For the first time since its 1992 approval of female clergy, the Church of England reports that more women than men were ordained in 2006.
Last year 244 women and 234 men were ordained for ministry in the Church of England. A recent report indicates that the number of men serving as ministers may drop in half by 2025.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the church's Sunday attendance for the first time dropped below one million, out of a total population of 51 million. About 1.7 million attend a Church of England service each month.
The Church's General Synod approved the ordination of women in 1992. Some commentators believe the move has accelerated the decline in observant Anglicans.
Among them is Joel Hilliker, who claimed in The Trumpet that the 400,000 members of the Traditional Anglican Communion seeking union with Rome represent a trend. Though a Protestant, he suggested the decline of Anglicanism would benefit the Catholic Church in England. “What is left in this nation is a spiritual vacuum - a vacuum that provides the Church of Rome the perfect opportunity to move in. For as Britain has become more liberal, Roman Catholicism has grown more conservative, increasingly presenting itself as a rock of stability in an uncertain world,” he wrote.
The Church of England's General Synod is debating allowing women to be ordained to the episcopacy, which other churches in the Anglican Communion have already done.