The Church of England has confirmed that 400 stipendiary curacy posts – both full and part time –will be available for ordinands expecting to take up stipendiary title posts from 2022 after leaving theological training.
Of these, 290 posts are fully funded by the dioceses while the Strategic Ministry Fund (SMF), administered by the Strategic Ministry Board, will support an additional 110 posts.
The SMF was set up in 2019 to help ensure that dioceses are able to support additional curate numbers as part of the drive to increase the number of candidates for ordained ministry.
The Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Martin Seeley, who is Chair of the Ministry Council, said: “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.”
The announcement of the funding for stipendiary posts comes after new figures were released showing that 501 people were recommended for training for ordained ministry this year.
Of these, 11.4% are people of UKME heritage, up from 10.9% last year, while once again, 54% are female.
A growing number are young, with 26% of all recommended candidates aged under 32, up from 24% last year.
Revd Helen Fraser, Head of Vocations for the Church of England, said the numbers recommended represented an ‘extraordinary achievement’ by the parishes and dioceses of the Church of England during a year that was affected by the pandemic.
“I am really grateful for the work of the Diocesan Directors of Ordinands and the vocational advisers across the dioceses and our parish churches. I want to thank them for their extraordinary work in supporting men and women considering their vocations to ordained ministry in the service of the wider church. These outcomes, in an incredibly difficult year, are a testament to their hard work, prayers and support.”