Church of England General Synod approves women bishops

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Women may soon become bishops in the Church of England after the green light from the General Synod.

On 14th July 2014 the General Synod gave its final approval for women to become bishops in the Church of England.

The vote in the General Synod on the measure was carried by the required two-thirds majority in the three constituent parts of the Synod:  the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity.

The first woman bishop could potentially be appointed by the end of the year.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the approval for women to become bishops “is the completion of what was begun over 20 years with the ordination of women as priests.”

“The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds,” Archbishop Welby said.

His thoughts went to those who are against the decision. “As delighted as I am for the outcome of this vote I am also mindful of those within the Church for whom the result will be difficult and a cause of sorrow,” Archbishop Welby said. “My aim, and I believe the aim of the whole church, should be to be able to offer a place of welcome and growth for all. Today is a time of blessing and gift from God and thus of generosity. It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together.”

The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, said: “This is a momentous day. Generations of women have served the Lord faithfully in the Church of England for centuries. It is a moment of joy today: the office of Bishop is open to them.”

The President of the Methodist Conference welcomed the news that the Church of England’s General Synod voted in favour of allowing women to become bishops.

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu

The Revd Ken Howcroft said: “We rejoice in the decision of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopacy. We recognise that this has been a long and difficult process and that, for some, it is a painful decision.

“We will continue to keep everyone in the Church of England in our prayers. The Methodist Church has long benefitted from the equality of ministry between men and women. We are confident that our Church of England brothers and sisters will be similarly blessed as a result of today’s courageous decision.”

Hindus also commended the Church of England for saying yes to women bishops. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said it was a big “step in the positive direction”, although it came very late.

Mr Zed advised the Church of England to empower the women bishops with exactly equal roles as men bishops and without any limits or conditions. As women were equal partners in the society, they should be equal partners in Church also, Mr Zed stated.

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