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Parish Priests

Volume 547: debated on Thursday 5 July 2012

2. What the average number of parishes is per Church of England priest in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. (115243)

The Church does not calculate an average figure for the number of parishes per priest in rural areas, because different dioceses take varying approaches to pastoral organisation.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. I wonder whether we could urge the Church Commissioners to undertake such an exercise. I should like to praise the work of rural priests. In North Yorkshire, they are being asked to spread themselves extremely thinly, and any support that they could be given would be most welcome.

My hon. Friend is quite correct to draw our attention to the fantastic work being done by priests in rural areas. We will collect statistics on rural priests, and I will ensure that they are shared with her.