Church of England Resumes Normal Service

Great news for statisticians! The Church of England has decided to resume publication of Church Statistics in something like its traditional form. This was discontinued in 2006 following the appearance of the edition for 2004/05, and in favour of what hitherto has not been a wholly satisfactory web-based substitute (although enhancements are in hand).

Church Statistics, 2009/10, prepared by the Research and Statistics Department of the Archbishops’ Council, was published on 29 September 2011 as a 67-page booklet (ISBN 978-0-9564659-2-4). This can either be ordered in print from Church House Bookshop (price £6.99) or downloaded for free at:

It mostly derives from two sources of data: parochial attendance and membership statistics for 2009; and parochial finance statistics for 2009 and numbers of licensed ministers for 2010. The former have already been partly released in provisional form on 3 February and covered by BRIN the next day, so recapitulation of the headlines is unnecessary here. See our previous post at:

The financial and ministerial statistics are now published for the first time. There was a net decline of 72 in the number of licensed clergy (including part-time and self-supporting ministry), and of 129 in full-time stipendiary clergy alone. There were 8,135 of the latter in 2010 (21% of them women), compared with 15,391 in 1961 and 23,670 in 1901, prompting a headline in today’s The Times of ‘Vicar shortage may leave Church “little more than a sect”’. Moreover, the mean age of all stipendiary diocesan clergy was 52, with 22% aged 60 and over. 97% of them in 2010 were white.

The financial data reveal that the 2008 ‘credit crunch’ had an adverse impact on parochial income in 2009, which dropped by 4%, from £925 million to £889 million. However, the decrease was mainly in restricted income and one-off donations, tax-efficient planned giving actually rising modestly and topping an average of £10 per subscriber a week for the first time (the figure was £0.32 when initially recorded in 1964). Nor were Anglican parishes as hard hit as many other charities. Total parochial expenditure in 2009 was £886 million, of which £699 million was recurring and £187 million for capital.

British Religion in Numbers: All the material published on this website is subject to copyright. We explain further here.

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