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Middle age is the new average for newly qualified vicars

Church of England vicars and rectors are getting older according to new figures from the Church of England.

Fewer than one in seven vicars, just over 1,000 were aged under 40 and the average age of a newly trained and ordained paid priest reached 40 for the first time last year, up from 38.8 in 2017.

Unpaid clergy in the Church are likely to be older still, with those taking up their roles after retiring from careers to take up 'non-stipendiary ministers', the average age they are ordained is 62.

Nearly one third of C of E clergy are retired priests with permission to officiate.

Mandy Ford, of the C of E's Ministry Division, said: "As clergy retire, the Church faces the challenge of continually renewing ministry. I am thankful for the hard work and prayers of the parishes and dioceses in helping us to increase the numbers of people coming forward for ordained ministry."

The Church of England seeks to fulfil a key target of a 50 percent increase in the number of candidates for ordination as part of its programme of Renewal and Reform.

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