Thinking Anglicans

Statistics for Mission 2019

Updated Wednesday

The Church of England has published its Statistics for Mission 2019 and its 2020 digital report today.

Statistics for Mission provides the latest figures including:

  • Attendance at Church of England services
  • Baptisms
  • Marriages
  • Funerals
  • Youth provision
  • Enquiry and Christian basics courses

Detailed Diocesan tables (excel file) are also available.

There is a press release which concentrates on the digital report; it is copied below.

Update

David Keen has analysed the statistics: Last Chance To See…… Church of England Membership and Attendance Stats 2019. Do read what he has to say; it is very good.

Press release

More than 17,000 online services and events provided by Church of England parishes
12/10/2020

More than 17,000 online services and events are being provided by Church of England churches following the introduction of the lockdown and restrictions on public worship earlier this year, according to a new report published today. (more…)

33 Comments

Ministry Statistics 2019

The Church of England released its Ministry Statistics for 2019 today.

The accompanying press release (copied below) highlights that, for the first time, women made up the majority of deacons ordained, but there is much else in the report.

Statistics for earlier years are available here.

Women majority of deacons ordained last year, new report shows
17/06/2020

Women made up the majority of deacons ordained in the Church of England last year for the first time, according to new statistics published today.

A total of 570 deacons were ordained in 2019, with women making up just over a half, or 51% of the new intake.

Deacons are the first of three orders of ordained ministry. Whilst all clergy continue as deacons throughout, the majority are also ordained as priests at the end of their first year of ministry.

The statistics show that women made up around 32% of the 20,000 active clergy last year, with a growing proportion of senior posts such as Bishops, Archdeacons and Cathedral Deans, occupied by women, from 25% in 2018 to 27% last year.

Women were in the majority starting training for ordained ministry for the third year running, with equal numbers of men and women sponsored to train for ‘incumbent’ posts – such as Rector or Vicar – over the last two years. However currently only 25% of incumbent posts are occupied by women.

The number of stipendiary, or paid clergy, remained stable, at 7,700, between 2018 and 2019, following a period of decline. There were 7,830 Readers or licensed lay ministers compared to just under 10,000 in 2010. Readers and licensed lay ministers are not ordained but can lead worship and preach in churches, among other roles.

The statistics show the number of stipendiary clergy from black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds stood at 3.8%, while 7.8% of people entering training for ordained ministry last year were from a BAME background.

Out of a total of 550 people beginning training for ordained ministry last year, nearly a quarter, or 24%, were under 32 years old and more than two fifths, 44%, were aged under 40.

The Rt Revd Chris Goldsmith, Director of Ministry for the Church of England, said: “In recent years there has been an increasing diversity among our clergy, but we will not be content until those in public ministry truly reflect the whole church and the communities which they serve.”

He added: “The contribution of lay ministers to the mission and ministry of the church is hugely valued both in terms of sustaining the ongoing life of parishes and chaplaincies but also in the innovation and spiritual entrepreneurship increasingly characterising frontline expressions of the church as a Christian presence in every community.”

The Bishop of Derby, Libby Lane, who was consecrated as the first female bishop in the Church of England in 2015, said: “Women are now a widely visible presence among clergy in the Church of England – praise God. However there are still other under-represented groups whose vocations to ordination are being missed.

“I pray that the lessons learnt in encouraging women can make a difference for those who are not yet recognised, so Church of England clergy, at every level, better reflect the glorious diversity of our country.”

She added: “Last year marked 25 years since I was ordained priest. For over a quarter of a century women and men together have been selected, trained, ordained and appointed to serve in the Church of England.

“I thank God for the privilege of my ministry, and for the thousands of women and men who have shared this calling in that time.”

More information

27 Comments

Safeguarding data 2018

Press release from the Church of England

Safeguarding data 2018
02/06/2020

Safeguarding data has been published today taken from annual safeguarding returns, collected by dioceses in 2018 and sent to the National Safeguarding Team. It also contains comparison on data collected over the three previous years 2015-17.

The majority of safeguarding-related concerns or allegations relate to children or vulnerable adults who attend or who have contact with the Church and their lives within the community.

