General Synod 2015 – Further Statistics

All the diocesan results are now in, so it’s possible to see if the trends that seemed to be emerging are there all the way through.

Last week, as the synod results started to come in, I posted a blog post to start to analyse the results, and in particular to see if there were any emerging trends relating to gender / election results.

Gender RatiosNow that all the results are in, if you take a very broad level view, it would seem that everything is straightforward.┬áComparing the gender split of total clergy (2012), against the gender split of the House of Clergy elected to General Synod, 2015; overall, the gender balance is almost identical – a result I found surprising.


However, this overall matched ratios, disguises some interesting dynamics in the processes to get to this result.

There are interesting features in the data for both the candidates standing for election, and those that are elected.

Candidates for Election

  1. As already posted online by others, there were significantly more males standing for election than females. In this document I’ve analysed the data by diocese, against 2012 ministry statistics. These demonstrate that the split is more marked in the Province of Canterbury, with only 2.7% of female clergy standing for election, vs 4% of males.
    M% Clergy that stood for election F% Clergy that stood for election Total% Clergy that stood for election
    Province of Canterbury 4.0% 2.7% 3.5%
    Province of York 3.8% 3.2% 3.6%
    CHURCH of England 3.9% 2.8% 3.6%

There was a wide variety in the number of females standing for election within each diocese – as shown on this map (whereas a more similar level of male engagement across the dioceses)

GS Election Candidates by Gender and Diocese

Candidates Elected

  1. Analysis of the percentage of diocesan clergy that are female against the percentage of female elected General Synod representatives shows an unexpected trend, that the dioceses with most females amongst the general clergy population elected a lower proportion of females to their General Synod cohort.
  2. Of all candidates standing, 57% of female candidates were elected overall, vs 42% of men, so females that did stand were elected much more frequently than men.
  3. When dioceses are ranked by the number of female candidates standing, those dioceses with fewer female candidates standing, were more likely to elect females to General Synod than those dioceses where more women stood. 4+ female candidates seems to be the tipping point, at which males are more likely to be selected than females, of those standing.

Gender Selection vs Female Clergy in Diocese

I’ve attached my full pdf report illustrating this, and the data if you want to take a look.

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