Record numbers of clergy ordained in Manchester – and amongst those is Rochdale’s new Assistant Curate

Date published: 09 July 2021

Twenty-four deacons were ordained by the Bishop of Manchester at Manchester Cathedral on Sunday 4 July - the largest number ever ordained in a single year in Manchester.

Amongst the diverse group including 13 women, four people of BAME background and 11 under the age of 40 was Father Darren Quinlan, who will be joining the new vicar of Rochdale, Reverend Anne Gilbert, as Assistant Curate.

After being assigned to a parish, the recently ordained deacons begin their ordained ministry under the guidance of an experienced priest.

In Fr. Quinlan’s case, he will bring together a new team of Rochdale Parish churches with Revd Gilbert, as St Chad’s, St Mary in the Baum, and St Edmund’s will be joined by St Luke’s Deeplish and St Peter’s Newbold.

Giving more details about himself as his new role begins, Fr. Quinlan said: “I was born into a large Catholic family and have seven brothers and one sister. I am widowed and have one daughter and a stepdaughter.

“Church life has always focused deeply in my life. I was welcomed into the Anglican Church in 2017 by the Bishop [of Middleton] Mark Davies.

“I am a former Detective Sergeant from HMIT [Homicide and Major Incident Team] and now work as a major investigation manager for the Home Office, investigating breaches of article 2 (right to life) and 3 (inhuman treatment and torture) of the Human Rights Act.

“I’m really looking forward to working for Revd Anne and meeting each of you, working together in a collaborative ministry.

“God has always featured and guided my life; my daily prayers feature very highly. I love talking to God when walking my dog in His creation.

“I would love to undertake a Holy tour in the future, that would be a wonderful and emotional thing to do.”


Revd Anne Gilbert and Fr. Darren Quinlan
Revd Anne Gilbert and Fr. Darren Quinlan


The Bishop of Manchester, The Rt Revd Dr David Walker, said: “Among the most moving ceremonies in the Church’s books are the ordinations of new deacons and priests. Women and men, who have heard and responded to God’s call, come before their bishop so that their lives can be set apart for God’s service.

“It has been a difficult time for the candidates as they faced uncertainty about whether the services could safely go ahead, but we are delighted that we can enjoy being together as a group for a very special weekend of ordination services.

“Individually, and as the largest cohort of deacons Manchester has had, these new ministers will both serve their particular communities, and help us reshape ministry across our diocese for the post-Covid era.”

Fr. Quinlan’s first service was also held on Sunday 4 July, hosted at St Mary in the Baum with vicar of Rochdale, Reverend Anne Gilbert.

Revd Gilbert said of Fr. Quinlan: “He has a wealth of skills that he can bring to the role, 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
Fr. Darren Quinlan and Revd Anne Gilbert at their first joint Sunday service

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