Overall the number of concerns or allegations reported to dioceses in 2018 relating to children, young people and vulnerable adults in the Church was 2,504. This compares to 3287 in 2017, and is slightly higher than 2015 and slightly lower than 2016.

A quarter of concerns or allegations in 2018 required reporting to statutory authorities similar to 2017.

In 2018, 16% of all concerns (400 cases) relate to clergy, including retired and deceased clergy, a slight increase on the average for 2015-17 which was around 12%. There are currently around 20,000 active clergy in the Church.

Safeguarding-related disciplinary measures against clergy decreased in 2018 and combined with the increase in reports against clergy this suggests that more concerns are being raised earlier because there are greater overall numbers of reports but lower numbers of disciplinary cases.

The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, a member of the National Safeguarding Steering Group, said:
“In any report about data of this nature, it is important to recognise that behind each statistic are real human lives and that this is a snapshot of the vital safeguarding work going on in all our 16,000 churches across the country. As the report states it is most likely that where there is an increase compared to previous years this reflects the impact of safeguarding training across the whole Church, and the increased likelihood that people will report concerns to their diocesan safeguarding adviser, where there may have been greater reticence in the past. The NST will continue to study trends over a longer period to inform its ongoing safeguarding work and has committed to publishing data on an annual basis.”

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Opposition to same sex marriage continues to decline rapidly

The Ozanne Foundation has released the results of a new YouGov poll.

Here is a link to the research results summary with graphics.

This has been reported in the Telegraph: ‘Most’ Anglicans believe gay couples have right to marry, YouGov poll suggests.

The full YouGov survey results are available in a spreadsheet here. (Another version shows only the Anglican numbers. There is also a Handout in pdf format.)

Click here for chart of Anglican Men Under 65 vs Over 65 and Anglican Women Over 65 vs Over 65.

Results from the 2013 Questionnaire and 2016 Questionnaire are summarised here.

The full text of the press release (without diagrams) is copied below.

(more…)

50 Comments

Clergy Flourishing

The Church of England has published the latest report from its Living Ministry project: Ministerial Effectiveness and Wellbeing: Exploring the flourishing of clergy and ordinands.

There is an accompanying press release, copied below.

New research findings published on clergy flourishing
05/12/2019

A new set of findings from a 10-year study into the well-being and flourishing of ordained ministers in the Church of England has been published today.

The Living Ministry programme tracks the progress of groups of clergy ordained in 2006, 2011 and 2015 and women and men who entered training for ordination in 2016, seeking to understand what helps clergy to flourish in ministry.

The latest research from the project includes responses from 579 ordained clergy and 113 people training for ordained ministry in the Church of England.

The quantitative study includes research into physical and mental, relational, financial and material and spiritual and vocational well-being as well as responses to questions about ministerial effectiveness.

The Rt Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, Director of the Ministry Division of the Church of England said: “This 10-year programme is providing valuable long-term insights into the experiences of our ordained clergy from initial training and curacy and throughout ministry.

“The findings will help inform the dioceses and theological education colleges and courses in their vital work in the selection, formation and long-term support of ordained clergy.”

Dr Liz Graveling, who is overseeing the research programme for the Ministry Division, said: “I’m pleased to release this next stage of the Living Ministry research, which has allowed us to look in more depth at specific areas of clergy flourishing and start to build up a picture over time. As we follow our participants into the next chapter of their ministry, we are continuing to explore some of these themes in the ongoing qualitative work, which is due to report next year.”

Further information:

Living Ministry was set up in 2016 by the Church of England with the aim of helping support the dioceses, theological education institutions and national church in the selection, training and long-term support of clergy.

Living Ministry is a mixed-methods, longitudinal study. This report presents the findings of Wave 2 of the panel survey, which took place in early 2019. The survey built on the exploration of clergy wellbeing in Wave 1 (2017) by both monitoring this and including questions on ministerial effectiveness.

10 Comments

Cathedral Statistics 2018

The Church of England has published its Cathedral Statistics 2018 today along with the following press release.

