29 September 2011
Parish giving holds up; younger vocations
The Church of England has today published its latest information
about parish income and expenditure and trends in ministry numbers
in Church Statistics 2009/10. The attendance statistics included
were published in February 2011.
This year's financial statistics show that the 2008 credit
crunch began to affect church income in 2009, though not in terms
of parish giving nor as hard as many charities.
Despite the difficult economic times, parishioners'
tax-efficient planned giving continued to increase in 2009, topping
an average of £10 a week (£10.06p) for the first time. The total
income of parishes dropped to £889 million, mainly due to a fall in
restricted income from £204 million to £176 million and a fall in
one-off donations. Restricted income is monies given for specific
purposes designated by the donor. Unrestricted voluntary income,
mainly the regular and plate giving in churches plus the tax
recovered through Gift Aid, rose from almost £505 million to more
than £511 million. At the same time, total parish expenditure rose
to £886 million, with nearly £49 million of this being donations
made by parishes to external charities.
Dr John Preston, the Church's National Stewardship and Resources
"Whilst figures for giving to the wider charity
section showed a dip following the credit crunch, giving to
parishes in 2009 saw a further increase, albeit a small one; a
sign of the high level of commitment that so many have
to supporting the mission and ministry of their local parish
church. Gift Aid reclaimed on donations also reached a new
Another 515 candidates were accepted to train as future clergy
in 2010, with those aged 20-29 showing a 45 per cent increase from
74 to 108. In total, 563 new clergy were ordained in 2010. Of
those, 284 were entering full-time paid ministry.
Revd Preb Lynda Barley, Head of Research & Statistics for
the Archbishops' Council, comments: "It is encouraging that the
Church is responding confidently to the challenge that the changing
age profile of our nation brings, with one in five future clergy
entering training being under 30 years of age."
While the numbers of people being training for ordination
remained buoyant across 2009, the number of retirements also
remained high. Taking retirements and other losses into account,
there was a net loss of 129 full-time paid clergy. The total number
of licensed clergy (including part-time and self supporting
ministers whose numbers increased) was down by 72.
At the end of 2010, there were some 29,000 licensed and
authorised ministers, ordained and lay, active across the 13,000
parishes and a growing variety of chaplaincies (in local
communities, hospitals, education, prisons and the armed forces) in
the Church of England.
The latest statistics have been added to the Church of England
attendance statistics published in February, at