The Church of England has today published the report of the Resourcing Ministerial Education task group ahead of a discussion at the February meeting of the General Synod.
In a blog and video interview to accompany the publication of the paper, the Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft, states: “The way we encourage, prepare and form lay and ordained ministers is critical for the future mission of the Church of England…. Are we recruiting and training the right numbers of clergy and lay ministers with the right gifts for the future? Are we offering them the best possible formation and training to equip and support them in their ministry.”
In his comments in the video and blog reflecting on the task group’s report, Bishop Steven said :
“We have a vision of a growing church with a flourishing ministry for the future. We asked every diocese what kind of ministers they want to see and the answers came back really clearly; ministers who are collaborative, ministers who are flexible – because the future is unpredictable – and ministers who are equipped for mission into the future, and I think that’s a fantastic vision.”
“Bishops and Dioceses have told us that they want to see all clergy equipped to work collaboratively, greater flexibility and deeper effectiveness in mission.
Dioceses have also told us that they want to hold the numbers of stipendiary clergy steady at around 8,000 over the next decade. That’s vital to sustain ministry in parishes right across the land.
But because of the age profile of the clergy and retirements, the current predictions are that the number of stipendiary clergy will fall to around 6,500. We need to take that gap between aspiration and reality seriously. The whole Church needs to pray for vocations and the Church needs to take action to raise the number of candidates offering for ministry over the next ten years, we suggest by around 50%.”
Individuals will have an opportunity to comment on the paper in a specially created online forum on the Church of England Website at: