Inside the outdoor industry

Sports Direct takes on CofE

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The Press Association reports that Church of England’s investment arm the Church Commissioners has been working with Sports Direct amid concerns over the treatment of factory workers and governance failures at the retailer, in which it holds a minority stake.

The Church of England declined to comment.

Sports Direct subsequently turned attention to Church of England’s own adherence to issues like gender diversity, noting that few of its own bishops are currently women.

The firm said: “We recently disclosed to the Hampton-Alexander review that women make up 35.1 per cent of our senior executive team, which is ahead of target and compares with the Church of England, where we understand that around 10 per cent of bishops are female.”

“We’re committed to gender diversity in the Church of England and it is top of mind for our trustees. There’s been substantial progress in recent years,” Andrew Brown, secretary and chief executive of the Church Commissioners, said.

“The number of women in ordained ministry in the Church of England is at a record high, a third of the total number of active clergy, and last year women made up the majority of people entering training for ordination.”

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