Thinking Anglicans

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
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
4 Comment threads
25 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
Fr. Dean HenleyStanley MonkhouseDavid EmmottIan PaulFrDavid H Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Interesting figures. In this deanery of six stipendiary posts, one is already vacant and two more will be vacant by the end of November. Nine churches will be without a resident priest. Two of the three are in groups of three churches each, in leafy, prosperous Tory areas with decent schools and a wide selection of fee-paying schools nearby. Not a smidgeon of urban decay. The third post, mine, has three churches, two of them huge, listed and beautiful, though the population they serve is increasingly Muslim. We have urban decay, drug problems, homelessness, the occasional murder and allegedly child… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

A talented male friend of mine from the North applied for a leafy parish is South Buckinghamshire. He brought a great deal of enthusiasm to the interview. Sadly he was turned down in favour of a lady whose main ambition was to acquire the job because it would make her husband’s commute to the City easier. It’s odd how God calls people to ministry in order to make their lives easier. My friend remains in the North in a Diocese where there’s a dearth of clergy. I don’t understand why God prefers his servants to avoid ‘difficult’ areas.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

A common enough story, I gather, FrDavidH. I want nothing to do with that God – and doubtless s/he will want nothing to do with me. Such a relief.

Nick
Guest
Nick

What judgemental nonsense – how was the objective feedback from the panel provided to you? By the person who didn’t get the job? Maybe the husband of the successful candidate was called to work in the City! Or is being a priest the only legitimate calling?

FrDavid H
Guest
FrDavid H

You are quite right, Nick. God works in amazing ways. He called the husband to work in the City. And by sheer coincidence made available a nearby parish for his wife to shorten his commute.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Do you think God would call her to live separately from her husband? Ah, but – then again – you perhaps don’t recognise her calling anyway! 😉

FrDavid H
Guest
FrDavid H

Perhaps the lady – whose ministry I recognise – could choose a deprived inner city parish instead of opulent Bucks where clergy are plentiful. This would facilitate an even shorter commute for the husband whom God has called to the City.

Graeme Buttery
Guest
Graeme Buttery

Stanley, I recognise much of what you say. I have a very deprived parish with a very large church and a not very large congregation. In the years I have been in the diocese, the number of stipendiary posts has gone down by two thirds (31 years). I do actually believe in Reform and Renewal, but have grave doubts as to the speed of things happening. it also won’t solve things by itself. And while an increase in numbers of vocations and ordinations is good, it will only be of great value if these new clergy actually do spread out… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

At the risk of appearing sycophantic, Graeme, which I’m totally not, and although we’ve never met, I’ve always had you in mind as a kind of model of priesthood. Thank you. You’re a bit younger than me, so I hope you’ll keep going in Hartlepool as long as you can. I can’t see new clergy ever “spreading out” voluntarily, and I don’t see how they could be made to. I care deeply about the welfare of people in my UPA , but beyond running homeless shelters etc, which we do at S Paul’s, I feel utterly powerless and unsupported by… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

Have you ever read ‘Geoff’ by Ron Ferguson, Stanley? I found this book deeply moving, and it seems to me to resonate with the kind of Christianity you talk about. Geoff Shaw was a Church of Scotland minister who eschewed normal ministry in a church, and chose to live ‘outside’ church buildings, alongside people in the Gorbals community in Glasgow. He found work there, and with a small group of other Christians who chose to live there, he kept open house (literally – on Friday and Saturday night drunk teens would crash out on his sofa), shared in the community’s… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Thank you. I shall look for it.

Father David
Guest

If it wasn’t for an increasing number of House for Duty posts (three currently in this Deanery – none when I moved here six years ago) the Established Church would find it difficult to function effectively. The Church Times vacancy pages are also full of adverts for similar posts.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Given the demographics, house for duty is a time-limited option rather than a strategic solution.

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Stanley Monkhouse. If someone can go through the demands of the extended discernment and training process and into a curacy only to say ‘I didn’t know it involved so many weekends’ I would shrewdly assume something else is actually going on, as I’m sure you did. I know a similar story. He should never have been ordained and lasted 18 months before he left the ministry. He was my father’s curate and the year was 1971. Perhaps people then used the story as evidence the process then was not fit for purpose. But then and now it would be a… Read more »

Tristan
Guest
Tristan

Stanley, Whilst it’s possible that the curate who forsook the curacy because of weekends lacked in foresight entirely – the post struck me, and stayed with me overnight. Let me be charitable. At no point in discernment or theological college was the reality of the six-day week, and the impact on health and family life ever discussed. Indeed, at one point it seemed that at my college, in every cohort, there was at least one divorce in the first year of the curacy. I honestly suspect that for those ordained unmarried, it takes a few years to learn to live… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Yes Tristan – but you could also be right, and I could be unduly harsh and quick to judge. As my wife will tell you I am the most patient and tolerant of men. The question of what colleges/courses prepare one for, and what curacies don’t teach but should, is enormous. Being friends with Jesus won’t sustain you for long in this malarkey, although I meet lots of new curates who think it will. At the diocesan conference last year, I asked a third year curate over breakfast what sort of ministry he was interested in. “I just want to… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Oh yes indeed. I shouldn’t say much more since the person to whom I refer might be known to you from Derby. I hope things are better now. I last attended a BAP as an observer about 8 years ago. I was shocked to hear the chair of a panel declare that a candidate was “not the sort of person we want in the Church of England”. I objected most strongly, though as a mere observer that was to no avail. The most impressive candidate that went through my hands was a mature divorcée with no formal education after mid… Read more »

