NEW figures for the Church of England, released last Friday, show thaaverage weekly giving in 2004 hit the 5 mark for the first time, writes BilBowder. Gift Aid took the sum to 8.
There was a rise, too, in the numbers that are coming forward for training578 candidates were recommended for training, compared with 408 candidates i1994.
In 2005, the bishops ordained 267 men and 238 women, the highest numbesince 2002. Another 578 candidates were recommended for training, (comparewith 408 candidates in 1994).
In 2005, there were 20,259 ministers in all, including clergy, Readers, anChurch Army officers. There were also 6000 retired ministers with permission tofficiate, and 1600 chaplains in prisons, hospitals, education. and the armeforces.
Sunday attendance figures for 2004 were released earlier this year (News, 2January). They showed that numbers had declined slightly from 1,017,000 in 200to 1,010,000.
Despite the generosity of churchgoers, their giving fell short of thtithing proposals recommended nearly 30 years ago by the General Synod. ThSynod hoped to see parishioners giving five per cent of their disposable incomto the Church, and five per cent to charity.
Nevertheless, "achieving 5 a week is quite a milestone," said the Church'national stewardship and resources officer, John Preston.
"The five-per-cent aim was based on the Christian tradition of tithing," hsaid.
The total income for parochial church councils rose to 759 million, antotal expenditure rose to 726 million. Parishes gave 45 million to charit
The full statistics are available on < href="http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/statistics/churchstats2004/statisticscontent.htm target=" _blank"="">