Source AP ©

More women than men ordained in 2006 in Church of England

There were more women than men among newly ordained priests in the Church of England for the first time last year, according to new data.

The church added 244 women priests in 2006 and 234 men, according to a report released Monday.

However, men continued to outnumber in paid positions - 128 to 95 among the new priests - and the total number of men in the priesthood was 7,001, compared with 1,495 women.

The total number of women ordained beat the previous high of 240 in 2002, the church said.

The Church of England began ordaining women as priests in 1994, and is now debating whether women could serve as bishops.