As it happened: Vote backs women bishops

Key points

  • The Church of England has voted in favour of allowing women to be appointed as bishops
  • The vote took place at a meeting of the ruling general synod in York - 18 months after a previous attempt was blocked
  • The Yes votes overturns centuries of tradition in a Church that has been deeply divided over the issue for decades
  • Anglican leaders had warned of severe damage to the Church's reputation

Live text

Reporting:

  • Mario Cacciottolo 

Last updated 14 July 2014

STANDARD 16:26

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the meeting of the general synod, the governing body of the Church of England, in York.

STANDARD 16:26

The synod is set to decide on whether to allow women into its top ranks as bishops.

STANDARD 16:26

The vote comes 18 months after a previous attempt was blocked. It was passed by the Houses of Bishops and Clergy but was six lay members' votes short in the House of Laity.

STANDARD 16:27

STANDARD 16:27

General Synod meets at York University on 14 July 2014

The historic vote will take place at the University of York where the Synod has been meeting since Friday.

STANDARD 16:28

So what are the issues behind a debate which has divided the Church for more than 20 years since the appointment of the first women priests was approved? Our Q&A on the vote explains the background.

STANDARD 16:29

The general synod has voted Yes to appointing women bishops in the Church of England.

STANDARD 16:30

The House of Bishops recorded 37 votes in favour, two against with one abstention. The House of Clergy had 162 in favour, 25 against and four abstentions. The House of Laity voted 152 for, 45 against with five abstentions.

STANDARD 16:33

The legislation that the general synod voted on contained concessions for traditionalists unwilling to serve under a woman bishop - giving them the right to ask for a male alternative and to take disputes to an independent arbitrator.

STANDARD 16:36

The traditionalists had argued that they would lose their legal right to the care of a male bishop, and enter an uncertain future relying heavily on the goodwill of future women bishops.

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