Church of England votes in favour of women bishops

The Church of England has voted to back the introduction of women bishops at a meeting in York.

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Welby 'mindful of those who will find result difficult'

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he is "delighted" with the approval of women bishops, but was "mindful" of those who would find the result "a cause for sorrow".

Justin Welby applauds during the vote earlier today. Credit: PA Wire

"Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years with the ordination of women as priests. I am delighted with today's result. Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases disagreeing," he said.

"As delighted as I am for the outcome of this vote I am also mindful of those within the Church for whom the result will be difficult and a cause of sorrow.

"My aim, and I believe the aim of the whole church, should be to be able to offer a place of welcome and growth for all. Today is a time of blessing and gift from God and thus of generosity. It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together."

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Historic women bishops result a 'momentous day'

The approval of women bishops is a "momentous day" for the church, the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, said.

Women bishops could be appointed by the end of the year after members of the Church's governing body voted in favour of the plans.

Dr John Sentamu arriving at York University for the vote. Credit: PA Wire

"This is a momentous day. Generations of women have served the Lord faithfully in the Church of England for centuries. It is a moment of joy today: the office of Bishop is open to them," the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, said.

"To those who ask "what took you so long?" my answer is that every decision has a cost and there will be those within our body who will be hurting as a result of this decision. Our answer to the hurting should not be "get over it" but rather "we will not let go until you have blessed us."

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby earlier said he was "mindful" of those who would find the result "a cause for sorrow".

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PM: Women bishops approval is 'great day for equality'

David Cameron has "warmly welcomed" the vote approving women bishops as a "great day for the church and for equality".

David Cameron has supported the campaign for women bishops. Credit: PA Wire

"I warmly welcome today’s vote formally approving women bishops – a great day for the Church and for equality," the Prime Minister said.

Mr Cameron earlier said the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby had "shown great leadership" on the issue.

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Ed Miliband: Women bishops vote is 'wonderful news'

Labour leader Ed Miliband described the approval of women bishops as "wonderful news".

The Church of England voted in favour of the measure for the first time at York University today, just 18 months after a previous attempt was thwarted.

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Clegg: Women bishops approval a big moment for CoE

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has hailed the approval of women bishops as a "big moment" for the Church of England.

Mr Clegg praised the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby for his leadership on the issue.

  1. National

Church of England votes in favour of women bishops

The Church of England has voted in favour of allowing women bishops for the first time in its history.

The result means women bishops could potentially be appointed by the end of the year.

Members of the Church of England's Synod vote. Credit: PA Wire

After almost five hours of debate, the legislation to allow women to take up senior roles in the church received the required two thirds majority in all three Houses of the General Synod.

Thirty-seven bishops voted in favour with two against and one abstention, while 162 clergy approved with 25 against and four abstentions.

In the House of Laity, there were 152 votes in favour, 45 against and five abstentions.

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Vote against women bishops 'could hurt morale'

The Bishop of Rochester has warned that a decision to vote against introducing women bishops today could harm morale in the Church of England.

The Bishop of Rochester says he hopes some opponents will abstain. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive

"The Church of England has spoken very clearly through the voting of the diocesan synods and we today have, I believe, a responsibility to show that we have listened," Rt Rev James Langstaff said.

"Wherever each of us stands on the spectrum of views, I want to suggest today that we have a responsibility to be guided, yes, by what we ourselves think, but also by what we assess to be the settled view of the great majority within the Church of England."

Speaking at York University, Bishop Langstaff said he respected the views of opponents of women bishops who felt they had no option but to vote against the legislation. But he hoped other opponents might choose to abstain from the vote.

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David Cameron 'in favour of women bishops'

David Cameron said he was in favour of women bishops as the Church of England prepares for a second vote on the issue.

Prime Minister David Cameron. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

The Prime Minister said: "I am in favour of women bishops. I think Archbishop Welby has shown great leadership on this issue and I wish him well."

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