Thinking Anglicans

Latest Church Statistics

The Church of England has announced the publication of its latest finance and ministry statistics with the following press release.

Church of England publishes latest statistics on web
28 October 2010

The Church of England has today published its latest information about parish income and expenditure and trends in ministry numbers in Church Statistics 2008/9. The attendance statistics included were published in February 2010.

This year’s statistics include additional information on current areas of interest reflecting the contemporary life of the Church. Information on children and young people’s involvement with the church outside worship has been collected for the second time, so that trends can be identified in future years as more data is collected. Data on numbers of parishes theologically opposed to the ordination of women provide factual information for future debates.

Parish income

Despite the difficult economic times, parishioners’ tax-efficient planned giving continued to increase in 2008, reaching an average of £9.77 a week, while the total income of parishes exceeded £900 million for the first time at £925 million. Total voluntary income rose to £505 million or £8.31 per electoral roll member per week. At the same time, total parish expenditure rose to £874 million, with nearly £52 million of this being donations made by parishes to external charities.

Dr John Preston, the Church’s National Stewardship and Resources Officer, said:

“Whilst recent figures for giving to the wider charity sector have shown a dip, giving to parishes in 2008 saw a further increase to record levels, a sign of the high level of commitment that so many have to supporting the mission and ministry of their local parish church. Legacy giving has also bucked the national trend – reaching the highest ever level of £48.1 million.”

Ordination candidates

Another 491 candidates were accepted to train as future clergy in 2009, making a total of 1338 in training. In total, 564 new clergy were ordained in 2009, 10 less than in 2008 and 77 more than in 2006 (the lowest in recent years). Of those, 309 were entering full-time paid ministry, compared with 321 in 2008 and 226 in 2006.

While the numbers of people being training for ordination remained buoyant across 2009, number of retirements also remained high. Revd Preb Lynda Barley, Head of Research & Statistics for the Archbishops’ Council, comments: “It is encouraging that the Church is responding confidently to the challenge that the changing age profile of our nation brings, with one in six of those in training being under 30 years of age.” Taking retirements and other losses into account, there was a net loss of 128 full-time paid clergy, compared with 182 in 2006.

At the end of 2009, there were some 28,000 licensed and authorised ministers, ordained and lay, active in the Church of England.

The three new tables in this year’s Church of England statistics are: Ordination of Women Resolutions and Petitions; Children at Church-Related Activities 2008; and Young People at Church-Related Activities 2007.

The latest statistics have been added to the Church of England website, alongside attendance statistics published in February.

There are links to statistics for earlier years here.

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