Synod vote on Women Bishops

Bishop Richard welcomes the legislation passing it's latest hurdle before a final vote in July

The Bishop of Warrington has welcomed General Synod's vote to enable a final debate and vote on Women Bishops to take place in July. But he has also expressed disapointment that the CNC process for Liverpool can't be delayed to allow a woman to be considered as out next diocesan.

Bishop Richard said "I am delighted that this session of General Synod has progressed the legislative process towards ordaining women as bishops. It has agreed that dioceses will be required to conclude their own debates by the summer so that General Synod will be in a position to give final approval in July.

"As a strong supporter of women bishops I am heartened that this measure is on course. Whilst we continue to keep in mind the needs of those who cannot accept women’s ministry this is another positive step. It feels as if the much awaited day is dawning when we shall see an excellent female colleague appointed as a bishop.

"I have made a request to delay the process of appointing the next Bishop of Liverpool so those being considered could include the names of women. This has been turned down on procedural grounds which could mean that Liverpool must wait a further 10 - 15 years before a woman could be considered as diocesan.

Sadly, that logic is not to be applied in adapting the process of discerning who should be our new bishop. This takes away, for the next decade, the opportunity of testing the possibility of a woman leading our diocese. I know many will share my disappointment."

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What happens next?

The General Synod vote means that every diocese has to vote on the motion:-

‘That this Synod approve the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 33.’

If the majority of synods agree it is likely the the draft legislation will be approved in July and then it will go to Parliament. The belief is that the measure will be enabling the first women to be considered for a bishops post in November.