Thinking Anglicans

"Figures show that The Church of the England is a Third of the way to Gender Equality"

The Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod (GRAS) has published a table (the “Furlong Table”) showing how far the Church of England is from gender equality in 2000, 2005 and now 2010.

The 2010 table is below the fold, and below is the accompanying press release giving an explanation and GRAS’s commentary on the figures.

PRESS RELEASE 9.45am
THURSDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2011

GRAS (GROUP FOR RESCINDING THE ACT OF SYNOD)

The Furlong Table 2010

Figures show that The Church of the England is a Third of the way to Gender Equality

The Furlong Table was first produced for GRAS, and is named in honour of the late Monica Furlong, who first suggested that these statistics be gathered. The table uses official Church of England statistics and published data. It combines the percentage of women employed as clergy in each diocese with a score indicating the percentage of women in senior posts. The first table was published in 2000, with an update in 2005. The 2010 statistics have just become available, and so we can now reveal movement in women’s employment and deployment in the Church of England over a full decade, from 2000 to 2010.

A perfect score in this table would be 100, representing 50% of senior clergy and 50% of all other full time stipendiary clergy in a diocese being female.

On average, the Church of England is a third of the way to gender equality: the average score across all dioceses is 34.9. This remains disappointing, but is a significant improvement on the position in 2005, when the average score was 25.8. Since 2000 the average score has nearly doubled, from 18.6 to 34.9, so things are moving in the right direction.

The top-scoring diocese in 2010 was St.Edmundsbury & Ipswich. Their score of 60.7 represents them being nearly two thirds of the way to gender equality, and a more than doubling of their score (up 117%) from 2005.

Most dioceses have improved their scores from 2005. Winchester, the most improved diocese, has increased its score by 135% from 13.5 to 31.8.

Five other dioceses can be congratulated on over 100% improvement: Canterbury, Birmingham, Exeter, Portsmouth and (from a very low starting point!) Chichester.

There are signs of some complacency amongst dioceses that were highly ranked in 2005. Oxford, which topped the table in 2005, has increased its score by a respectable 15%, but the 2nd and 3rd ranked in 2005, St.Albans and Ely, have each improved by less than 1%.

As the Church of England moves towards the final vote on women bishops in July 2012, these figures confirm that there is a great pool of untapped talent among the female clergy.

The Furlong Table 2010

Rank 2010 Diocese Score 2010 Score 2005 Rank 2005 Score 2000 Rank 2000
1 St Edms & Ipswich 60.7 27.5 19 22.0 13
2 Canterbury 53.5 24.7 25 13.5 32
3 Ripon & Leeds 53.2 34.2 7 31.6 4
4 Southwark 47.5 34.3 6 34.8 1
5 Manchester 47.0 25.7 22 17.7 25
6 Southwell & Nottingham 46.5 28.7 16 29.4 5
7 Oxford 45.8 39.9 1 20.7 16
8 Leicester 45.7 36.7 5 32.9 2
9 Hereford 45.4 32.7 10 22.2 12
10 Birmingham 45.4 20.3 34 18.6 22
11 Salisbury 44.4 30.8 12 25.1 9
12 Wakefield 42.8 30.6 13 20.6 17
13 Derby 42.6 27.9 18 13.0 35
14 Bath & Wells 41.2 25.0 24 13.4 33
15 Gloucester 40.2 25.1 23 21.4 14
16 St Albans 39.6 39.3 2 24.3 10
17 Peterborough 39.3 31.9 11 17.5 26
18 Worcester 39.1 36.9 4 31.9 3
19 Ely 39.1 38.9 3 21.3 15
20 Newcastle 38.1 23.1 28 17.8 24
21 Exeter 37.1 17.8 37 12.3 36
22 Chester 34.9 21.7 33 15.8 28
23 Liverpool 34.3 32.9 9 19.7 19
24 Bristol 34.2 17.1 38 23.1 11
25 Norwich 33.8 28.0 17 18.5 23
26 Sheffield 33.6 29.0 15 28.7 6
27 Portsmouth 32.1 14.4 39 14.6 31
28 Winchester 31.8 13.5 40 8.3 39
29 Chelmsford 30.6 27.4 20 19.7 20
30 Bradford 29.9 22.6 31 10.8 37
31 Durham 29.6 33.6 8 13.3 34
32 Coventry 28.9 23.0 29 15.9 27
33 Guildford 28.7 22.9 30 28.4 7
34 Lincoln 28.4 25.7 21 25.7 8
35 Truro 26.5 29.7 14 6.5 40
36 Carlisle 25.8 19.0 36 9.9 38
37 Rochester 25.5 19.9 35 20.6 18
38 London 24.4 23.7 27 15.5 29
39 York 23.0 24.7 26 15.5 30
40 Lichfield 20.5 21.9 32 19.0 21
41 Chichester 11.2 5.5 43 2.6 42
42 Blackburn 11.0 10.4 42 6.0 41
43 Sodor & Man 0.0 11.8 41 0.0 43
Average: 34.9 25.8 18.6

