(London) Times: Church of England set to lose a tenth of its clergy in five years

The Church of England is facing the loss of as many as one in ten paid clergy in the next five years and internal documents seen by The Times admit that the traditional model of a vicar in every parish is over.

The credit crunch and a pension funding crisis have left dioceses facing massive restructuring programmes. Church statistics show that between 2000 and 2013 stipendiary or paid clergy numbers will have fallen by nearly a quarter.

According to figures on the Church of England website, there will be an 8.3 per cent decrease in paid clergy in the next four years, from 8,400 this year to 7,700 in to 2013. This represents a 22.5 per cent decrease since 2000.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

6 comments on “(London) Times: Church of England set to lose a tenth of its clergy in five years

  1. loyal opposition says:

    I wish there were a study by TEC detailing job losses to date and those projected for the future. In this diocese there is a serious problem with unemployed clergy. I think that traditionalist male priests married to women are getting the short shrift, but things aren’t easy for any demographic. I’m sure that there are GLBT, etc. folks looking for work, too. I would love to see some of the tired clergy retire and make room for newer blood, but those folks are worried about their financial security, too. Anyway, I’d bet this is the same story in 90% of TEC dioceses.

  2. A Senior Priest says:

    Oh great. Just when the papers have revealed that the mostly useless bishops (as they are almost everywhere in the Anglican world) are costing millions of pounds more than anyone thought.

  3. rugbyplayingpriest says:

    I wonder if there is a relationship between growth and obedience to the Gospel….

  4. torculus says:

    Wait,… I thought having married clergy meant that there would never be a shortage of the same.

  5. Boring Bloke says:

    About one in sixty people worships with the Church of England on an average Sunday. This is projected to drop to less than one in 600 by 2050. The average age of a British Anglican worshipper was 37 in 1980, but is expected to rise to 67 by 2050.

    I wonder if whoever came up with this projection noticed that there are certain portions of the Church of England, theological schools of thought, which are decaying and ageing and others which are young, vibrant, and growing or at least holding steady. Once the dead wood is taken away, the decrease will stop. Assuming that General synod doesn’t succeed in driving out the C of E’s most faithful congregations, as it currently seems to have it in its heart to do.

  6. Simon Icke says:

    The Great Commission and the current state of the Anglican Church in England.

    Matthew 28 v 19…”Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Isaiah 61 V 1 ‘ The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners’ (the blind)

    In response to this week’s news that the Church of England might have to lose one in ten clergy to save money…for what its worth these are my thoughts on the matter…

    Maybe if the Archbishops, Bishops and clergy got on with the job of preaching the gospel in all its fullness; fulfilling the great commission as laid down by Jesus to go and preach the gospel to the poor, the broken-hearted and the lost in Matthew 28 and Isaiah 61, instead of navel gazing, being politically correct and trying to jump on the secular bandwagon and false ‘new religion’, of saving the planet from climate change. Then the Anglican Church might be more relevant to our broken nation where this country is crying out for spiritual leadership. Instead it sees ‘wishy washy’ Anglicans Archbishops and Bishops wringing their hands at the chaos and spiritual mess this nation is in. (others have their heads buried in the sand or go missing if their is a controversial vote in the House of Lords i.e. SORs Jan 2007).

    There are many exceptions of course; indeed the Anglican Church I attend could be described as ‘Evangelical Charismatic’, which basically means it believes in the Scriptures and preaches the ‘word’ without trying to water it down to be acceptable to trendy liberals. It also has modern up-to-date worship; that people of all ages really enjoy. So the three meetings they hold every Sunday, starting with traditional communion for mostly older people including a good mix of ancient and modern hymns, to the informal family service a little later, then the evening meeting aimed at committed Christians offering sound bible teaching, open prayer and praise in the evening. Result three services all well attended of both different people and ‘overlapping’ people, (I think some people attend all three services). The modern building offers comfortable seating and modern toilet facilities and other heated modern rooms. Because of expected growth the building will have to be extended very soon. Now if only more Anglican churches/ parishes could follow this example, there wouldn’t be talk of reducing the number of clergy there would be a real need to expand and no shortage of funds to do so.

    Through very poor leadership and too much navel gazing for the last 50 years, not only does the ‘English’ Anglican church find itself in a mess but the whole nation is spiritually lost and broken, no wonder the bullish German Pope is trying to take advantage of the obvious leadership weakness, not to mention the ever expanding ‘Islamification’ of the nation.

    The dead wood of the tree needs to be pruned hard, starting with the weak and perhaps almost useless branches at the top of the tree and to cut away other ‘suckers and weeds’, that deliberately try and weaken the tree, as they have their own agenda, which certainly doesn’t seem to be preaching the gospel or saving the nation. It seems some are just using the church for their little self- indulgent power and prestige or trying to return the nation and the church back into what they see as its Roman Catholic origins (which when one considers what is happening in Ireland at the moment is about as realistic as Eastern Germany becoming communist again!).

    Yes, we need to prune the Anglican Church ‘tree’ back hard but save the healthy branches that are bearing much fruit and have the courage to cut off the diseased dead wood starting from the top, then not only will the Anglican church be saved but the whole British nation might be saved and returned to the strong Protestant Church of England and Christian faith that Elizabeth 1st intended and so courageously defended against those that threatened it; both from foreign invaders and from within; indeed our great queen Elizabeth 2nd has also tried to do the same (God Bless her) unfortunately her lead has not been followed by a continuous stream of liberal ‘people pleasing’, (the establishment and the chattering classes) Archbishops and Bishops for nearly sixty years of her reign, who if tried in a ‘Christian court’ would be found guilty of NOT defending the Anglican Church, the Christian faith and 500 years of Christian heritage in Britain!