The Church of England could decide as early as July whether to appoint women bishops, but pockets of opposition remain.
Today the Church of England Synod is meeting to debate a crucial vote which, if supported, could see women Bishops in England by Christmas.
Today's vote to allow women bishops in Wales will have implications for the Church of England, which is now in a minority in the UK.
The governing body of the Church in Wales has voted to allow women bishops for the first time.
The decision leaves the Church of England as the only branch of Anglicanism in Britain that still bans women from holding the post.
ITV News' Social Affairs Editor Penny Marshall reports:
- England: General Synod voted down a measure to allow women bishops in November 2012. Another measure is afoot which could be voted on in July 2015.
- Wales: Governing Body of the Church in Wales has today approved ordination of women from 12 September 2014.
- Ireland (including Northern Ireland): Approved the ordination of women as priests and bishops in 1990, although no women have been ordained so far.
- Scotland: Scottish Episcopal Church has allowed women bishops since 2003. While a female priest was shortlisted in 2010, none has been ordained.
The Bill allowing women to be ordained as bishops in Wales will come into force one year from today after a last-minute amendment to speed up its implementation.
An original motion, put forward by the six bishops in Wales, would have meant that special arrangements had to be found for priests who do not want to be led by a woman.
This was amended to a one-stage vote to enable the consecration of women as bishops from September 2014.
There were reportedly "huge cheers" after the Church in Wales' governing body voted in favour of women bishops at a meeting in Lampeter, Ceredigion.
Huge cheers as this was passed in the hall. But business not over... Now we hear poems from Revd Peter Walker #govbody
Women will be allowed to become bishops in the Church in Wales following a key vote at the Anglican groups meeting in Lampeter, West Wales today.
The crisis over the Church of England's division on women bishops has deepened after a clergyman announced he will not take up the role of the Bishop of Whitby over the issue.
Father Philip North, who was due to be consecrated as Bishop of Whitby in March, was among a group of General Synod clergy members who voted against giving final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops.
Fr North, currently the team rector at Old Saint Pancras Church in London, said although it was "a great honour" to be chosen, in light of the recent vote "I have concluded that it is not possible for me, at this difficult time for our Church, to be a focus for unity".
Bishop of London the Rt Rev Richard Chartres responded, "I can understand the reasons for Philip's decision".
MPs will debate the Church of England's failure to pass changes allowing women bishops next week.
The Church was plunged into a constitutional crisis following last month's shock defeat of the proposals in the General Synod.
The backbench debate on December 12, which will not result in a vote, will be led by Labour former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw.
A former Archbishop of Canterbury called on the Church of England to rip up its rule book and “speed through” the introduction of women bishops, according to reports.
Lord Carey of Clifton, who secured the ordination of women priests in 1992, said the vote against the consecration of women at the Church’s parliament was “appalling”.
– Lord Carey of Clifton
They should get their chance now. I remain very pleased we ordained women priests in my time. It is time to move on and ordain women to the episcopate.Where there is a will, there is a way.
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.”
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."