Updated Sunday morning
The Church of England has today released new Ministry Statistics giving trends in ministry over the period between 2012 and 2015: Ministry Statistics 2012-2015. There is also a short commentary provided by the Venerable Julian Hubbard, Director of Ministry, and detailed Diocesan tables in a separate excel file. There is also a press release, copied below.
Press coverage includes:
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian C of E in ageing clergy crisis with 25% of ministers aged over 60
Aaron James Premier Church of England: We need to Rev up clergy numbers
Rose Hudson-Wilkin and Peter Ould were interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning (starting at 1hr 21min).
Ian Paul and Peter Ould write about the figures here: Do we have enough vicars?
Jeremy Fletcher has written The Church of England’s Middle Aged Spread.
David Keen has written The Leading of the 5,000 part 2 – vocations and canaries.
Church of England press release
Church of England releases new Ministry Statistics
The Church of England has released new Ministry Statistics giving trends in ministry over the period between 2012 and 2015.
The statistics show that total ordained ministry over the last 4 years has remained stable, with over 20,000 ordained people serving the church in various roles.
The number of stipendiary clergy has fallen from 8,300 to 8,000 between 2012 and 2015.
The proportion of stipendiary clergy who are women increased from 24% in 2012 to 27% in 2015. And 19% of senior staff in 2015 were women, up from 12% in 2012.
Nationally, 13% of parish clergy are aged under 40, while a quarter are 60 and over.
There was an increase in stipendiary clergy from Black and Minority Ethnic communities from 3% in 2012 to 3.4% in 2015.
In his commentary, the Church of England Director of Ministry, Julian Hubbard, writes: “While the number of stipendiary ordinations showed a welcome increase between 2012 and 2015, this is not sufficient to redress the gathering effect of clergy retirements predicted over the next ten years.”
“The statistics on the age and ethnicity of clergy show that we still have some way to go to ensure that the whole cohort fully reflects the demographics of the wider community.”
“The good news is that there is a growing readiness to meet these challenges.”
Mike Eastwood, Director of Renewal and Reform, the Church of England’s major response to falling church attendance, said: “These figures support what we have been saying about the need for renewal and reform in the Church of England.”
“Renewal and Reform is about a message of hope, through changed lives and transformed communities, as people discover their vocation to love God and serve others.
“Renewal and Reform is not a top-down project to fix the church, but a narrative of local hope in God shared throughout the church.”
“As part of Renewal and Reform, we are currently consulting on how we better release the gifts of all Christian leaders in church and wider society, whether ordained or not.”
Notes for editors
The last Ministry Statistics paper was published by the Church of England in 2012. The implementation of a new clergy payroll system in 2012 initially made it more difficult to extract data for ministry statistics.
The Ministry Statistics paper and Commentary are available here.
The Church of England’s Renewal and Reform Facebook page is here.