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02 July 2012

Statistics on women in ministry

Percentage of women ministers by denomination


Total number of ministers

number of female ministers

% of female ministers









Independent churches




New churches




Pentecostal churches




Smaller denominations








Total churches




compiled using data from UK Church Statistics 2005-2015 by Peter Brierley

More women than men

Official figures from the Church of England show that in 2010, for the first time ever more women than men were ordained into the priesthhood; there were 290 women and 273 men ordained in 2010.
Source Summary Ministry 2010 tables from the Church of England

Number of women clergy continues to rise

In 2011 there were 1,763 women in full time parochial appointments, that is a 50% increase from the 2000 published figures. One in 5 paid parish clergy in the Church of England are now female and more than 50% of self supporting clergy are female.
source Times Online

Attitudes towards women in leadership

As part of a major survey of the views of evangelicals in the UK by the Evangelical Alliance 17,000 Christians were asked:

"Women should be eligible for all roles within the church in the same way that men are"

  • 51% agreed strongly with the statement
  • 20% agreed a little with the statement
  • 9% were unsure
  • 10% disagreed a little with the statement
  • 10% disagreed strongly with the statement

Source 21st Century Evangelicals www.eauk.org/church/resources/snapshot

In July 2012 Bible Society asked Com Res to conduct a survey of adults to look at attitudes generally to the issue of women bishops within the Church of England.

  • 74% of all respondents said the Church of England should have female bishops.
  • 76% of female respondents said there should be female bishops
  • 72% of male respondents said there should be female bishops
  • 78% of those aged 18-42 think there should be women bishops
  • 69% of those aged 65 and over think there should be women bishops

When asked whether the church should be debating the issue the results were:

  • 43% said the issue is important and the church should debate it
  • 42% said there were more important issues that the church should be looking at

When asked to agree or disagree with a range of statements the following responses were received:

  • 67% agreed "This debate makes me think that there are many people in the Church of England who are sexist against women"
  • 44% agreed "Those who oppose allowing women bishops are just following a more traditional interpretation of the Bible rather than being sexist against women"
  • 73% agreed "This debate shows that the Church of England is out of touch with the views of modern society - that women should be able to do any job that a man can do"
  • 57% agreed "Having a debate on this issue shows that the Church of England is out of touch with the issues that truly matter to society at this time"
  • 79% agreed "As women are able to become vicars in the Church of England, they should also be able to become bishops in the Church of England as well"
  • 77% agreed "It is wrong to not allow women to become Bishops just because they are women"

Source http://www.comres.co.uk/poll/695/bible-society-women-bishops-poll.htm