2010 figures compiled by Peter O’Connell from Church of England Statistics 2010 and The Church of England Yearbook.
Table design and previous years figures by Miranda Threlfall-Holmes

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Dan Barnes-Davies
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HOWEVER (as I explain here: http://danbarnesdavies.blogspot.com/2011/10/57-varieties-representative-equality-in.html), the church-wide scores are still 16/121 archdeacons (13%), 4/44 (9%) cathedral deans and 0/113 (0%) bishops.

So much work to be done.

Alan T Perry
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All very interesting, and definitely good news, but can anyone tell me the formula? 100 = 50/50 we know, but what does, say, 60 mean in terms of the male/female split? How is the number arrived at?

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Is the methodology for scoring each diocese explained in greater detail somewhere? Based only on the explanation provided in the press release, it isn’t clear to me that the scores mean what they’re claimed to mean. I’m not even sure if they’re meaningful.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

So the score is the sum of the percent of women in senior positions and the percent of women in other clergy positions? That would mean that the information used to create the score is more informative than the score itself, although those percentages on their own don’t tell us much at all. Consider Sodor and Man, they score dead last, but why is that? Are they particularly anti-WO, or is it more that they have very few clergy of any sort?

Peter
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Peter

There are two halves to the calculation. I will use my home Diocese (Chichester) as an example. The easier half is the proportion of full-time stipendiary clergy in a diocese. There are 284 F/T stipendiary clergy of whom 22 are female. These figures come from the recently published CofE statistics which were for 2010. Therefore 7.8% of the FT stipendiary clergy are female giving a score of 7.8. The trickier half is the proportion of dignatories. So far Bishops have been ignored from the calculation because only men are eligible, perhaps this will change! You need the number of Archdeacons,… Read more »

Miranda
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Miranda

The underlying data is publicly available in the Church of England statistics for licensed ministry, except that definition of senior posts excludes area deans which we decided were important in terms of the pipeline of clergy development; those figures have been compiled from the church of England yearbook. So anyone interested in the detail can easily get it.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Thanks Peter and Miranda. I thought I must be missing something, since I couldn’t quite recreate the scores. Although, I’m still not sure the score is more meaningful than the underlying data.

Tim Chesterton
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Can anyone explain to me why only ‘full time’ stipendiary clergy are counted?

It occurred to me that this would make it difficult to compare figures with some other parts of the Anglican Communion. In our Diocese of Edmonton in western Canada, for instance, a significant minority of stipendiary clergy are not full time. This is because in our system parishes are required to pay their own clergy, and some cannot afford to pay a full-time position.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

It’s good, too, to see signs of a ‘lend-lease’ arrangement within the Communion – of competent women theologians. We are very glad in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand (ACANZP) to be able to employ the skills of Dr. Helen-Ann Hartley of Ripon college, Cuddesdon, in her new appointment to become Dean of Saint John’s Theological College in Auckland N.Z. Such exchange of Women Teachers in the Churches of the Communion would, I am sure, help the understanding of the value of Women in the Church.