Women clergy now make up 15 per cent of Anglican clerics

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Women vicars comprised 15 per cent of the parochial-incumbent status clergy of the Church of England at the close of 2007, the Second Church Estates Commissioner told Parliament last week. “

At the end of 1997, six per cent of parochial-incumbent status clergy — or 426 overall — were women, whereas in 2007, 15 per cent, or 974, were women,” Sir Stuart Bell said on Oct 15. However, the number of full-time parochial clergy had also fallen over the past 10 years, from 7,471 at the end of 1997 to 6,450 on Dec 31, 2007.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchWomen

5 Comments
Posted October 28, 2009 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Simon Sarmiento wrote:

This headline is misleading. The statistics quoted refer only to incumbents, cf. rectors in TEC.

The proportion of CofE clergy overall who are female is much higher than that, about 25%. And the proportion of those who are currently in training is around 50%.

October 28, 8:33 am | [comment link]
2. TridentineVirginian wrote:

And yet the membership numbers continue to plummet. Wasn’t WO supposed to solve that?

October 28, 11:52 am | [comment link]
3. Jools wrote:

#2 - I’m curious as to your definition of ‘continue to plummet’?
http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/statistics/2007provisionalattendance.pdf
http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/statistics/cathedralattendances1995to2007.pdf

October 28, 12:29 pm | [comment link]
4. TridentineVirginian wrote:

#3 My comment was provoked by recently reading this which I know is the TEC and not CofE, however I believe the same declining membership is observed in the CofE, for largely the same reason. But also [url=http://www.churchmodel.org.uk/LongDecline.html]here[/here], plus the many, many statements in the press over the last few years about the precipitous drop in CofE membership, church attendance etc. - about 50% over the period 1979 - 1998 (and all those statements about how now more Catholics go to Mass on Sundays in England than Anglicans, more Muslims go to their worship than Anglicans, etc.).

The documents you show have a very limited time scope (the past few years in most cases) and there the only increases shown are people attending cathedral services, which isn’t really any indicator of the growth of the faith at all. Looking over 20 and more years, it’s obvious there has been a massive crash in church membership and pertinent to my point, WO hasn’t done anything about that. And that is one of the things WO proponents sold the concept on, that womens’ perspectives in the pulpit and so forth would connect with the people of today and fill the pews again, unlike those out of touch traditionalists. That certainly did not happen. And why should it? When a church does nothing but preach the zeitgeist, there’s really no reason to go worship, and WO is nothing but an integral part of the zeitgeist.

October 28, 3:44 pm | [comment link]
5. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Thanks for the clarification, Simon (#1).  The CEN title is also misleading in that it only refers to the CoE, not Anglicans in general.

David Handy+

October 28, 3:49 pm | [comment link]
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