The Church of England Today: Facts and Figures

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Wed May 9 01:01:40 EDT 2001


The Church of England Today: Facts and Figures

The Gazette

One: Vocations

The number of candidates recommended for ordained ministry has risen by
more than a third in the last five years. Today there are some 1,400
people in training (45% women) for stipendiary, non-stipendiary and
ordained local ministries. In 2000 we ordained some 491 new deacons and
priested a similar number. Of the number of deacons, some 320 are
stipendiary.

Taking into account 10,000 Readers and active retired clergy, there are
some 28,000 clergy, Readers, Licensed Ministers and others permitted to
officiate. Not all, of course, are in parochial ministry. Some 1,500
serve in various forms of chaplaincy, eg forces, schools, prisons and
hospitals.

Comment:

-   More stipendiary priests are retiring than we are ordaining -
    Only three of last year's candidates were from minority ethnic
groups -    The vast proportion of ordinands come through lively
parochial churches Two: Planned Giving

Covenanted giving has (1999 figures) passed through the £6 mark.

Comment:

-   This is the eleventh year of a steady post-inflation rise. Yet
the donor base is under 500,000 (i.e. less than the National Trust) -
    Gift Aid (for which we fought hard) could add on an extra £20m pa
-   Parishes are now taking on clergy pensions (from 1997) -    Many
parishes do not, prima facie, see the value of contributing to other
parishes -  We do not have a national campaign for legacies (residuals,
etc.) Three: Investments

Funds (including current and historical assets) invested by the Church
Commissioners and the CBF Church of England Funds (on behalf of
parishes and dioceses) stand at £6.5bn and are currently outperforming
all appropriate WM benchmarks. Distribution policy targets pre-1997
pensions and the poorer dioceses.

Comment:

-   Despite being more than a decade old, the Commissioners' debacle
is still fresh in the mind of the Church Four: Schools And Colleges

There are some 4,575 primary and 199 secondary Church of England
schools, serving 760,000 primary pupils and 146,000 secondary students.
Church of England schools educate a quarter of all primary school
children. There are also eleven Church of England Colleges of Higher
Education.

Comment:

-   It is anticipated that in July the Dearing Commission will
recommend that the Church should bring on-stream 100 new secondary
schools as a matter of urgency -    Figures do not include independent
schools registering a 'Church of England ethos' -   The National
Society has good religious resources available for all schools; e.g.
any school can download good, proven collective worship resources for
free Five: Attendance at Church

If you believe the usual Sunday attendance (uSa) figures (which are
collected more than thirty different ways using widely varying
criteria), then just under a million adults attend a Church of England
church on Sunday. Recent studies validated by the Research & Statistics
Unit of the Archbishops' Council indicate that figure may under-
represent adults going to church by between 27 and 40%.

Comment:

-   The media look on attendance as the one and only arbiter of the
Church's earthly well-being. The Church's Communicators consider this
undercounting as a major problem -  We have used uSa as a basis for
computing parish share or quota; hence the undercounting -  From this
autumn, the Church is instituting a new method of counting (Average
Weekly Attendance) which, when collated next year, should provide a
more accurate figure based on changing worship patterns, with children
included, collected uniformly during a month with no major festivals

END




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