We have launched a new website and this page has been archived.Find out more

[Skip to Content]

06 March 2014

Age of Ministers

Statistics from some surveys looking at the age of ministers.

Statistics from the Church of England Ministry 2012 summary report

  • the average age of full time stipendiary diocesan clergy is 52 years and 23 per cent of full-time clergy are aged 60 or over
  • 65 per cent are aged between 40 and 59 years
  • 12 per cent are under 40
  • the average age of a self-supporting diocesan clergy is 60 years
  • out of a total of 3113 self-supporting ministers only 72 are aged under 40
  • 59 per cent of licensed readers are aged 60 or over
  • 2 per cent of licensed readers are under 40
  • the number of young people recommended for ordination training has increased, 22 per cent were under 30 in 2012  the figure was 15 per cent in 2002 and 2007.

Age of Church Ministers From the 2012 London Church Census by denomination

  • Anglican 54 years
  • Baptist 52 years
  • Roman Catholic 58 years
  • independent 56 years
  • Methodist 57 Years
  • new churches 52 years
  • Orthodox 62 years
  • Pentecostal 55 years
  • URC 58 years
  • smaller churches 51 years
Source Capital Growth Peter Brierley ADBC Publishers 2013

Statistics from the Life in Ministry survey by the Baptist Ministers Fellowship 2009

  • 34.9 per cent of respondents were aged between 55 years and 65 years
  • 3.1 per cent of respondents were aged between 23 years and 34 years
  • The majority were in the 45+ age range

Statistics from the 2005 English Church Census

  • Average of minister is 54
  • Average age of churchgoer is 55
  • Greater proportion of female ministers in their 50’s than men but proportionally less women in the other age groups
  • 40% of ministers in 30’s are leading churches that growing. For the 40’s age group the figure is 36% in charge of growing churches. For leaders aged 50+ 33% are leading growing churches
  • The smaller the church the older the minister is likely to be with the average age of minister in a church with less than 11 people being 57 years, whilst for a church of 100-150 people the average age of the senior leader was 52
  • 25% of ministers under 40 were leading churches that had seen very fast growth between 1998 and 2005 whereas the figure for ministers over 60 was 17% leading a fast growing church.
  • Younger leaders are more likely to be in charge of city centre churches; older ministers are more likely to lead churches I rural areas
  • 54% of ministers in their 30’s and 40’s lead churches that offer regular midweek youth activities
  • 33% of ministers aged 60+ lead churches that offer regular midweek youth activities
  • 45% of young people attending midweek activities regularly attend Sunday services