I - Vocations to the ministry
The Church ordained 478 new clergy in 2006, a drop from the 505 ordained in 2005.
For the first time, more women (244) than men (234) were ordained in 2006, though the majority of these were ordained to non-stipendiary ministry. Of those ordained to full-time, stipendiary ministry, 128 were men and 95 were women.
The Church recommended 594 future clergy for training in 2005 - the greatest number for more than a decade, maintaining the upward trend since the mid-‘90s.
At the end of 2006, there were 20,354 ministers licensed by Church of England dioceses, including clergy, readers and Church Army officers - one minister for every 2,500 people in England.
The total does not include some 1,600 chaplains to prisons, hospitals, the armed forces and in education, nor around 6,600 retired ministers with permission to officiate.
II - Attendance
Adult baptisms increased by 12 per cent since 2001. Child baptisms increased by 9 per cent. The decline in infant baptisms continued.
- Average Sunday attendance fell by two per cent to 988,000.
- Average weekly attendance fell by one per cent to 1,169,000.
- Average monthly attendance fell by one per cent to 1,694,000.
- The average number of children and young people at services weekly fell by one per cent to 231,000.
- The traditional ‘usual Sunday attendance’ measure fell by three per cent to 881,000.
The number of marriages conducted in Church of England parish churches rose slightly to at 57,200.
The number of funerals conducted by the Church of England continues to decline.
Attendance on Christmas Day/ Eve increased dramatically. In contrast, there was a sudden dip in Easter observance to 1,417,800.
III - Increased giving in 2005
Average weekly giving by Church of England parishioners increased to £5.08 in 2005.
Average giving to the church is around three per cent of average incomes.
Church members continue to give generously to charitable causes compared with the population at large.