In 2020, despite the pandemic, 591 people were recommended for training for ordained ministry—the highest figure for 13 years. Ordinations to stipendiary ministry have increased by 43% since 2013, reflecting our commitment to the long-term resourcing of the Church of England.
I am delighted to learn of the good work of Holy Cross and other churches in my hon. Friend’s constituency. I can reassure him, because the Archbishop of York said in July that
“the means whereby we will serve and reach our nation…is a parish system revitalised for mission.”
Over the past year and a half, we have seen the very best of the parish system, finding creative ways to proclaim the unchanging love of Jesus in meeting the needs of those suffering in the pandemic, in quite extraordinary ways.
I thank the hon. Gentleman for that response. Has consideration been given to offering bursaries to cover not simply the cost of fees but the cost of living for older ordinands with families who want to go into the ministry but have family obligations that need funding?