Record numbers of visitors and worshippers flock to England’s cathedrals
26/11/2019

England’s cathedrals have witnessed their highest Easter congregation numbers in recent years, while visitor numbers increased by a million on the previous year, statistics published today show.

In the report, published today, Cathedrals reported nearly ten million visitors in 2018, an increase of over 10 per cent on the previous year. There were additionally over a million visitors to Westminster Abbey.

The major Christian festivals remain at the heart of congregational growth, with 58,000 people attending a cathedral at Easter and 95,000 during Holy Week – the highest numbers recorded for a decade, with Easter attendance up nearly 10,000 since 2008.

(more…)

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Statistics for Mission 2018

Updated Friday morning to add some press reports
Updated Monday morning to add link to diocesan tables

The Church of England has published two sets of statistics today.

There is an accompanying press release, Church engages millions through apps and social media, which concentrates on the digital report. It is copied below the fold.

Update: Detailed Diocesan tables (excel file) are now available.

Press reports

Church Times Enquirers’ courses are attended mainly by churchgoers, statistics suggest

Telegraph Church of England’s prayer apps used a record five million times, while attendance figures fall

Christian Today Church of England’s digital reach grows as service attendance continues to fall

(more…)

30 Comments

Ministry Statistics for 2018

Updated on Tuesday to add press reports

The Church of England has published its Ministry Statistics for 2018 today. Available are the Ministry Statistics 2018 themselves and a commentary provided by the Revd Dr Mandy Ford, interim Director of Ministry. In addition detailed diocesan tables can be found in a separate excel file. There is also the following press release.

Ministry Statistics published

The number of female clergy in the Church of England continues to rise with more women than men entering training for ordained ministry for the second year running, according to statistics published today.

More women, 54%, than men began training for ordained ministry in 2018, for the second year running. Just under a third, or 30%, of the estimated 20,000 active clergy in the Church of England were female compared to 27% in 2014, according to Ministry Statistics for 2018.

The report also shows the proportion of senior posts such as dean or bishop occupied by women rose from 23 per cent to 25 per cent over the last year. The figures do not take into account six new appointments of female bishops this year, bringing the total so far to 24.

The proportion of people identifying as from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds starting training for ordained ministry in the Church of England rose to 8% in 2018, compared to 4% in 2016.

Around a third, or 33%, of people beginning their training last year were under 35 years old and more than half, or 53%, were under 45.

Meanwhile the number of men and women being ordained as deacon rose from 485 in 2016 to 535 in 2019.

The figures have been released as the Church of England seeks to fulfil a key target of a 50% increase in the number of candidates for ordination as part of its programme of Renewal and Reform.

Mandy Ford, Interim Director of the Ministry Division of the Church of England, said: “I am thankful for the hard work and prayers of the parishes and dioceses in helping us to increase the numbers of people coming forward for ordained ministry, a key aim of the Renewal and Reform programme.”

Ministry Statistics 2018 and commentary can be found here.

Further information:
Renewal and Reform is part of a programme to ensure that the Church of England once more becomes a growing church for all people in all places.

Update

Press reports

The Guardian Proportion of trainee C of E priests from BME background doubles
“Church of England data shows 8% of ordinands were BME last year, up from 4% in 2016”

Church Times Growth in clergy vocations slows

Daily Mail Good heavens! Average age of a new vicar is now 40 as congregation numbers continue to shrink

Christian Today More women training for the priesthood in the Church of England

Premier Ethnic minorities training for ministry in C of E doubles

29 Comments

Updated census and deprivation stats now available

The Church of England has updated its census and deprivation data. The Research and Statistics unit has mapped government statistics onto parish boundaries to produce parish-level census and deprivation information. The data can be downloaded from here and the summary parish census and deprivation statistics can also be explored on the interactive Church of England parish maps.

The Unit publishes other statistical data which we normally note here as they are published. But we missed the Parish Finance Statistics 2017 [and the 2017 diocesan tables (excel)] which were published in June 2019.

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Church of England Safeguarding Data Report 2015-17

Updated Thursday

The Church of England issued the following press release today.

