GRAS Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod
Press Release – For Immediate Release
Senior Women Clergy Numbers Rise
Numbers of women clergy deployed in the dioceses in the Church of England have risen to an average of 25.8 of all clergy in the dioceses. Women now account for 17% of full time stipendiary clergy in the dioceses and for 8% of senior posts, including deans, archdeacons, other cathedral clergy and area deans.
These statistics have been gathered for the second time in five years in the Furlong Table, named in honour of the late Monica Furlong. Furlong, a witty and incisive writer and observer of the Church of England, and also a fearless and tireless campaigner for the ordination of women, suggested to a group of young female ordinands that statistics be gathered to monitor the deployment and promotion of women clergy in the Church of England.
The first Furlong Table was produced in 2000 for GRAS, the Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod, by Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, Catherine Butt and Leah Vasey-Saunders, all then students at Cranmer Hall theological college in Durham. The updated figures for 2005 have been produced by the Reverend Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, now Chaplain and Solway Fellow of University College, Durham.
GRAS believes that
Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes
University College, Durham, DH1 3RW
Revd Canon Peggy Jackson
The Rectory, 170 Sheen Lane, SW14 8LZ
|19||St.Edms & Ipswich||27.5||-6||5.5||22.0|
|24||Bath & Wells||25.0||+9||11.6||13.4|
|41||Sodor and Man||11.8||+2||11.8||0.0|
Notes for Editors
The Furlong Table measures the numbers of women clergy deployed in each of the dioceses in the Church of England. The average points score has risen by over a third from 2000 to 2005, from 18.6 to 25.8. This is made up of an on average doubling of the points received from women in senior posts, together with a 50% increase in the number of other ordained women in full time stipendiary posts in the dioceses.
A perfect score in this table would be 100, representing 50% of all other full time stipendiary clergy in a diocese being female. The top score of 39.9 is still disappointingly low, but it is moving in the right direction. This means that in Oxford, which rose 15 points to become the best diocese in the Church of England for women’s deployment in 2005, women had been appointed to 17% of senior clergy posts, and 23% of other clergy were female.
Overall, in 2005, women represented 5% of cathedral deans, 6% of archdeacons, 14% of other cathedral clergy and 8% of area/rural deans.
The greatest percentage change was for Truro Diocese, which saw its score increase by 354%! Truro was joint with Durham Diocese for the biggest rise up the table, both gaining a massive 26 places. Truro rose from 40th place (out of 43) to 14th, whilst Durham rose from 34th to 8th place.
Other diocese which saw big gains were Derby, up 17 places from 35th to 18th, and Peterborough, up 15 places from 26th to 11th place. Three diocese have fallen badly in the table: Bristol fell 27 places, from 11th to 38th, Guildford fell 23 places from 7th to 30th, and Rochester fell 17 places from 18th to 35th place.