The Church of England yesterday voted in favour of allowing women to become bishops, only two years after significant opposition led to the same proposal being rejected.
The result followed a five-hour debate by the General Synod, the Church of England’s governing body, which overwhelmingly supporting the motion.
A majority of 152 members of the House of Laity voted in favour, with 45 voting against and five abstentions. In the House of Bishops, 37 members voted in favour, two against, with just one abstention.
Supporters of the motion have been seeking further modernisation of the church, which first allowed female priests in 1992.
Archbishop Welby released a jubilant statement, saying the vote was a “momentous day”, while Prime Minister David Cameron said the vote was a “great day for the Church and for equality”.
The first female bishop is expected to be appointed next year.