FIVE hundred and sixty title posts, most of them stipendiary, will be available to match the number of ordinands due to emerge in 2021 from ministerial training.
About 300 of these posts will be funded by dioceses, while another 110 will be financed by the Strategic Ministry Fund, despite the harm done by the coronavirus pandemic to the Church of England’s finances. The remaining 150 posts will be for self-supporting clergy.
The news was published in response to questions raised at the online informal General Synod on Saturday about stipendiary posts for clergy and the impact of the pandemic, and also how much was spent in the last year on clergy training, including for lay ministers.
The Strategic Ministry Fund was launched in 2019 to help dioceses to fund additional curates, as part of the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme to bring more candidates forward for ordination. The mission statistics from last year showed that, although 51 per cent of those ordained deacon in 2019 were women, only 7.8 per cent were from black, Asian, or minority-ethnic (BAME) backgrounds (News, 17 June).
The Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, who chairs the Ministry Council, said: “At a time when many are fearful about the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and jobs, I am really pleased that we can give assurances that the number of stipendiary curacy posts being offered in 2021 matches the number of people due to be ordained next summer.
“I thank God for the hard work, prayers, and generosity of our parishes and dioceses; this announcement is a reflection of their commitment to ensure that vocations to ordained ministry continue to flourish.”