The Coventry Diocese is
endeavouring to take early action to prevent a shortage of clergy over the next twenty
Coventry Diocesan Synod's quarterly meeting in Kineton, Warwickshire tomorrow will be
asked to support proposals to employ more full time youth workers and other specialist lay
workers to maintain staffing levels.
The Rev Lawrence Mortimer, spokesman for the Diocese, said:
"There is no crisis, but we have seen early signs of a shortage developing all
over the country over the next twenty years or so.
"To some extent it is caused by the fact that so many members of the clergy were
ordained after careers outside the church. If you look at the biographical details of a
lot of the clergy in this diocese you will see people who have been barristers, oil
executives and a variety of other occupations.
"Of course this secular experience is very valuable to the Church, but at the
other end of the scale there has not been that degree of priority in terms of recruitment
among young people.
"It means that we are reaching a stage where there will be a lot of retirements
and not many people coming through the colleges. For the last generation or two young
people have not been church goers and I suppose the recruitment figures have reflected
society as a whole.
"There is no crisis but our research shows there will be an imbalance over the
next generation or so.
"The Diocese has already agreed to set aside £25,000 each year towards the
recruitment of part time youth leaders and that sum is likely to be increased."
An increasing number of church services are being conducted by lay people, but they are
unable to administer communion.