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Women clergy now make up 15 per cent of Anglican clerics: The Church of England Newspaper, October 27, 2009, p October 27, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Women Priests.
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Anne McIntosh MP

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.

The member for the Vale of York, Miss Anne McIntosh (Con) asked Sir Stuart what the Church of England would do to arrest this decline and “increase the number of parish priests, particularly in rural areas.”

“Because the number of priests has fallen, the size and number of parishes that they are being asked to look after has risen. That is putting huge pressure on them, and is obviously quite stressful,” Miss McIntosh said.

Sir Stuart responded that the Church of England was “keen for stipends to be flexible enough to allow it to put clergy where they can best be deployed, consistent with preventing their mobility from being impeded.” He added that the number of ordinands had also risen to 552 in 2007, “the highest number since 2000.”

The Church of England welcomed the “upward trend” but “owing to deaths and retirements the number of stipendiary clergy is falling overall,” he said. The Church recognised that the amalgamation of parishes, particularly in rural areas had increased the “work load of priests,” Sir Stuart said, “but how we deal with it shall have to be discussed with the Archbishops’ Council.”