CofE welcomes rise in numbers training to be priests

Thu 15 Jun 2017
By Marcus Jones

The Church of England says it's seeing an increase of 14 per cent in the numbers training for the priesthood.

It says an anticipated total of 543 men and women will begin studies this Autumn at colleges across England.

Welcoming the increase the Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, said: "I am delighted at both the number and the range of those whom God has been calling into ordained ministry over the course of the past year.

"Here are men and women who are choosing to put their faith on the line, so as to bring hope and spiritual nourishment to individuals and communities alike.

"In an increasingly uncertain world, nothing could be a greater privilege than walking alongside people in their joys and sorrows, from birth to grave."

The number of women coming forward for ordination has increase by 17 per cent while the numbers under the age of 32 are up 25 per cent.

Catherine Nancekievill, Head of Vocation for the Church of England: "The Church takes seriously the signs that God is calling Millennials to consider careers that offer the opportunity to work for the common good.

"We now have an officer working to raise awareness of what training for ministry can offer to young people. Our popular scheme which offers on the job ministry experience is to undergo substantial growth this year."

The increase in numbers come after a concerted effort by the Church to make the role attractive to Christians.

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