Service at Church of England, Westminster Abbey, London. (Photo: Sergio Calleja/Flickr/CC)
Service at Church of England, Westminster Abbey, London. (Photo: Sergio Calleja/Flickr/CC)

About 25 percent of clergy in the Church of England is over 60 years old, and only 13 percent are under the age of 40, which means that most of the ministers are between the age of 40 and 60 and may be reaching retirement age in the next 20 years, according to new statistics released by the ministry on Thursday.

The issue of concern for the church is that not as many people are replacing those who have retired or pipelined to exit the church in the next few decades.

"While the number of stipendiary ordinations showed a welcome increase between 2012 and 2015, this is not sufficient to redress the gathering effect of clergy retirements predicted over the next ten years," Julian Hubbard, Church of England Director of Ministry, wrote in his commentary.

Between 2012 and 2015, about 20,000 people were newly ordained in different roles, but the number of salaried clergy fell from 8,300 to 8,000 during the same time.

Women were on an opposite swing in the church. The proportion of women clergy who are salaried increased from 24 percent to 27 percent in about four years. As much as 19 percent of the senior staff was women in 2015, as compared to 12 percent in 2012.

Also, between 2012 and 2015 there was an increase of 0.4 percent (3 to 3.4 percent) in the number of individuals from the Black and ethnic minority communities who are salaried.

Mike Eastwood, Director of Renewal and Reform, the Church of England, said that the solution of the problem was to revive hope in the Lord, so that people come to know of their calling to serve God.

"These figures support what we have been saying about the need for renewal and reform in the Church of England," said Eastwood. "Renewal and Reform is about a message of hope, through changed lives and transformed communities, as people discover their vocation to love God and serve others."

"Renewal and Reform is not a top-down project to fix the church, but a narrative of local hope in God shared throughout the church," he added.

Rose Grigg from Cornwall is one of the exceptions to the trend seen in the new study by the church. The 25-year-old left her job in London music industry to become a full-time vicar. She was pulled into working with the church when she played music in bands around services.

"The more I got involved in that, it made me feel more alive," she told BBC.

She realized by working in the church, she will be able to live a live "full of love."

"It felt like something not old and boring at all but life changing," she said.

The BBC reported that more and more volunteers are giving themselves to serve the church, through outreach activities like visiting the sick in hospitals and leading services, which were once only under the prerogative of vicar.