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Church in Wales votes to allow women bishops

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:

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Women bishops in the UK and Ireland

  • 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.

Women can be ordained as bishops from Autumn 2014

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.

'Huge cheers' after vote in favour of women bishops

There were reportedly "huge cheers" after the Church in Wales' governing body voted in favour of women bishops at a meeting in Lampeter, Ceredigion.

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New bishop stands down over vote on women

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.

Legislation allowing the ordination of women bishops failed to achieve a majority Credit: REUTERS/Yui Mok/POOL

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".

Former Archbishop of Canterbury: 'rip up rulebook' for women bishops

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”.

He told the Times it was “ridiculous” to assume that the General Synod could not reconsider women bishops until 2015.

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.

– Lord Carey of Clifton

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."

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