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Church of England votes in favour of women bishops

The Church of England has voted in favour of allowing women bishops for the first time in its history.

The result means women bishops could potentially be appointed by the end of the year.

Members of the Church of England's Synod vote. Credit: PA Wire

After almost five hours of debate, the legislation to allow women to take up senior roles in the church received the required two thirds majority in all three Houses of the General Synod.

Thirty-seven bishops voted in favour with two against and one abstention, while 162 clergy approved with 25 against and four abstentions.

In the House of Laity, there were 152 votes in favour, 45 against and five abstentions.

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David Cameron 'in favour of women bishops'

David Cameron said he was in favour of women bishops as the Church of England prepares for a second vote on the issue.

Prime Minister David Cameron. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

The Prime Minister said: "I am in favour of women bishops. I think Archbishop Welby has shown great leadership on this issue and I wish him well."

Read: Female bishop's unique insight ahead of historic vote

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General Synod to vote in York on women bishops

The General Synod is taking place at the University of York Credit: Press Association

The long-running battle over women bishops comes to a head today. Members of the General Synod will cast their final vote at York University. Two years ago, legislation to allow women to become bishops narrowly missed being voted through - prompting complaints from the Bishop of Lincoln.

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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

More: Church of England given second chance on women bishops

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20 people contact police over Claudia Lawrence

Police say 10 people have called the incident room about the BBC Crimewatch programme which was shown last night.

Claudia Lawrence

A further 10 people rang during the week in the buildup to the programme.

A series of new appeals for information were featured on the programme, including efforts to identify two vehicles and two men seen near Claudia’s home on Heworth Road, York, at around the time she disappeared in March 2009.

Members of the public have also been urged to go to North Yorkshire Police’s new microsite dedicated to the Claudia Lawrence investigation which went live at 9.30pm on Wednesday.

The Claudia microsite has been viewed 6,602 times so far and this is expected to increase over the coming days and weeks.

In addition, the appeal on the North Yorkshire Police Facebook page has been seen by 9,272 people and counting.

Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward for information which leads to an arrest and conviction. This information can be passed on anonymously.

Ten calls to police following Claudia Lawrence Crimewatch appeal

Police have revealed that a further 10 people have called them following the Crimewatch appeal on the Claudia Lawrence case. The total number of calls is now 20.

New appeals for information were featured on the programme, including two vehicles and two men seen near Claudia’s home on Heworth Road, York, in March 2009.

Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward for information which leads to an arrest and conviction.

“The response to Crimewatch and the wider media appeal has been very encouraging. We hope people will continue to support the Claudia Lawrence investigation by looking at the new appeals contained on the microsite.

“The investigation team is now taking the necessary time to assess the fresh information and will issue an update in due course.”

– North Yorkshire Police

If you have any information that could assist the investigation, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.

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