But given that 141 of the latest batch are women, none of whom would have been eligible for the priesthood in the 1980s, the figures are simply not comparable.
Questions have already been raised in church circles about whether the increased number has been achieved by lowering standards. Perhaps this could be explained by the need to replace the escalating numbers of priests retiring.
To whom will these new priests preach? The attendance figures at Church of England services are declining so steeply that they hardly dare publish them.
KEITH PORTEOUS WOOD
National Secular Society
London WC1Reuse content