Safeguarding Data Report 2015-17
19/06/2019

Safeguarding data has been published today taken from annual safeguarding returns, collected by dioceses from 2015-17 and sent to the National Safeguarding Team. This is the first time that trends have been analysed over a three-year period.

The Church of England consists of more than 16,000 churches across the country; with around 1.14 million adults and children making up the regular worshipping community. This means it comes into contact with vast numbers of children, young people and adults every day of the week and safeguarding them is a priority. The majority of safeguarding-related concerns or allegations relate to children or vulnerable adults who attend or who have contact with the Church and their lives within the community.

In any report about data of this nature, it is important to recognise that behind each statistic is a person. Safeguarding is about everyone’s wellbeing and means the action the Church takes to promote a safer culture; it is about valuing every person as made in God’s image.

Update

Press reports

Madeleine Davies Church Times Safeguarding reports grow by a half in two years
The full text of the MACSAS (Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors) press release referred to in this article is here.

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England finds 50% rise in abuse claims and concerns

 

5 Comments

Detailed statistics from the Members’ Notice Board at General Synod

Some of the answers to questions at last week’s General Synod included detailed statistical information which was not printed in the questions and answers booklet. It was instead placed on the members’ notice board. Usually such detailed information has only been published some months later in the Report of Proceedings. This time however it has been posted on the Church of England website. Here is a list of what has now been published.

Question 3 Mr Samuel Margrave

Percentage of new ordinands declaring a disability for each year since 2010

Question 4 Mr Andrew Williams

Numbers and percentages of disabled candidates attending Bishops Advisory Panels etc

Question 7 Mr James Lee

Numerical breakdown of ordinands by training pathway and by diocese

Questions 19-20 Miss Debbie Buggs

Membership of the Crown Nominations Commission from January 2014

Question 43 Ven Simon Heathfield

2017 Endowment and Glebe Assets by Diocese and Assets per Capita

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A Report on the Developments in Women’s Ministry in 2018

WATCH (Women and the Church) has published A Report on the Developments in Women’s Ministry in 2018. There are tables giving

  • the proportion of incumbents/incumbent status who are women
  • an overview of the extent to which women are visible and involved in a diocese
  • the numbers of senior women clergy in diocese
  • authorised readers (LLMs), diocesan secretaries, and chairs of diocesan synods

The tables are preceded by this introduction:

In 2019 it will be:

  • 50 years since women were first licensed as Lay Readers
  • 25 years since women in the Church of England were first ordained priests
  • 5 years since legislation was passed to enable women to be appointed bishops

(more…)

3 Comments

Faith and Sexuality Survey results published

The Ozanne Foundation has published the results of the 2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey. There is this Press Release  which summarises the results:

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS REPORTS OF SIGNIFICANT HARM EXPERIENCED BY LGBQ+ CHILDREN OF FAITH WHO ARE SUBJECT TO “CONVERSION THERAPY”

The 2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey has revealed the high level of mental health issues reported amongst people who have attempted changing their sexual orientation, with many sharing they have attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts. Over half said they first attempted to change whilst they were 18 or under with many stating they were influenced by their religious leader. 22 people said they had been forced to undergo sexual activity with someone of the opposite gender. These attempts were reported as being overwhelmingly unsuccessful, with the primary motivations given for attempting to change relating to either religious beliefs or internationalised homophobia.

The survey, the first of its kind in the UK, was designed to understand the impact of religious belief on people’s understanding and acceptance of their sexual orientation. It ran during December 2018 and attracted over 4600 responses, of which a tenth (458) stated they had personal experience of attempting to change their sexual orientation. Over half of these said they had experienced mental health issues, of whom nearly a third (91 people) said they had attempted suicide while over two-thirds (193 people) said they had had suicidal thoughts. Two in five of those who reported mental health issues indicated they had self- harmed and a quarter said they had suffered from eating disorders. Few said they had sought advice from the medical profession but instead nearly half said they had sought advice from their religious leader, who was identified as being significantly more likely than parents to be the person to advise or force attempts at sexual orientation change…

…The report is being presented at a lunchtime fringe meeting at the General Synod on February 21st 2019 ahead of the Church of England’s own presentation of its proposed “Pastoral Principles” for pastoral ministry among LGBTI+ people in the Church.

