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.

We would love you to visit us at The Monastery! You’ll be sure of a warm welcome, and we know you’ll enjoy the time you spend with us.

For more information, click here.

Keep up to date with the amazing array of events we hold all year around.

**The Monastery is open to the public 10am-4pm, Sun-Thu each week, with free entry, parking, onsite café and healing garden. All welcome!**

Book Review: Gorton Monastery 1861-1961

Subject: Victorian Manchester; Manchester history; Manchester heritage; Franciscan history.

By Father Justin McLoughlin; reviewed by Janet Wallwork, published 1961 (Historical Reprint Series).

Gorton Monastery 1861-1961: The story of 100 years of the Friary, Gorton, Father Justin McLoughlin, Monastery Publications (Historical Reprint Series), 46p, £2.99. First published in 1961. ISBN 978-0-95714-841-3

In 1861, a small group of Belgian Franciscan Friars arrived in Gorton. Despite having a local Catholic population of just a few hundred and very little money they enlisted the famous church architect, Edward Welby Pugin, to build them a friary and church ‘of cathedral-like proportions.’

Over the next century, they also established three schools and an impressive range of parish organisations – spiritual, educational, cultural, and social.

This little book, written by the archivist of the Order, was published to mark the centenary of the friars’ momentous arrival. It tells the story of the buildings and of the flourishing parish that surrounded them.

Sadly, in 1989 the friars left Gorton and for years the church stood empty and derelict. In 1996, a charity was established – The Monastery of St Francis and Gorton Trust – to raise the funds to rescue and restore the church and friary buildings. It reopened its doors in 2007 with a new life as a community, cultural, and corporate venue.

The Trust obtained permission to reprint Father Justin’s book to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the day the friars came to Gorton.


Editor’s note: This book – and other Monastery Publications – are available to buy both in our onsite Monastery Shop and via our online bookshop.

My Placement at The Monastery, by MMU Student Intern Caitlin.

Hello everyone, welcome to this wonderful guest post from our recent intern student Caitlin. We welcome your enquiries and hope it inspires something in you too!

Hi, my name is Caitlin and I am currently a second year, history student at Manchester Metropolitan University. I have been on placement at Gorton Monastery since November 2019, as part of my ‘History in Practice’ topic. ‘History in Practice’ essentially refers to history that is widely accessible to the public and potentially interactive – for example a museum, or in this case Gorton Monastery. Anyway, I thought I would briefly explain for you, what I have been doing at the monastery all this time…

On my first, proper visit to the monastery I was treated to a lovely, in-depth tour of by one of the amazing volunteers here, called Grahame. Honestly, if you have the opportunity to take a tour here, I highly suggest that you jump at the chance! It was a great way to learn about the history of the building in a relaxed, yet immersive way. For the rest of my time at the monastery, I have been working closely with quantitative data regarding you, the visitors; recording definitively how many visitors had joined us here, on what day, as well as for what reason. I have also studied research methods in order to find out what would be the best way to collect the opinions of those who visit – so we know what was positive and maybe even a negative about their visit. Granted, I know this doesn’t sound the most thrilling of activities, however it is rather important for us at the monastery to know.

So, now I have come into my last few weeks her at Gorton Monastery, I have begun to focus on my final project for this topic at university; and for this I have decided to produce a presentation. This presentation will consist of everything I have done, as well as learnt here at the Monastery, plus what I believe could potentially be improved. This will be presented to Emma, the Heritage and Community Impact Manager at Gorton Monastery, who has been my guide through this process, and this means anything that I suggest and Emma likes could possibly be implemented permanently.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about what I have been doing here at Gorton Monastery for all this time; and once again, if you are thinking of visiting, please do! It’s a wonderful and educational day out for anyone, at any age!

Little Pockets of Calm

Life can feel very rushed. We live in times where we seem to be constantly striving to increase productivity and decisive action, whilst neglecting the ‘rest and restore’ phase of our human needs. Changes which arose in the times of the Industrial Revolution mechanised our lives. We became a nation of ‘clocker-inners’ ruled by set working hours, and no longer in right relationship with nature, the seasons and our natural ebbs and flows of production balanced with rest.

The Monastery, and other buildings like this, offer the opportunity to take a moment to yourself to pause, reflect and contemplate. We come into remembrance, and gratitude for all who have gone before us giving us the chance to do better, to go beyond the things our ancestors couldn’t overcome for many reasons. We stop time, come into our hearts and become still, and how badly we need these moments if we are to keep ourselves balanced and well.

Imagine living through two world wars? imagine living through rations, losing family members in terrible circumstances, seeing your sons, father and brothers go to fight for reasons that many lay people didn’t, and couldn’t understand? Imagine seeing your mothers, daughters and sisters struggling with hardships previously unknown, many also engaged in hospitals and factories treating the injured or making more weapons knowing the same weapons were creating more injury somehwere else in the world?

Yesterday, one of our followers asked about religion and faith at the Monastery, so we thought we would like to share a little of our perspective with you.

The Monastery is now a deconsecrated building which means that it is no longer bound by fixed religious rules, but instead is classified as ‘secular’. This means all people and all religions can use the space comfortably without being bound to any single tradition.

The Monastery was originally built by Franciscan friars with the help of local people in and around Gorton, and was used as a place of catholic worship. That said, the Franciscans were very much about living a simple life and building community so depsite its grandeur, its values were generous and non heirarchical.

There are many quiet corners here where you can take the time to remember your loved ones, to reflect upon what you would love to see on this beautiful planet, to dream a little. You are so very welcome regardless of age, gender, religion or faith to come and be with us.

This Sunday we will be celebrating remembrance in our own way; by calling on PEACE.

For more information about this free drop-in event, please click the link below or visit our events page.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Peace Prayer & Meditation Open Day