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Church of England finds cash to fund more curates

16 August 2023

Jo Tinker

Deacons ordained in Peterborough diocese in July

Deacons ordained in Peterborough diocese in July

A GRANT of more than than £9 million has been approved to create close to 70 stipendiary curacy posts across Church of England dioceses, it was announced on Tuesday.

The funding was approved by the new Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board. The Board was formed earlier this year to replace the Strategic Investment Board, which to date has overseen the distribution of Strategic Development Fund grants, and the Strategic Ministry Board, which has recently provided funding for curacies (News, 19 November 2021).

The 12-member Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board has large sums at its disposal: for 2023-25, the Archbishops’ Council and Church Commissioners have agreed to release £390 million for “strategic mission and ministry investment”, to help to achieve the goals of Vision and Strategy. This is set to increase to a total of £1.3 billion by 2031. Most of the money will go to dioceses.

Earlier this year, the Ministry Council confirmed a target of 630 new ordained ministers a year. Numbers recommended for ordination have fallen in recent years, from 591 in 2020 — the highest for 13 years — to 510 in 2021 and 378 in 2022 (News, 27 January).

This latest funding of £9.4 million is to support 68.5 stipendiary curacy posts for deacons ordained this year. A further £8.4 million of indicative funding has been approved for additional curacies next year.

The head of vocations and deputy director of the Ministry Development Team, the Revd Helen Fraser, said: “Once again, I am delighted that dioceses will receive this support in their ongoing provision of excellent training in curacy. I am grateful to training incumbents and IME2 (second stage of initial ministerial education) officers as they nurture these new deacons in this important stage of ministry.”

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