The last vote on this issue, in November 2012, was narrowly defeated. This time, General Synod passed the motion reasonably easily:
- Bishops: 37 in favour, 2 against, 1 abstention.
- Clergy: 162 in favour, 25 against, 4 abstentions.
- Laity: 152 in favour, against 45, 5 abstentions.
Because the Church of England is the ‘established church’, it has unique ties to the secular parliament. The legislation just passed must be approved by the parliament before the church can act upon it. However, it is possible that the first woman could be concecrated bishop in the Church of England before the end of the year.
The Anglican Church of Australia has concecrated several women as bishops, beginning with Bishop Kay Goldsworthy in Perth in 2008.
Church of England General Synod Backs Women Bishops [BBC News]
Church of England Votes to Allow Women to Become Bishops [ABC News]