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Church pledges to increase numbers of vicar training places by half

by Hannah Tooley

By 2020 it wants to have gone from 500 people in preparation to be a vicar to 750.

Head of Discipleship and Vocation Catherine Nancekievill told Premier's News Hour vicars are everyday people and anyone can get involved.

She said: "One of the main problems that we have is that people have a particular image of a vicar... they don't feel that they fit into that image and they don't think it's for them.

"But actually there are all sorts of different people out there who are clergy and they're in all sorts of different roles, there's a place for lots of different people."

The Church of England also wants greater diversity among its leaders to better reflect the communities where the Church is working.

It has produced proposals to boost the number of ethnic minorities applying.

Nancekievill added: "The numbers have been slowly increasing over the years, but we've got an awful lot more work to do.

"We think that the role models are a problem, there aren't enough people out there - just makes you think, if you're sitting there and you're seeing someone preaching and they're minority ethnic and they're like you, you might suddenly think that's for me."

As well as the overall numerical increase the Church wants to increase the proportion of younger ordinands so that half of those recommended for stipendiary ministry are under 32 years old as well as increase the proportion of women ordained.

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speak to Catherine Nancekievill here:

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