Women bishops: The big debate

Holy Communion chalice
Debate on women bishops Photo: ITV News

The ruling body of the Church of England is meeting in York to decide whether to allow women to become bishops.

The issue has divided the church - 18 years after women were first allowed to become priests. The General Synod will be trying to reach a compromise between those who see women bishops as the natural next step and traditionalists who say the spiritual leadership of the church should be male only.

I am in favour of women being bishops. I understand that it is a difficult process and there are people who have great difficulty with it

– The Rev Adele Phillips, priest at St James and St Bede's Gateshead

I just go by what the Bible says. Women vicars are marvellous but for the top job I want a man

– Member of congregation, St James and St Bede's Church