Bishop of Ely hails “joyous” decision to allow women to become bishops

Bishop of Ely, Stephen Conway

Bishop of Ely, Stephen Conway - Credit: Archant

The Bishop of Ely has hailed the decision to allow women to become bishops in the Church of England as a “joyous and thrilling breakthrough”.

The Rt Rev Stephen Conway attended a vote in the church’s ruling body, the General Synod, on Monday where approval was given to legislation introducing the change by the required two-thirds majority.

A previous vote in 2012 was backed by the Houses of Bishops and Clergy but blocked by traditionalist lay members.

The vote in the House of Laity went 152 in favour, 45 against, and there were five abstentions.

In the house of Bishops, 37 were in favour, two against, and there was one abstention. The House of Clergy voted 162 in favour, 25 against and there were four abstentions.


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The Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, said: “The clear vote for women bishops by the General Synod is the culmination of years of prayer, study and debate. “It is a joyous and thrilling breakthrough for the church of God and in particular for the Church of England. I am excited by the prospect of our being able to move as swiftly as possible to the consecration of the first women as colleagues within the College and House of Bishops.

“The fulfilment of the hope of a large majority of us in the Church of England, myself included, makes me all the more aware of the headship and traditionalist catholic clergy and parishes who are disappointed by this outcome and who are concerned about their future place as honoured Anglicans.

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“I am committed to the practical outworking of the five guiding principles, and I am sure that as we try to live in hope rather than just hurt with each other, that there will be opportunities for working out some kind of customary of our common life.

“We can make this work, we must make this work. We shall make this work through the abiding love of God for all of us.”

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