Canon Rosie Harper speaks at the Assembly Hall of Church
House, during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church
of England in London. REUTERS/Yui Mok/
The Church of England voted today against legislation
that would have allowed the ordination of women bishops, the
culmination of more than 10 years of divisive debate, after the
proposal failed to win the backing of lay members.
The General Synod, the legislative body of the Church which
is made up of separate houses for bishops, clergy and laity,
failed to reach the two-thirds majority required in all three
houses to pass the measure.
"It was carried in the house of bishops and clergy, but lost
in the house of laity. The motion having been lost ... we do
not proceed any further," said Archbishop of York John
Women already serve as Anglican bishops in Australia, New
Zealand, Canada and the United States, but the Church of
England, mother church for the world's 80 million Anglicans,
has struggled to reconcile the dispute between reformers and
traditionalists on whether to allow them in England.
The Church had already voted to allow women bishops in theory
but Tuesday's vote, on provisions to be made for
conservatives theologically opposed to senior women clergy,
needed to pass before women could be enthroned as Anglican
bishops in England.