Reverend Anne Gilbert officially becomes the new vicar of Rochdale

Date published: 08 July 2021

Reverend Anne Gilbert has officially begun her new role as the vicar of Rochdale Parish Churches.

A Church of England priest in Manchester Diocese and formerly curate of St Andrew's, Dearnley, Revd Gilbert was welcomed as the new vicar of Rochdale during a ceremony at St Chad’s Church on Tuesday 29 June.

Not only was Anne welcomed as the new vicar, but the night marked new beginnings with the bringing together of a new team of churches - St Chad’s, St Mary in the Baum, and St Edmund’s are being joined by St Luke’s Deeplish and St Peter’s Newbold.


Rev Anne Gilbert with Councillor Aasim Rashid, Mayor of Rochdale
Revd Anne Gilbert with Councillor Aasim Rashid, Mayor of Rochdale


Rev Anne Gilbert with Sir Tony Lloyd MP
Revd Anne Gilbert with Sir Tony Lloyd, MP for Rochdale


The celebratory event was attended by the Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Aasim Rashid, and Sir Tony Lloyd MP, as well as local councillors, faith representatives, members of congregation from the churches, and representatives from Revd Anne’s curacy churches in Dearnley and Wardle.

Although the service was under strict regulations to keep it ‘Covid secure’, it was still a great celebration as Anne was welcomed by the Bishop of Middleton, Mark Davies and the new Area Dean, Revd Canon Karen Smeeton.

Revd Anne Gilbert said: “I am very excited about this new beginning and the future for our churches. This is the bringing together of a new family, and a new ministry team.

“I look forward to serving with them and finding ways to work with other leaders, both faith and civic to find ways to best serve the people of Rochdale.”


Rev Anne Gilbert with members of the local ministry team and guests at the welcome service
Revd Anne Gilbert with members of the local ministry team and guests at the St Chad's welcome service


As the daughter of a Church of England vicar, Revd Gilbert was born in Goodshaw Vicarage, Rawtenstall where her late father, Fred, was vicar of St Mary and All Saints.

She grew up in vicarages across the region, including that at St Aidan's in Sudden, Rochdale where her dad was vicar between 1975 and 1980.

Her ordination in Manchester Cathedral nearly three years ago was a family affair, given that her brother Mark and his son, Sean - Anne's nephew - are also ordained priests.



Anne said: “I have had a long-standing association with Rochdale and consider it home.

“My dad was the vicar of St Aidan’s, I was confirmed at St Chad’s, and I was involved in joint youth activities (as one of the young people) with St Peter’s. 

“I am excited to be building a new family of churches but also discovering ways to serve the community of Rochdale.”



On her first Sunday morning in post, Revd Gilbert attended Manchester Cathedral for the ordination of Fr. Darren Quinlan who will be joining Anne as Assistant Curate.

“He has a wealth of skills that he can bring to the role,” continued Anne, “and we joined together on Sunday evening to welcome him and celebrate the start of the new team.”


Fr. Darren Quinlan and Revd Anne Gilbert at her first Sunday service as vicar of Rochdale
Assistant curate Fr. Darren Quinlan and Revd Anne Gilbert


Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online