The Pastoral Areas of the Diocese have been clustered together into 8 Deaneries:


  • Thames-Isis, North Downs and West Berkshire
  • Reading, Great Park and South Berkshire
  • North West Hampshire and North East Hampshire
  • Hampshire Downs, Three Rivers and Petersfield
  • Southampton Central and West and Southampton East
  • Portsmouth, Havant, Solent and Isle-of-Wight
  • Jersey and Bailiwick of Gurnsey


In each Deanery one Coordinating Pastor, after consultation, has been appointed Dean.

In our Deanery* this is Canon Paul Towsend from Ringwood and Fordingbridge Parishes in the Avon Stour Pastoral area.

The role of the Dean is to help coordinate clergy and lay resources in order to assist the New Evangelisation.

This includes helping to:


  • give spiritual leadership to the Pastoral Area [including organising and leading Prayer and Formation at Deanery Strategy Meetings in accordance with the diocesan format];
  • share expertise [lay/clerical] across the area;
  • preserve and support smaller parishes and Mass centres;
  • maintain and develop Chaplaincy services in hospitals, prisons, etc;
  • create better opportunities for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue;
  • provide pastoral care and catechesis more effectively; and to
  • enable a greater priority for the work of evangelisation, mission and outreach.


If you would like to see a map of the Diocese and the clustering of Pastoral Areas please click HERE


The first meeting of the Deanery was held on Thursday 1st October 2016 at St. Joseph's Parish in Christchurch and was attended by many of the Priests and Deacons from Avon Stour, Bournemouth and the New Forest Pastoral Areas. They discussed the New Evangelisation as an opportunity rather than a burden for all those in Ministry. They praised the dynamic role lay people exercise in the Church today. The attendees were also very grateful for the excellent lunch provided by ladies from St. Joseph's Parish.


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