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Synod to vote in York over women bishops

The Synod gathers for discussions over women in the Episcopate at the General Synod, University of York. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Church of England will decide whether or not to back the introduction of women bishops at a meeting in York today.

Members of the General Synod will be asked to give final approval to legislation introducing women bishops in a gathering at York University. If the bill is passed, the first women bishops could be introduced to 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.

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Women and the Church: 'Hopeful of bishop success'

The Reverend Jody Stowell, from north west London, and a spokeswoman for Women and the Church, said they were "hopeful" of success in the vote for women bishops.

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

We are hopeful because of all the work that has been done within the General Synod in terms of relationships between people who have different opinions on this.

We would not say we are overly confident at all because it is the same set of people who voted it down in November 2012 so we have to be realistic about that.

– Reverend Jody Stowell

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Bishop of Durham's election confirmed

The Right Reverend Paul Butler will start work as the Bishop of Durham next month. Credit: Church of England
The Archbishop of York John Sentamu led the confirmation service at York Minster. Credit: Church of England

The Right Reverend Paul Butler has had his election as Bishop of Durham confirmed.

The confirmation service, led by the Archbishop of York John Sentamu in a service at York Minster, means that the Right Reverend Paul Butler is now legally the Bishop of Durham. However, he will not start his ministry until 22nd February.

Dr John Sentamu: Church must offer "full apology" to sex abuse victims

The Archbishop of York says abuse victims will be listened to Credit: PA

The Archbishop of York has ordered an independent review of all files on deceased clergy who served in the Diocese of York from before 1950 up to the present day. Last month, the General Synod voted to ensure that victims of abuse are listened to.

In a statement today, the Archbishop said that the church must "acknowledge the hurt which has been done, to offer a full apology to offer a full apology, and to prove, so far as is possible, that policies and practices are improved such that the same systematic failure could never be repeated"

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Archbishop of York announces review of dead clergy files

In a further move to address allegations of sexual abuse by Church of England clergy, the Archbishop of York has ordered an independent review of all files on deceased clergy who served in the Diocese of York from before 1950 up to the present day.

Last month, the General Synod voted to apologise for "past safeguarding wrongs" in the Church of England, and to ensure that victims of abuse are listened to.

Dr John Sentamu has already ordered an independent review into the Church’s handling of reports of alleged child abuse by the late Robert Waddington, a former Dean of Manchester.

In a statement today, the Archbishop said:

The damage done by the sexual abuse of children is immense, and the passage of time does not in itself bring healing. Where young people are shown to have been betrayed by individuals in a position of trust and by the institution’s failure to protect them, it is for the Church to acknowledge the hurt which has been done, to offer a full apology, and to prove, so far as is possible, that policies and practices are improved such that the same systemic failure could never be repeated.”

– Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu
  1. National

Wonga 'embarrassment' shouldn't have happened

The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken on BBC Radio 4's Today programme of his "embarrassment" after it was discovered the Church of England's pension fund had indirectly invested in payday lender Wonga.

It comes a day after the Most Reverend Justin Welby told Wonga the church wants to "compete it out of existence" by supporting credit unions:

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