To discuss holding your wedding or any event at The Monastery, contact Kate or Fran to arrange a personal welcome tour.

Call 0161 223 3211 or email Kate or Fran now.

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**The Monastery is open 10am-4pm, Sun-Thu each week, with free entry, parking, café, gift shop & healing garden. All welcome!**

£3m Welcome Wing Opens

The eco-friendly 6,650 sq ft building was commissioned by The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust, the charity that saved and restored the existing Grade II* buildings and is now responsible for the upkeep of this heritage asset. The project, which took 12 months to complete, was made possible by a National Lottery grant of almost £2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), together with a £1million donation from the Stoller Charitable Trust.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the new building provides flexible, purpose-designed and carbon-neutral space, allowing the Trust to expand and extend its facilities and projects for the local community and general visitors, while continuing to host corporate and private events.

This new front wing sits on the footprint of an original building that was taken down in the 1960s. It has been carefully designed by Eco Arc, an ecological architecture practice based in Kendal, Cumbria so the modern building seamlessly connects to the 150 year-old E.W. Pugin-designed former Church and Friary. Specialist Manchester-based contractor HH Smith & Sons Ltd worked alongside project managers, Buro Four to deliver the building on time and to budget.

Elaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Monastery Trust said: “This is a tremendously exciting day for us. This new building blends beautifully with the church and friary and we are delighted with the result.  We also love how it is flooded with light, making this a fantastic space for both community and corporate events.

“This has been the biggest investment we have made in the building since we completed the major £6.5 million restoration work to save the Monastery ten years ago and it’s wonderful to see it finished. We couldn’t have achieved this without the generous support of National Lottery players, Sir Norman Stoller and Trustees of the Stoller Charitable Trust and other donors.  This summer will be offering a full programme of community activities, and for the first time, we’re able to realise our long-held ambition to ‘Open Every Day for Everyone’.”

Nathan Lee, Head of HLF North West, said: “We’re delighted to see the new Welcome Wing at Gorton Monastery open its doors to the public and hugely grateful to the National Lottery players who have made this possible. Thanks to HLF support, the Monastery Trust has been able to carry out urgent conservation work and create this fantastic new space for the local community, celebrating the monastery’s history and making it sustainable for the future.”

Trust Chairman appointed Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester

Paul Griffiths DL, (64) chairman of the Gorton Monastery Trust has been appointed by Her Majesty the Queen as the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester.

The Lord-Lieutenant Warren Smith who is the Monarch’s representative in the County, made the appointment following a recommendation to Her Majesty.  Mr Griffiths will replace Mrs Edith Conn, OBE, DL, JP who has held the position since 2014.

Paul has been a serving Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, supporting the Lord-Lieutenant of the County for thirteen years and was High Sheriff of the County in 2013/14. His commission as Vice Lord-Lieutenant took effect on the 13th June 2017.

He is a Mancunian born and bred, who lived in the suburb of Gorton from the age of seven and became an altar server at The Monastery. He has spent many years working in the food industry in technical, commercial and sales/marketing roles and as Chief Executive, conducting business in the UK and in many parts of Europe.

When endangered, the Monastery was listed by the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World, alongside Pompeii and the Taj Mahal.  Paul co-founded The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust, with his wife Elaine, in 1996. In 2012 he was made National Heritage Hero by the Heritage Alliance, in 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for services to community by the University of Bolton.

The Monastery now operates as a successful corporate, cultural and community events venue, where all proceeds are used to maintain the historic buildings and support the Trusts outreach projects in the community in health, education, arts and skills.

He sits on the North West advisory boards of Business in the Community, Manchester Guardian Society Charitable Trust and the Greater Manchester High Sheriff’s Police Trust. He is a judge of the International Indian Chef of the Year competition, a representative member of the North West of England and Isle of Man Reserve Forces’ and Cadet’ Association and is a qualified helicopter pilot.

Commenting on his new voluntary role as Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Paul Griffiths said: “It is a great honour to have been appointed to serve as Vice Lord-Lieutenant and I know I stand on the shoulders of many in this dynamic and inspirational county who have gone before me.  As Greater Manchester is the largest county outside London, with some 2.8 million people living here, I understand the importance of building a bridge and connectivity with the business community, while continuing to champion, together with Lieutenancy colleagues, the truly outstanding and tireless work of volunteers.

I look forward immensely to supporting the Lord-Lieutenant Warren Smith, in the performance of his duties and will try to encourage more people to think about the Responsible Business agenda as well as championing volunteering which is so important and valuable to the Greater Manchester community”.

The Lord-Lieutenant is Her Majesty’s representative in his county and it is his first and foremost duty to uphold the dignity of the Crown. When called upon to do so, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant will support the main duties of the Lord-Lieutenant which include;

  • Visits of members of the Royal Family to the County;
  • Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force at the command of Her Majesty, or invitation of the commander concerned;
  • Civic and Social;
  • Presentation of Medals and Awards on behalf of Her Majesty;

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant assumes responsibility for the county should the Lord-Lieutenant be ill or abroad or otherwise incapacitated.

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith said; “Paul is one of my hardest working and proactive Deputy Lieutenants. I am therefore delighted Her Majesty The Queen has approved my recommendation to appoint Paul as Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester.”

Paul and his wife Elaine have a daughter Katy, two stepchildren Heather and George and an inappropriately named Cocker Spaniel Dog called Angel.

For more information about the work of the Greater Manchester Lieutenancy and The Monastery, please visit; and