Alan Davies
Guest
Alan Davies

“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.” Tell me I’m wrong, but I simply don’t get how imposing a formulaic business model on the Church of England, as if all its parishes are a monochrome franchise, is ever going to achieve growth – even the kind of growth that Welby’s functionaries imagine is possible. Where you have clergy who can think critically by reflecting on their context (a dying breed in these days of theological training divorced from universities), they… Read more »

Bernard Silverman
Guest
Bernard Silverman

The figures for ordinands entering training show a disturbing gender/age interaction. Among those under 40, there’s a clear majority for male ordinands (which becomes stronger for the younger cohorts). Among those over 40, the position is reversed. See Figure 10 on page 16. It is a pity that this aspect is not highlighted in the summary, because it needs to be. It has (at least) the following consequences and implications: 1. If this age pattern is continued, then it will be necessary to train more females than males to end up with equal numbers among serving clergy, because the younger… Read more »

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

I’m not sure that you can tell much by age distribution against gender when the landscale has been changing so rapidly. A relatively parsimonious explanation of the data would be that there are women now over 40 who, had they been men or had the attitude of the church to women been different when they were 20, would have trained then. But now they are inclined to retrain in the church, rather in the manner of men retraining as primary school teachers, because there is now more of an interest in recruiting them.

Bernard Silverman
Guest
Bernard Silverman

That would certainly be a contribution to the larger number of women in the older age cohorts. However, the predominance of male ordinands in the younger cohorts is much more worrying.

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

The linked Church Times article addresses the issue of gender/age imbalance, and links it to developing ways of working for younger women priests who wish to have children. The same issue exists in many other professions such as medicine, the armed forces etc.

Ian Paul
Guest

Bernard, thanks for highlighting this. A number of us pointed out the problem here created by Steven Croft’s RME measures, which effectively discriminate against older women entering training. It needs to be addressed.

Dean Henley
Guest
Dean Henley

I think God is letting us down badly; he seems to be calling people to work within a 20 mile radius of the Palace of Westminster but not to parishes without an underground/rail station. A friend of mine once pondered why God called people to work in the city of Cambridge but not in the Fens? Why is God only calling priests to cosy billets? Wasn’t it the Bishop of Burnley who said that God seemed to call clergy only to those parishes with artisanal bakers in their high street? With this God chap in charge of ‘calls’ there’s no… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Now, now Dean, you naughty boy. You know very well that the most demanding posts are those such as multi benefice rural-ish, where you are, the multi parish UPAs where I am, and as in Carlisle diocese, the jobs that require one person to look after 10 or more churches and be rural Dean and clean up the cow pats as they rush from village to village. God has made everything appropriate in its time. S/he has put exactly the right people in these demanding posts: bright, adaptable, clear sighted, efficient and robust. Those called to single church ministry in… Read more »

Fr. Dean Henley
Guest
Fr. Dean Henley

As is so often the case your wise words have snatched me from the jaws of a dystopian nightmare Stanley. I was envisaging a world where my alma mater Westcott House dispensed with napkins and napkin rings in favour of serviettes; where ordinands were routinely offered Mothers’ Pride; where the clergy drank instant coffee and where bishops were encouraged to take a flask and a packed lunch with them to the House of Lords. It is just as well that retirement beckons for both of us Stan!

David Emmott
Guest
David Emmott

And here’s me thinking weak instant coffee is one of the curses of the C of E. I’m an inverted snob in most things but I must insist on decent espresso. Seriously though, I think that those of us educated out of working class backgrounds into a Guardian Remain-voting stance might be more of a problem than the ‘county set’ clergy who as Frs Dean and Stanley suggest are unlikely to stray far from their comfort zone. I think (at least speaking for myself) that we might be more likely tempted to condescension and judgemental attitudes towards the majority of… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Never drink coffee myself, unless in Europe or US where tea is beyond the vilest cat piss, so all this coffee talk is magnum mysterium to me. Actually, cats are magnum mysterium too. I’m told some people like them – so do I but only if they’re under the wheel of an HGV. Can’t claim to be working class – I like gin, or did until it stopped liking me. So many avenues of pleasure closed off as one ages (as Basil Fawlty pointed out though for a different reason). Speaking of which – gin – I can’t do without… Read more »

Fr. Dean Henley
Guest
Fr. Dean Henley

Just to be clear I was only mocking myself; I have as many contradictions as the next person. I personally drink Lavazza coffee; but I don’t bother with middle class bourgeois napkins, I just flick the crumbs from my Waitrose olive bread onto the floor for the staff to deal with after I’ve retired for the evening.

Fr. Emmott I voted Remain but I prefer The Times as it has a better business section for checking my share prices.