The full set of results can be downloaded here.

The survey questionnaire can be downloaded here.

The full Executive Report can be downloaded here.

Media coverage is being collated over here.

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Faith and Sexuality Survey

The Ozanne Foundation has today announced this:

The 2018 Faith & Sexuality Survey  is designed to explore the impact of religious belief on people’s understanding and development of their sexual orientation and identity.  It is as such not designed to understand in any depth people’s gender identity.

It is open to all individuals living in the UK who are over 16 and should take about 10 – 15 minutes to complete.  Please be assured that your responses will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

To take the survey go here.

The research project is being managed by the Ozanne Foundation and is  being overseen by an Advisory Board that consists of:

Dr Jamie Harrison, Chair of the House of Laity, Church of England
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism
Martin Pollecoff, Chair of UK Council of Pyschotherapists
Teddy Prout, Director of Community Services Humanists UK
Khakan Qureshi, Founder of Birmingham South Asian LGBT+ – Finding a Voice
Professor Sir Bernard Silverman, Former President of the Royal Statistical Society
Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester

The survey will run until December 31st 2018 and the results will be presented at a fringe meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England in February 2019.

The December 9th 2018 Press Release is available here.

For more information please contact survey@ozanne.foundation.

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Gender pay data for the CofE’s NCIs

The Church of England yesterday published its 2018 gender pay data for the National Church Institutions (NCIs). The accompanying press release (copied below) does not include links to the report (or to the restated 2017 report) but I have found them here:

NCIs 2017 Gender Pay Report
NCIs 2018 Gender Pay Report

The entry on the government gender pay portal is here.

Press release

Church of England National Church Institutions (NCIs) publish gender pay data for 2018

20/11/2018

The National Church Institutions (NCIs) of the Church of England published today its gender pay gap report for 2018. Based on a snapshot date of 5 April 2018, today’s report covers one common pay policy for 491 staff across the seven legal entities, and a separate performance-related policy for 31 staff in the Investments department of the Church Commissioners. The data released today does not include clergy or employees within individual dioceses.

The NCIs also restated and published today the Gender Pay data from the previous year (2017).

In 2017 original published figures had calculated the gender pay gap as the percentage of a female’s average salary whereas regulations define the measurement against male’s average salary.

This had previously resulted in the 2017 gender pay difference being overstated. The reported mean gap in 2017 was 21% (previously stated it was 27%) and the median gap was 28% (previously stated it was 41%). The restated figures are published today.

The restated figures are now available on our website and will be shortly available on the government gender pay portal.

The 2018 data shows progress is being made by the NCIs in addressing the gender pay gap and have seen signs of improvement:

  • The NCIs saw a drop of 4% in the median pay gap to 24% compared with the restated 2017 figure whilst our mean pay gap remained the same at 21%.
  • When splitting new recruits over past year into equal quartiles, 64% of those in the upper quartile were female, higher than the current NCI average of 37%
  • For new joiners, we achieved a 0% median pay gap in the mid-upper quartile and 5% in favour of females in the upper quartile

Gender Pay Gap

  • The mean salary for males is £49,202 and for females is £38,869. The difference of £10,333 equates to a 21% difference in favour of males.
  • The median salary for males is £43,316 and for females is £32,711. The difference of £10,605 equates to a 24% difference in favour of males.

Quartile Representation

  • 56% of NCIs current workforce is female
  • 64% of new joiners within the upper quartile were female, this is higher than our current female representation of 37%
  • We continue to see a large proportion of females in the lower and mid-lower quartiles compared to the UK average, this subsequently impacts on the average pay for females being lower than males
  • For new joiners, we achieved a 0% median pay gap in the mid-upper quartile and 5% in favour of females in the upper quartile

Commenting on the findings, Carole Harden, Interim Director of People and Change for the National Church Institutions said:

“This year’s results are encouraging as we continue to review pay structures, addressing any imbalances and barriers to females and opportunities for advancement within the NCIs. We are committed to improving this further as we focus on reducing the difference in pay between men and women in more highly paid roles, and improving the ratio of men to women in the most senior and most junior roles.”

