in east Manchester, has been named the top North West building project at the property sector's annual awards.

11th May 2009

By Chris Barry - Editor