Proportion of Trainee Church of England Priests From Black and Minority Ethnic Background Doubles

The proportion of people from a black and minority ethnic background training to become Church of England priests doubled between 2016 and 2018.

Eight per cent of new ordinands – trainee priests – were from a BME background last year, compared with 4% in 2016, according to data published by the C of E on Monday. The change reflects concerted efforts to increase diversity among the clergy.

Among qualified, paid clergy, 3.9% were from BME backgrounds in 2018 – a proportion markedly below the BME population of England and Wales, which was about 13% in the 2011 census and is expected to have risen since.

The church has taken steps in recent years to increase the proportion and status of BME clergy after accusations of institutional racism.

In 2015, the C of E decided to fast-track BME clergy into senior positions, offering training and mentoring to potential leaders. At the time, the only black bishop was John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, who is due to retire next year.

The C of E appointed Rosemarie Davidson-Gotobed as its first national minority ethnic vocations officer, to encourage applications for the priesthood, in 2016.

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Source: The Guardian