Notes to Editors

The NCIs are separate legal entities, but they are a common employer under a statutory partnership. The present arrangements were established under the National Institutions Measure 1998.

The seven NCIs are:

  • The Archbishops’ Council
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury (in his Corporate Capacity)
  • The Archbishop of York (in his Corporate Capacity)
  • The Church Commissioners for England
  • Church of England Central Services*
  • The Church of England Pensions Board
  • The National Society (Church of England) for Promoting Religious Education

The majority of NCI staff are based at Church House in Westminster, Lambeth Palace, the Church of England Record Centre in Bermondsey, and Bishopthorpe Palace near York.

* This covers support functions including HR, Finance & Resources, IT, Legal, Communications, and the Record Centre.

3 Comments

Statistics for Mission 2017

Updated Thursday to add press reports

The Church of England has published its Statistics for Mission 2017 today. The report can be downloaded here.

Also published today is a report on the Church of England’s digital reach: A year in numbers: 2018 digital report.

In addition there is a press release which is copied below.

Press reports

Madeleine Davies Church Times Could the Christmas effect boost attendance through the year, Bishop asks

Christian Today Mixed picture for CofE in latest attendance figures

Mike Wright The Telegraph Church of England sees regular attendance rise but churchgoers struggle to make traditional Sunday services

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Attendance at Church of England’s Sunday services falls again

Church of England press release

Christmas attendance at highest level for more than a decade

14/11/2018

Attendance at Christmas services in the Church of England is at its highest level for more than a decade, according to new figures published today.

The latest annual Statistics for Mission report shows that while traditional Sunday attendance edged lower in 2017, in line with long-term trends, the numbers attending Christmas services increased by 3.4 per cent to 2.68 million.

It was the fourth successive rise in Christmas congregations since 2013 and the highest figure since 2006. Combined with figures for special services in churches during Advent, including carol services, there were nearly eight million attendances over the festive season.

The Statistics for Mission 2017 were published as #FollowTheStar, the Church of England’s campaign to encourage people to attend Advent and Christmas services this year, was launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Meanwhile separate figures also published today show that the Church of England more than doubled its monthly reach on social media – from 1.2 million in 2017 to 2.44 million this year.

(more…)

15 Comments

CofE Statistics for Mission 2017 – Social Action

The Church of England collected figures on the extent of social action by its churches were collected as part of the annual Statistics for Mission 2017 survey, and these have been published today.

The findings can be downloaded here, and there’s a press release which starts:

Full extent of Church of England work to support local communities revealed

More than 33,000 social action projects – from food banks to debt counselling – are run or supported by churches, according to figures setting out for the first time the full scale of the Church of England’s service to communities.

The findings – which amount to the largest survey to date of the extent of the Church of England’s work with some of the most vulnerable in society – show that 80 per cent of congregations are involved in one or more forms of social action…

The full Statistics for Mission 2017 report will be available soon.

Press report

Christian Today Survey shows massive engagement in social outreach by CofE churches

3 Comments

Cathedral Statistics 2017

Updated Thursday to add some press reports

The Church of England has released its Cathedral Statistics for 2017 today, along with a lengthy press release, copied below. The full report can be downloaded here.

Press reports

Adam Becket Church Times Cathedral attendance rose by three per cent last Christmas
Mike Wright The Telegraph Christmas Cathedral congregation numbers swell thanks to spiritually inquisitive, festival-going millennials
Christian Today England’s cathedrals continue to enjoy a strong turnout for Christmas services

Press release

Record numbers attend cathedrals at Christmas

Attendance at Christmas services in England’s cathedrals has broken records for the second year running, statistics published today show.

A total of 135,000 people came to Church of England cathedrals to worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 2017 – an increase of three per cent on the previous year, and the highest total since records began.

