Church of England votes "Yes" to women leadership & women bishops

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The Church of England General Synod voting
During a five hour session at the University of York, members of the General Synod of The Church of England hold up their hands in a vote to approve the consecration and acceptance of women bishops. Image: ChurchTimes

(WNN) Denver, U.S., AMERICAS: As ongoing issues of women in leadership positions as bishops inside The Church of England subside, women who want to become part of the ruling clergy with the Anglican Church will now be able to do so, says Religion News Service on Monday.

The change is coming with the required two thirds vote after a five hour debate in the General Synod, that includes lay persons and clergy, as well as Church bishops.

Once the vote was complete a celebratory group of church members gathered outside the meeting that took place at Britain’s University of York.

As conservative ‘by-the-book’ traditionalists for the Anglican church could not meet the required percentage, it means that not everyone is happy about yesterday’s outcome.

“Women have a unique role to play where it comes to the Church, but it is not the same as men,” said The Church of England member and religious instructor Carrie Sandom in a statement made before yesterday’s decision was announced.

“God has different roles for us in the church in the church family, and so for me bishop represents a role that is designed for man,” said Susie Leafe director of the organization known as Reform, which is made up of separate conservative congregations within The Church of England.

Working together for the past years to keep the operation of The Church of England tightly defined and restricted to positions that are considered only for a man or a woman separately, Reform has said that they want to follow only church doctrines which are allowed, as they outline, “according to the Holy Scriptures.”

At this time it is unknown what the impacts women bishops in The Church of England will make, but advocates for women in the posiditons of leadership within the clergy do think it will be powerfully positive.

“Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases, disagreeing,” said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby yesterday following the voting process.

“Wait and watch – the women will become much more popular than the men in no time. That’s how it always goes,” said commentor Gia Monroe, amid a dozen negative comments, that came along with the CNN release on the story.


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