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Ministry Division announces 400 stipendiary curacy posts for 2022

19 November 2021

Sam Cavender

Ordinands in the Chapter House, Bristol Cathedral, before their ordination to the diaconate on 4 July

Ordinands in the Chapter House, Bristol Cathedral, before their ordination to the diaconate on 4 July

FOUR hundred stipendiary curacy posts are to be made available to the estimated 500 ordinands expected to leave training in 2022, the Ministry Division of the Church of England has announced. The remaining posts will be unfunded, for self-supporting clergy.

Of the 400 full- and part-time stipendiary posts available, 290 are to be fully funded by the dioceses; the Strategic Ministry Fund (SMF), administered by the Strategic Ministry Board, is to support 110 posts.

About 390 ordinands are expected to take up paid curacies next year, which leaves ten paid-for posts “to allow for flexibility”, a spokeswoman for Church House confirmed. A figure for the number of ordinands expected to take up self-supporting posts in 2022 has not yet been confirmed, but could be anything up to 100 posts, as 501 candidates were recommended for training in 2021.

In 2020, 590 people were recommended for ordination training (15 per cent more than this year), of whom 560 were expected to complete their training this year, and for which the Ministry Division announced that 300 posts would be funded by the dioceses, and 110 supported by the SMF; again, the remaining 150 posts were for self-supporting clergy (News, 17 July 2020).

Of the 501 people recommended for ordination training in 2021, 11.4 per cent were people of UK minority-ethnic heritage, up from 10.9 per cent last year; more than half (54 per cent) were female, the same as last year. About one quarter (26 per cent) were aged under 32, compared with 24 per cent last year. Members of this group are expected to complete their training in 2022 or 2023, but not all will do so.

The Head of Vocations at the Ministry Division, the Revd Helen Fraser, said that, despite the drop in the number of people being recommended for ordination training, the figures were still a huge achievement during another pandemic year. “I am really grateful for the work of the diocesan directors of ordinands and the vocational advisers across the dioceses and our parish churches. . . These outcomes, in an incredibly difficult year, are a testament to their hard work, prayers, and support.”

The figures were released in response to a question in the General Synod this week from the Revd Sam Maginnis, who is serving his title in Chelmsford diocese. He asked the Archbishops about the age profile of BAP (Bishops’ Advisory Panel) candidates in 2022.

The Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, who chairs the Ministry Council, said in a written answer that growth and diversity was a priority for the Church, and that the SMF had, in October, agreed to fund an extra 20 posts, bringing the total to 110.

He said in a separate statement: “Stipendiary ministry remains core to the work of the Church of England and our Vision and Strategy for the future. Once again, we are confident that, in spite of the difficulties caused by the pandemic, there is capacity to ensure that those people who are offering themselves for stipendiary ordained ministry will be able to serve their curacy in a paid post.”

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