Sharp increase in numbers training to be priests

A 14% increase nationally, in numbers training for the priesthood has been welcomed by the Church of England. An anticipated total of 543 men and women will begin studies this Autumn at colleges across England.

The figures show that 25% of the cohort beginning training this year are under 32. The increasing age profile of clergy has been a significant motivator for the Church in focussing on growing ordained vocations.

In the Diocese of Bath & Wells, 12 people will be ordained priest and 11 deacon on the 01 and 02 July respectively. They are:

Priest – 01 July, Wells Cathedral Deacon – 02 July, Wells Cathedral
Justine Billett Jennifer Buckler
Adam Burnham Nicola Butt
David Fox-Branch Nicholas Clarke
Katherine Hawksley Ann Gibbs
Alexandra Holmes Julie Harris
Joel Mennie Andrew Hiscox
Elizabeth Mitchell Bryan Martin Little
Deborah Perreau Adam Pitt
Clarissa Shaw-Notice Janet Shellard-James
Joanna Slade Craig Sinclair
Liza Wortelhock James Taylor
Daniel Young


This increase in people coming forward for ministry training comes after the launch, in 2015, of Renewal and Reform, a body of work which aims to breathe new life into the Church through growing lay and ordained vocations, increasing flexibility in funding and reducing red tape to enable local churches to better serve their communities.

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