Is it hard for women to find posts in evangelical churches in the Church of England? That's the perception for some women. But is it true? Some issues and pointers to getting the full picture.
22% of clergy in the Church of England are now female, but the pattern of deployment for women is very different from that for men. There are only three women leading larger (350+) Anglican churches, many of which are evangelical. Women seem to be over-represented in urban and rural churches, but under-represented in larger suburban churches
A good proportion, about 26%, of CPAS patronage appointments made each year are women, but many women feel that the whole system of church appointments is not as fair and unbiased as it might be.
In theory, unless they have passed Resolution B, parishes should be equally open to male and female parishes. But are they in practice?
It's hard to prove bias. But some evangelical churches seem less open to appointing a woman than churches of other traditions. And sometimes women have not been appointed because the church wanted a man for that particular appointment, they'd be open to a woman, but 'not yet', or for a variety of more complex reasons.
For churches which are exploring whether they would be open to appointing a woman incumbent, expecially the biblical issues, we've produced a discussion paper which you can download and use in groups such as PCC. Read more about deployment issues.
Help is at hand
If you are looking for a new post, you can join the EPCC clergy register. CPAS has informal associations with other trusts linked through the Evangelical Patronage Consultative Council (EPCC) and we administer, on their behalf, the register of clergy looking for an incumbency. This list helps to put clergy looking for a move in contact with churches which are looking for new incumbents.
CPAS patronage also helps evangelical clergy who are in the process of thinking and praying about moving on from their current post to another. It has a clearing house for other posts, such as team vicar, associate vicar, and second curacy.