LAST month, the governing body for the Church of England in Worcestershire, the Worcester Diocesan Synod, voted overwhelmingly to support proposals from the General Synod of the Church of England to enable women to become bishops.

The proposals will need to be approved by the majority of Diocesan Synods across the country, before the legislation can be fully debated at the General Synod meeting in July later this year, but there was only one vote against from the Worcester Synod.

Bishop John Inge said: “The vote was wonderful news. The Diocese of Worcester has always been overwhelmingly in favour of allowing women to become bishops so I was not surprised that the vote was almost unanimous. We hope that other dioceses will give a similarly clear steer to General Synod and it won’t be long before we are consecrating our first female bishop.”

Professor Michael Clarke, one of Worcester’s representatives on General Synod introduced the subject for discussion. He said: “ “Through facilitated discussions we have explored new territory and found ways of reconciling what had seemed to be irreconcilable interests. This new way forward is now widely supported by the majority of viewpoints in the Church of England.”

There will still be provision for members with conscientious theological objections to the ordained ministry of women, with the installation of a code of practice.