17 November 2014, The Tablet

CofE's General Synod rubberstamp women bishops legislation

The Church of England's General Synod gave the final seal of approval to legislation that will enable female priests to be made bishops.

Legislation was finally approved by General Synod in favour of women bishops in July. The legislation was passed in the House of Lords in October.

Following the vote the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, 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.”

An earlier version of the legislation was defeated in 2012.

The first diocese needing a new bishop after the canon law is changed will be Southwell and Nottingham and applications have been received from female candidates, the BBC reported. Bishops will also be required in Gloucester, Oxford and Newcastle and in the suffragan sees of Dunwich, Hertford, Hull, Plymouth and Stockport.

The bishop of Rochester, James Langstaff, told the BBC that while the CofE had not engaged in positive discrimination in order to fast-track female candidates, it had engaged in “affirmative action” to prepare women for senior leadership.

The first female bishop could be announced in the next few months.

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