Church of England gives final nod to women bishops

AFP , Monday 17 Nov 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (Photo:Reuters)

The Church of England's governing body on Monday rubber-stamped an historic measure allowing women to become bishops, paving the way for the first ordinations next year.

The General Synod agreed with a show of hands to implement a decision made in a landmark vote in July, following the formal approval of parliament.

"Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together," said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

"We will also continue to seek the flourishing of the church of those who disagree."

Welby signed the change into legislation along with the Archbishop of York John Sentamu on the first day of the synod's meeting in London.

The amendment to "Canon 33", which now states that "a man or a woman may be consecrated to the office of bishop", comes 20 years after the first women were ordained as priests.

The battle to make the change was reflected in the Church's short message announcing the news on Twitter, which had the hashtags #Historic #Synod #ItisFinished.

The first female bishop is expected to take her seat next year. There are currently nine vacancies, each of which may now be filled either by a male or a female priest.

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