Ordained Ministry Statistics for the Church of England

Ordained Ministry Statistics for the Church of England


All ordained ministers (nearly 20,000 in total)

  • A third (33%) of those in ordained ministry in 2020 were female, which has continued the gradual increase in the proportion of women (28% in 2016).
  • The average (mean) age in 2020 of stipendiary clergy was 52.5 years; self supporting ordained ministers (including ordained local ministers) were aged, on average, 62.3 years; and those with Permission to Officiate (PTO) were on average 74.9 years old.
  • The total number of stipendiary clergy dropped slightly during 2020.
  • Women made up 32% of stipendiary ministers in 2020, which has increased gradually from 28% in 2016.
  • Over a quarter (27%) of stipendiary clergy in senior posts (including Archbishop, Diocesan or Suffragan Bishop, Cathedral Dean, other Cathedral clergy such as residentiary canons and Archdeacon) in 2020 were female, an increase from 21% in 2016.
  • In 2020, as in recent previous years, 91% of stipendiary clergy were full time and 94% of stipendiary clergy worked in parochial roles.

Ordinations in 2020 (570 in total)

  • In 2020 more females (55%, up from 51% in 2019) were ordained than males (45%).
  • The average (mean) age at ordination to deacon in 2020 was 45.9 years – higher for females (48.6 years) and lower for males (42.3 years).
  • In 2020, 57% of ordinations were to stipendiary posts, a drop on the previous 4 years.
  • For stipendiary ordinations, the average age in 2020 was 40.3 years, whilst for self supporting ordinations it was 54.8 years, similar to the last few years for stipendiary ordinations, but a slight decrease in age for self supporting ordinations.

• 8.9% of stipendiary clergy ordained in 2020 were from a UK Minority Ethnic (UKME) background

Ordinands beginning training in 2020 (580 in total).

  • In 2020, as in the previous 2 years, more females than males began training (54% females, 46% males).
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of all ordinands beginning their training in 2020 were aged under 32, and nearly two fifths (39%) were aged under 40.
  • The average age at the beginning of training in 2020 was 42.9 years; this has ranged between 41 and 43 over the previous 5 years.
  • Those training with the intention of stipendiary ministry made up nearly three quarters (72%) of all ordinands beginning training in 2020, similar to the 73% in 2019.
  • The increase in ordinands between 2019 and 2020 was found in both those training for stipendiary and self supporting ministries.
  • 10.9% of ordinands beginning training in 2020 identified themselves as from UK Minority Ethnic (UKME) backgrounds, which is higher than the proportion found in the current pool of stipendiary clergy (4.1% identifying as UKME, though note the proportion of missing data is much higher for this group).


All figures taken from the 2021 Church of England Research Statistics page 3.