Live updates

Church prepares key vote on women bishops

The Church of England's governing body is preparing for a vote on whether to introduce women bishops at a key meeting.

Read more: Church of England given second chance on women bishops

Jennifer Zarek, Jean Mayland and Christine Holt from WATCH (Women And The Church) Credit: PA

Members of the General Synod will be asked to give final approval to legislation introducing women bishops, paving the way for the first female diocesan bishop in the Church of England by early next year.

The vote comes after the plan was derailed by just six votes cast by lay members in November 2012, causing shock and bitter recriminations within the Church of England and prompting threats of an intervention by Parliament.

Read: Williams: 'Church lost credibility'

Women 'hopeful not completely confident' on bishops

Women and the Church, which campaigns in favour of women bishops, is "hopeful but not completely confident" that they will be introduced in the Church of England.

The Most Rev Justin Welby speaking ahead of the vote on women bishops in November 2012. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Speaking ahead of a key meeting where members of the General Synod will be asked to give final approval to legislation backing women bishops, Hilary Cotton said, "It is the same people there, those who are opposed on principle have said that they are voting against."

"They are not representative of the wider Church of England," she added.

Read: Church of England given second chance on women bishops

Advertisement

Archbishop 'concentrating on getting vote through'

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury's office, said they are "concentrating on getting the vote [on women bishops] through".

"It would not be helpful to speculate further," he added.

Jean Mayland from Women And The Church with a banner for women bishops.
A vote for women bishops failed to pass the Church of England's General Synod in November 2012. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

His comments follow a report that stated the Most Rev Justin Welby was preparing to drive through a plan to introduce women bishops in the Church of England.

Read: Church of England given second chance on women bishops

Archbishop 'preparing to introduce women bishops'

The Archbishop of Canterbury is preparing to drive through a plan to introduce women bishops should the General Synod choose to reject it for a second time, according to The Guardian.

Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby.
Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The body could be dissolved so that fresh elections could produce the necessary majority by November or bishops in the House of Lords could move to introduce the legislation without the approval of the Synod, the newspaper said.

Read: Church of England given a second chance on women bishops

Church of England to vote on women bishops

The Church of England is being given a second chance to back the introduction of women bishops at a key meeting which begins today.

Members of the General Synod will be asked to give final approval to legislation introducing women bishops, paving the way for the first female diocesan bishop in the Church of England by early next year.

The Church of England's General Synod voted against women bishops in November 2012. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The vote comes after the plan was derailed by just six votes cast by lay members in November 2012, causing shock and bitter recriminations within the Church of England and prompting threats of an intervention by Parliament.

Supporters of women bishops have said they are hopeful of success in the vote on Monday at York University.

Church of England 'took a year' to sever Wonga ties

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:

Chris_normal

The Archbishop says Church of England has sold its shares in Wonga - which means it's taken a year to do so since the link was first exposed

Read: Church of England severs ties with payday lending firm Wonga

Advertisement

Church to discipline clergy who support far-right parties

BNP leader Nick Griffin lost his European Parliament seat last month. Credit: PA

The Church of England may dismiss clergy if they back political parties promoting the "sin of racism", its bishops agreed today.

William Fittall, secretary general of the Church's General Synod, said they would be disciplined if they joined or sought support for the British National Party or National Front, whose views the Church considers incompatible with its teachings.

It is the first time Church of England clergy have been banned from joining a political party.

Church of England celebrates 20 years of women clergy

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby joins women priests on the steps of St Pauls Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The Church of England marked 20 years of women clergy with a celebration in central London today.

Hundreds of women clergy and their families gathered ahead of the national service to mark the 20th anniversary of the first female priests in the Church.

Hundreds gathered outside St Pauls and at a celebratory picnic. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Speaker's Chaplain to the House of Commons and a parish priest in Hackney, east London, held a placard saying: "Women: Beautifully, wonderfully made in the image of God!". She said:

"This was used back in 1992 when we had the vote. I stood on the steps of Church House silently because we were told we should not celebrate in case we upset others. Today we are going to celebrate."

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories