The Wigan Story

Since 2015, Wigan Deanery has been engaged in the Transforming Wigan movement. This is a Church of England Strategic Development Funded (SDF) Project with the aim of ‘turning around the mission and financial strength of the deanery of Wigan.’ It is a cultural change movement changing the way we are both ‘being’ and ‘doing’ Church in Wigan.

We began with a core group of leaders to shape and lead the change.  We have included more and more people in the movement and now have most of our current churches engaged in exploring the change journey and working out their part in it for the growing future. 

Our clergy have held most of the burden of leadership but we are now commissioning many more people to exercise their leadership gifts alongside the ordained and licensed ministers.

We are growing leaders and teams of all types.  We have Local Missional Leaders and teams leading in our Worship Communities.  We are beginning to see the first-fruits of refreshing our traditional Worship Communities and planting fresh new ones.

We are now restructuring the deanery to best serve the strategy.  We are engaged in the consultation to form the deanery into one ‘Church Wigan’ – a single team ministry benefice with seven parish-hubs. This brings together a collection of our 29 current parishes into one of the seven Hubs to provide a more robust and effective unit of mission and ministry enabling both the traditional and new forms of church to flourish and thrive.  We are forming Hub Leadership Teams to develop the plans in the Hubs.  


Each Hub will become a new Parish, led by two stipendiary clergy — Hub Leader and Associate Hub Leader — with many lay and ordained leaders working together in local teams to refresh current Worship Communities and plant many new ones. The seven Hub Leaders (Team Vicars) join together with the Church Wigan Leader (Team Rector) in the core leadership team known as ‘The Church Wigan Leadership Team.’ Together, they oversee and lead the change and ongoing growth of Church Wigan.