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Diocese of Westminster - Background Information
posted on 02 November 2005
Catholic Diocese of Westminster
Diocese of Westminster

The Diocese of Westminster is one of the smallest dioceses in England and Wales in geographical area, but the largest in terms of Catholic population and priests. The diocesan boundaries include the London Boroughs north of the River Thames, between the River Lea to the East, the Borough of Hillingdon to the West, and including the County of Hertfordshire to the North.

Since the restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy in 1850, its bishop has often been a Cardinal. The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols is the eleventh Archbishop of Westminster, having been installed as Archbishop on 20 May 2009. In an increasingly cosmopolitan city, the Diocese includes a wide range of ethnic and cultural diversity amongst its Catholic population.

The Diocese of Westminster is also a Metropolitan See, having as members of its Province the Dioceses of Brentwood, Northampton, Nottingham and East Anglia. The governance of the Diocese is under the care of the Archbishops Council, the members of which are the Archbishop, the Auxiliary Bishops, the Vicars General, the Archbishop's Private Secretary and the Financial Secretary; while the day to day administration is directed through the four principal departments of Clergy and Consecrated Life, Pastoral Affairs, Education and Ecumenism, Interfaith and Justice and Peace.

Key Diocesan Statistics

Parishes 214

Priests of the Diocese
Working in the Diocese 290 
Chaplains to the Forces 4 
Further Studies 3 
Others working outside the Diocese 20 
Sick or on leave 15 
Retired 85 
Total 417

Priests of other Dioceses

From England & Wales 2 
From Ireland 2
From other countries 30 
Eastern Rites 5
Prelature of Opus Dei 10 
Total 49

Priests of Religious Congregations & Societies of Apostolic Life 

African Mission Society 6; Assumptionists 7; Augustinians 8; Augustinian Recollects 6; Benedictines (English) 16; Benedictines (Olivetan) 3; Camillians 2; Carmelites 4; Carmelites (Discalced) 7; Comboni Missionaries 2; Congregation of (Picpus Fathers) 6; Consolata Fathers 2; Divine Providence, Sons of 1; Divine Word Missionaries 5; Dominicans 14; Franciscans 2; Fransalians 2; Gabriel Brothers of St 1; John of God, Hospitallers 2; Holy Ghost Fathers 2; Jesuits 58; Josephites 1; Lebanese Maronite 2; Malta, Order of 2; Marian Fathers 6; Marist Fathers 5; Missionaries of Africa 10; Montfort Missionaries 1; Oblates of Mary Immaculate 7; Oratorians 9; Pallottine Fathers 7; Passionists 9; Providence, Sons of Divine, 2; Sacred Heart, Missionaries of the 3; Sacred Heart, Brothers of the 7; Salvatorians 9; Scalabrini Fathers 1; Servites 7; Stigmatine 1; Vincentians 11; Xaverian Missionaries 3. 

Total 263


Primary (Aided) 155
Primary (Independent) 10
Secondary (Aided) 39
Secondary (Independent) 4
All-age (Non-maintained Special) 2   
All-age (Independent) 3
VI Form Colleges 2
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