Registered Charity 250037


We are all delighted that our primary schools have done so well in the recent Ofsted inspections

St Mary’s is judged as
GOOD in every aspect of RE

St Anselm’s is judged as
OUTSTANDING in every aspect of its work

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Contact us:
St Mary and St Anselm
John Street, Whitworth
Lancs OL12 8DB

01706 853562

The Catholic Church in England and Wales

The Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world. It has more than one billion members worldwide – that means one in every six people walking the earth is a baptised Catholic.

Around five million live in England. What unites all Catholics is our belief in Jesus Christ and his message of love for all, peace and forgiveness.
We also believe that all men and women are equal, because we are made in the image of God, who sent his only son Jesus to earth to save us. We believe in justice and equality too as whatever we do to each other, we do to Christ.


To help us, Catholics are guided by a leader, the Pope and also local leaders in our individual dioceses, the bishops. Jesus asked one of his followers, the apostle Peter, to lead his people and spiritually nourish them. Every Pope is the successor to Peter, and every bishop is the successor to Christ’s apostles.

Bishops meet regularly to pray and reflect on how best to interpret Christ’s teachings to the world today. They speak as one voice on concerns for today. To help them discern ‘the Common Good’, what is best for all in society, will also engage in dialogue with members of other faiths or other branches of the Christian family. Issues change, but permanent concerns would include the sanctity of all human life, concern for the poor, the weak, sick and marginalised.

Each bishop is also the leader of his diocese, a specific geographical area. There are 22 dioceses in England and Wales. In the larger ones, bishops are helped by an auxiliary bishop. Together with the priests, the bishops are responsible for the spiritual growth of believers in their diocese. They seek ways to help all the people of God grow closer to Christ through their lives and worship.

The Cardinal is the spiritual leader of Catholics in England and Wales.
The bishops are appointed by the Pope, who is the successor of Peter, to lead the Church in their home countries. Each bishop is the leader of a diocese, a specific geographical area. There are 22 dioceses in England and Wales, and in the larger ones a bishop may be aided by an auxiliary bishop.
The Bishop is the shepherd of the people of the Diocese.
Priests are co-workers with the Bishops, and together they foster the spiritual growth of the Catholic communities in their care.
A diocese is the territory or churches under the authority of a bishop. Here you'll find a map linked to the diocesan websites in England and Wales
Bishopric of the Forces
The Roman Catholic Bishopric of the Forces provides Catholic chaplains to the Armed Forces.
Deacons play an important part in parish life - they are men of faith and prayer with a desire to serve others for the sake of God’s Kingdom
Catholic Societies
A list of groups, movements, bodies and organisations supporting the Catholic community and the wider world
Religious Communities
Web links for religious communities in England and Wales (members of the Conference of Religious)