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/ 15 June 2017

Number of trainee priests in London on the rise, following national trend

Ordinations at St Paul's Cathedral

The number of London priests in training has nearly doubled since 2011, as today the Church of England has reported a national rise in those coming forward for ordination. Sixty are in training in London in 2017 compared to thirty-six in 2011, with around half aged under 40.

The Acting Bishop of London, Bishop Pete Broadbent, said:

“The Church of England nationally has made a commitment to increase the number of men and women starting ordained ministry by 50%. I’m pleased that the Diocese of London is playing its part in this – there’s still more to be done, but look out for new dog collars coming to a community near you!”

The numbers of London ordinands — people in training for ordination — starting since 2011 are:

  • 2017: 60 (forecast)
  • 2016: 57
  • 2015: 49
  • 2014: 48
  • 2013: 51
  • 2012: 53
  • 2011: 36

Across the rest of the country, a 14% increase in numbers training for the priesthood has been welcomed by the Church of England. An anticipated total of 543 men and women will begin studies this Autumn at colleges across England.

An increase of 17% in women coming forward nationally for ordination was welcomed by Catherine Nancekievill, Head of Vocation for the Church of England:

“The Church’s aim is to reflect our diversity in the priesthood and whilst we have a long way to go in achieving this, I am delighted that increasing numbers of women now feel that a life in ordained ministry is for them. This is a big step in breaking down the stereo types, which is crucial in order to attract underrepresented groups.”

This increase comes after the launch in 2015 of Renewal and Reform, a body of work initiated by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, to breathe new life into the Church through growing lay and ordained vocations, increasing flexibility in funding of the national Church, and reducing the amount of red tape in Church regulation to enable local churches better to serve their communities.

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