Young priests represent a quarter of all new clergy
Latest statistics released by the Church of England show that the number of young people (under 30s) now make up a quarter of all people accepted for training for the Church of England ministry. Figures show for 2014 show that 116 young people under 30 were accepted for training.
This is the highest number of young people accepted for ordination training in the past 25 years.
One young ordinand, who six years ago was a soldier serving in Iraq, describes her journey to ordination in a Church of England blog: “I’d hit rock bottom and feeling I had nowhere else to turn decided to shout out to God whilst on a helicopter in the way to the Iranian border.”
Last weekend more than 50 prospective young ordinands gathered at an event – Step Forward – held by the Archbishop of York at his home in Bishopthorpe. The group of young people from across England heard from current trainees and staff members from Cranmer Hall, Durham.
Liz Boughton, Young Vocations Advisor, Ministry Division of the Archbishops’ Council said: “We are so pleased to see more young people being recommended for ordination than in the last ten years. The gifts and insights that young people bring to ministry are more important than ever in the life of the Church of England and I look forward to seeing the impact that a generation of young priests will bring.”
The Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft, chair of the Ministry Council, said: “It is really encouraging that young people are continuing to come forward, playing their part in the Church of the future. More and more young people are hearing God’s call to bring their energy and gifts to serve in the mission of the church. As a Church we need this movement to deepen and grow still further.”
Further information about the Church of England’s engagement with young people who feel they have been called to be priests at http://callwaiting.org.uk