Attendances at Sunday worship in cathedrals throughout the year also continued to hold steady over a five-year period, while average weekday attendances continued their pattern of increase, with just over 18,000 attending in 2017, compared with 7,000 in 2000 when this data was first recorded. Over 10 years, the total number attending all regular services in cathedrals has increased by 10 per cent.

(more…)

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Church of England numbers

The British Social Attitudes survey has today released a summary of some figures from its latest survey:

Church of England numbers at record low

The most recent British Social Attitudes survey reveals that the number of Brits who identify as Church of England has more than halved in the last fifteen years.

The proportion of Brits who describe themselves as ‘belonging to the Church of England’ is at a record low, halving in the last fifteen years, with the sharpest decline among 45 to 54 year olds.

The most recent British Social Attitudes survey reveals that the number of Brits who identify as Church of England has more than halved since 2002, falling from 31% to 14%.The sharpest decline happened among 45 to 54 year olds (35% in 2002 vs 11% in 2017). The proportion of people who describe themselves as Roman Catholic (8%), belonging to ‘other Christian affiliations’ (10%) and ‘of non-Christian faiths’ (8%) have remained fairly stable. 52% of people now say they have no religion, compared with 41% in 2002. Men are more inclined to say they follow no religion than women (57% compared with 48%)…

This has attracted the attention of the press.

Tim Wyatt Church Times British Social Attitudes finds ‘C of E’ respondents halved in 15 years

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church in crisis as only 2% of young adults identify as C of E

Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Fears for Church of England’s future as people no longer turn to God in old age

Christian Today CofE facing ‘unrelenting decline’ as number of Brits identifying as Anglican halves in 15 years

There is also this press release from the Church of England.

British Social Attitudes survey

Dave Male, the Church of England’s director of Evangelism and Discipleship, has commented on the latest figures from the British Social Attitudes survey, showing a fall in the number of people self-identifying as Anglican.

He said: “The headline figure here only gives us part of the picture.

“It has been clear for some time that we have moved from an era of people automatically, and perhaps unthinkingly, classifying themselves as Church of England or Anglican to one in which identifying with a faith is an active choice.

“We also know from research that people, particularly younger people, are less aware of denominations.

“Yet Research, especially amongst young people, shows an increase in willingness to engage in faith.

“Our experience is that people – of all ages – haven’t stopped searching for meaning and answers in their life.

“Ultimately the Church exists to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

“That was never meant to be easy and that work goes on whatever the figures may say.”

30 Comments

Ministry Statistics 2017

Updated Tuesday to add Church Times report

The Church of England has today issued its Ministry Statistics 2017 and a report on vocations. There is an accompanying press release, Growing numbers of young people train as priests, which starts:

Growing numbers of young people are seeking ordination to the priesthood, as the Church of England makes progress towards achieving a key target of recruiting more candidates for ordained ministry, according to new figures published today.

The number of people aged under 32 years old recommended for training for ordination this year rose by nearly a third, or 32%, to 169, compared to 128 in 2016, a report on vocations from the Church of England shows. This means nearly one in three, or 29%, of those entering training for the priesthood this year are expected to be under 32 years old.

The overall number of people recommended for ordination training is up 7% on last year, from 541 to 580. This follows a 14% increase the year before, putting the Church on course to achieving a key target of recruiting 50% more candidates for ordination by 2020.

The figures have been published alongside Ministry Statistics for 2017 showing just over 20,000 active clergy in the Church of England, with women making up nearly a third, or 30% of the total. But the number of clergy in paid positions in 2017 fell by 50 from 7,790 to 7,740 compared to 2016.

Nearly a quarter, or 23% of paid clergy in senior posts, such as Bishops, Cathedral Deans or Archdeacons were women in 2017, compared to 12% in 2012.

Meanwhile the vocations report shows that women are set to be the majority entering ordination training for the second year running, with 54% of this year’s recommended candidates being female.

Press reports

Harriet Sherwood The Observer Young people hear the call to rejuvenate ageing priesthood

Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Rising numbers of women opt for priesthood as a second career

Madeleine Davies Church Times Ministry vocations rise again, though overall figures remain sobering

19 Comments