Ordained Women Priests Outpace Men in Church of England

A survey that was recently published examined the rates of female priests being ordained in the Church of England and showed that for the first time more women were ordained in 2010 than were men.

The results of the survey were produced by the Evangelical Alliance and compiled by Peter Brierley, who used church statistics from the United Kingdom dating back until 2005.

Official records form the Church of England showed that in 2010 there were 290 women compared with only 273 men ordained in priesthood marking the first time the number of women ordained outnumbered that of their male counterparts.

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The survey also showed that in 2011 there were 1,763 women in full time parochial appointments. That is a 50 percent increase from the last set of figures which were published in back in 2000. The number of women priests translates into one out of every five paid parish clergy in the Church of England, which are now female.

It would seem that positions within churches are being filled predominantly by women and that in years to come, if current trends continue, women would comprise the majority of spiritual leaders in England.

"It's obvious that over time the priesthood will become increasingly a female profession. As far as the church has a future it will include a predominant ministry of women and they will get to the top." David Martin, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, told The Sunday Times.

Yet not all members of the Church are eager to see the shrift take place before their eyes and attribute the shift to radical feminism, which- through conflict with the Church- is in fact driving the dividing wedge.

Edwin Barnes, a former Bishop of Richborough, explained that is was the "feminization of the Church of England" that was contributing to this trend, adding: "it will be one more step on the road to the division of the church. This is reducing the church's authority. It's becoming risible."

With the increase in female priests comes the increase in the number of women attending church when compared with the numbers of males attending. Church researchers explained that 10 years ago the proportion of men to women attending church was 45 percent to 55 percent, yet in the decade since, that relationship has shifted to favor women 37 percent to 63 percent.

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