Comments: "Figures show that The Church of the England is a Third of the way to Gender Equality"

HOWEVER (as I explain here:, the church-wide scores are still 16/121 archdeacons (13%), 4/44 (9%) cathedral deans and 0/113 (0%) bishops.

So much work to be done.

Posted by Dan Barnes-Davies at Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 8:04pm GMT

All very interesting, and definitely good news, but can anyone tell me the formula? 100 = 50/50 we know, but what does, say, 60 mean in terms of the male/female split? How is the number arrived at?

Posted by Alan T Perry at Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 8:11pm GMT

Is the methodology for scoring each diocese explained in greater detail somewhere? Based only on the explanation provided in the press release, it isn't clear to me that the scores mean what they're claimed to mean. I'm not even sure if they're meaningful.

Posted by Jonathan at Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 10:49pm GMT

Some explanation is here

Also, see

and the comments made then.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 11:10pm GMT

So the score is the sum of the percent of women in senior positions and the percent of women in other clergy positions? That would mean that the information used to create the score is more informative than the score itself, although those percentages on their own don't tell us much at all. Consider Sodor and Man, they score dead last, but why is that? Are they particularly anti-WO, or is it more that they have very few clergy of any sort?

Posted by Jonathan at Friday, 11 November 2011 at 6:59am GMT

There are two halves to the calculation. I will use my home Diocese (Chichester) as an example.

The easier half is the proportion of full-time stipendiary clergy in a diocese. There are 284 F/T stipendiary clergy of whom 22 are female. These figures come from the recently published CofE statistics which were for 2010. Therefore 7.8% of the FT stipendiary clergy are female giving a score of 7.8.

The trickier half is the proportion of dignatories. So far Bishops have been ignored from the calculation because only men are eligible, perhaps this will change! You need the number of Archdeacons, the Dean and other stipendiary posts at the Cathedral (all of which come from the CofE stats) and the number of Rural or Area Deans (which comes from counting names in the CofE yearbook for 2010).

You double count the most senior (Archdeacons and the Dean) and add on the others. In Chichester's case there was one female Rural Dean in 2010 yearbook; so the female score was 1. The men were 3 Archdeacons, one Dean and 2 others at the Cathedral, and 18 male Rural Deans. The male score is therefore 28 (2x3 + 2x1 + 2 + 18)

The total is 29 (1+28) and the female score is 3.4% of the total giving a score of 3.4.

The total score for Chichester is therefore 7.8 + 3.4 = 11.2

If half the stipendiary clergy and half the senior positions (taking account of the weighting) were female the a diocese would get a score of 100.

Posted by Peter at Friday, 11 November 2011 at 7:59pm GMT

The underlying data is publicly available in the Church of England statistics for licensed ministry, except that definition of senior posts excludes area deans which we decided were important in terms of the pipeline of clergy development; those figures have been compiled from the church of England yearbook. So anyone interested in the detail can easily get it.

Posted by Miranda at Friday, 11 November 2011 at 9:49pm GMT

Thanks Peter and Miranda. I thought I must be missing something, since I couldn't quite recreate the scores. Although, I'm still not sure the score is more meaningful than the underlying data.

Posted by Jonathan at Friday, 11 November 2011 at 10:40pm GMT

Can anyone explain to me why only 'full time' stipendiary clergy are counted?

It occurred to me that this would make it difficult to compare figures with some other parts of the Anglican Communion. In our Diocese of Edmonton in western Canada, for instance, a significant minority of stipendiary clergy are not full time. This is because in our system parishes are required to pay their own clergy, and some cannot afford to pay a full-time position.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Saturday, 12 November 2011 at 9:59am GMT

It's good, too, to see signs of a 'lend-lease' arrangement within the Communion - of competent women theologians. We are very glad in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand (ACANZP) to be able to employ the skills of Dr. Helen-Ann Hartley of Ripon college, Cuddesdon, in her new appointment to become Dean of Saint John's Theological College in Auckland N.Z. Such exchange of Women Teachers in the Churches of the Communion would, I am sure, help the understanding of the value of Women in the Church.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 12 November 2011 at 10:32am GMT
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