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House of Commons Hansard
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Church Leadership: Women and BME Groups
04 February 2016
Volume 605
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6. What further steps the Church of England is taking to increase the representation of women and BME groups among its leadership. [903471]

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The Church of England needs to increase its vocations for ministry by around 50% in the next 10 years in order to sustain the 8,000 clergy it currently has in parish ministry. The representation of women in the Church has grown significantly, with almost equal numbers being recommended for ordination training. Currently, those of black, Asian, and minority ethnicity make up 3% of the clergy population, and the Church is committed to increasing that percentage.

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I welcome that answer. May I ask that, when trying to increase the range of people available to take up positions that are currently vacant, we pay particular attention to churches that have been vacant for long periods, because that is damaging to communities such as that at St Matthew’s in Skegness?

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I hope I can reassure my hon. Friend on this, because as recently as Tuesday night in this House we passed the obscurely titled Diocesan Stipends Fund (Amendment) Measure. That Church Measure—it originated from the diocese of Lincoln, which covers his constituency—should enable his diocese to invest in the training of more clergy by releasing money from the funds for that purpose.