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Could this woman be the first female bishop?

Religious leaders in the West have welcomed the decision by the Church of England's governing body, the General Synod, to enable women to become bishops.

Our presenter Ian Axton interviews the Very Reverend June Osborne, the Dean of Salisbury Cathedral, who some people are suggesting could become the first female bishop.

South West religious leaders welcome women bishops

Rt Revd Peter Hancock when he was made Bishop of Bath and Wells in June Credit: ITV West Country

The Bishop of Bath & Wells, who was installed at Wells Cathedral in June, has welcomed the vote by the Church of England's governing body, the General Synod, to allow women to become bishops.

Bishops Peter Hancock and Peter Maurice, the Bishop of Taunton, say they are delighted at the news, especially as the last vote caused so much damage to what people thought of the church. The legislation will now go before Parliament and could become law in November.

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  1. Bob Constantine

West Country clergy dismayed at rejection of women bishops

West Country clergy have reacted with dismay to the decision by the governing body of the Church of England not to allow women bishops. One bishop told us he was depressed by the outcome, which he said made the church look foolish.

Although a majority of delegates voted for the change, it didn't receive a big enough majoirty among congregation members. Today a West Country MP raised the issue in Parliament.

  1. Bob Constantine

West Country clergy dismayed at rejection of women bishops

West Country clergy have reacted with dismay to the decision by the governing body of the Church of England not to allow women bishops. One bishop told us he was depressed by the outcome, which he said made the church look foolish.

Although a majority of delegates voted for the change, it didn't receive a big enough majoirty among congregation members. Today a West Country MP raised the issue in Parliament.

Plymouth vicar: No vote 'very good news' for CofE

Rev Prebendary Rod Thomas, the chairman of the conservative evangelical grouping Reform - which recommended a no vote - concluded the General Synod's decision on women bishops is "very good news for the Church of England".

The Plymouth vicar said, "We have avoided what could have been a disastrous mistake for our unity and witness".

The defeat came in spite of a series of appeals from senior Bishops in the Church for the Synod to back final approval for the legislation.

Church of England decision 'disastrous' says Bristol Bishop

The Bishop of Bristol has called the General Synod’s failure to agree legislation that enables women to become bishops in the Church of England “disastrous”.

I regard the outcome of today’s debate as disastrous. Whilst I have never believed it necessary for anyone to leave the Church on the basis of the Measure before us today, others clearly took another view.

It will be very difficult for those of us who have supported the ordination of women bishops to process our disappointment in the days ahead. My prayers are with the many people who are hurting, particularly women in our churches and those within and outside the Church who are bemused and disillusioned by such a failure.

– Rt Revd Mike Hill, the Bishop of Bristol

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