Church of England approves women bishops
The Church of England’s General Synod has today enacted the measure enabling women to be ordained as Bishops and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church”.
The formal enactment of the legislation - Amending Canon 33 - followed the vote on final approval by the Synod at its meeting in July of this year. Since that time the legislation has been approved in Parliament and received Royal Assent.
The final legislative requirements took place during a session chaired by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, on the first day of the Synod's meeting in London.
With the Instrument of Enactment having been read to Synod the motion was put without debate, with only a simple majority required for approval. Following the item being passed the legislation was signed into law by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York before the whole Synod.
Following the vote Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: "Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together. We will also continue to seek the flourishing of the church of those who disagree."
The Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich was the last to select a Bishop under the former rules and there are currently vacancies in: Southwell & Nottingham, Gloucester, Oxford and Newcastle.
Suffragan (assistant) bishop posts are currently vacant in Dunwich, Hertford, Hull, Plymouth and Stockport.
The first women priests were ordained 20 years ago in 1994 and today make up one third of the clergy.
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Pictured above is the Church of England General Synod. Picture courtesy of Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk.