Williams: 'Church lost credibility'

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the Church of England General Synod that "we have lost a level of credibility in the wider society" after they voted against introducing women bishops.

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Baldry: Impossible to understand women bishops vote

Sir Tony Baldry, the MP who represents the Church Commissioners, has spoke of his bemusement at the failure to approve women bishops.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: “Every day that we fail to resolve this issue is a day when our credibility in the public eye is likely to diminish.”

Tony Baldry says he was "impossible" to understand the decision on women bishops. Credit: ITV News

He added: "It is important for the House to recognise that there is overwhelming support in the Church of England for women bishops to be consecrated.

"It is impossible for me to explain to Parliamentary colleagues that a measure that has had the support of 42 out of 44 diocese failed to pass in General Synod."

CofE discusses future after women bishops vote

The go-ahead for women bishops was supposed to be the crowning achievement of Dr Rowan William's ten years as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Today, as the Church of England discussed where it goes after the General Synod voted against the measure, Dr Williams said it has "lost a measure of credibility" and had "some explaining to do".

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Archbishop Williams addresses Synod for last time

Dr Rowan Williams has addressed to the Church of England's General Synod for the final time as Archbishop of Canterbury.

There were flowers, hugs and two prolonged standing ovations at the Synod for Dr Williams as tributes were paid to him.

The Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury share a joke at the General Synod Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu spoke of his "courageous" leadership, and paid tribute to his sense of humour and commitment as spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion.

Dr Williams' wife, theologian Jane Williams, was presented with a bouquet of flowers at the farewell debate.

The outgoing Archbishop, who leaves his post at the end of the year after a decade in office, thanked the speakers and spoke of the "generous affection and support" he had received over the years.

The Archbishop of York, Archbishop of Canterbury and his wife Jane Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

He referred to the defeat of the female bishops' legislation, highlighting the need for trust within the General Synod.

"Quite a lot of the sad and difficult stand-off in which we find ourselves as a Synod at the moment seems to come from a mutual lack of trust", he said.

Bishop of Dover: Vote 'not a no to women bishops'

The Bishop of Dover, the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, said in a letter to the clergy and lay people of the Diocese of Canterbury that yesterday's General Synod vote "was not a 'no' to women bishops, but it was a 'no' to the proposed legislation as it stands".

The Church of England's General Synod in Church House Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

"I believe that the door to women being bishops is open and cannot now be shut", the Bishop wrote.

"The clear majority of the Church of England demands it, the people of this country expect it, and I believe that the Holy Spirit yearns for it".

"There will be women bishops in the Church of England and I hope and pray that the wait will not be a long one", he added.

Williams addresses Synod for last time as Archbishop

Dr Rowan Williams has addressed the Church of England's General Synod for the last time as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Williams, who leaves his post at the end of the year, will be succeeded by Rt Rev Justin Welby.

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Vigil held after CofE women bishops vote fails

A vigil by supporters of women bishops was held on the steps of Church House today.

Margaret Houston, a children's worker at a church in west London, said the vigil was organised last night on Twitter "by people who feel very strongly that they want to register their sadness over this decision".

"We represent the majority who are in favour of women bishops", she added.

Demonstrators sing during a vigil calling for equality outside the General Synod Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

The Rev Preb Pat Hawkins, a General Synod member from Wolverhampton, said she was "very sad" that the legislation was not approved.

"I think we need to be clear that it was not the Church of England voting against the principle of women bishops, it was voting on a very particular measure", she added.

Two women hug during the vigil outside the Church of England's Church House Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

Rachel Jepson, a lay member of the General Synod from Birmingham, said the defeat was "appalling" and "shameful".

"I am quite disgusted, really", she added.

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