Survey charts women’s church leadership by the numbers

Ordained in 1976, the Rev. Beverly Shanley was one of the Anglican Church of Canada’s first two female priests PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED
Published December 21, 2022

A national survey is tallying women’s leadership in the Anglican Church of Canada leading up to the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women in 2026.

Twenty out of 30 dioceses have offered results for Holding Up a Mirror, a project created by Global Relations director Andrea Mann and executive archdeacon Linda Hill. Canon Neil Elliot, the church’s statistics and research officer, helped develop the survey in which dioceses reported the number of women in central decision-making bodies and in active ordained ministry.The study found that in 2022, women made up 55% of central diocesan leadership in the Anglican Church of Canada, 41% of bishops, 35% of priests and 60% of deacons.

Between 1995 and 2019, women made up 14% of bishops on Council of General Synod (CoGS), 18% of clergy, 58% of laity and 61% of youth members. On the 2019-2023 council, women comprised 20% of bishops, 75% of clergy, 50% of laity and 25% of youth.For CoGS as a whole, 38% of members from 1995 to 2019 were women, compared to 36% between 2019 and 2022.


  • Matthew Puddister

    Matthew Puddister is a staff writer for the Anglican Journal. Most recently, Puddister worked as corporate communicator for the Anglican Church of Canada, a position he held since Dec. 1, 2014. He previously served as a city reporter for the Prince Albert Daily Herald. A former resident of Kingston, Ont., Puddister has a degree in English literature from Queen’s University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He also supports General Synod's corporate communications.

    [email protected]

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