Ending centuries of tradition, a motion that welcomes and affirms "the view of the majority of the House of Bishops that admitting women to the episcopate in the Church of England is consonant with the faith of the Church" was carried by a majority vote by houses July 8 after a two-hour debate during the Church of England's General Synod, meeting at York University, England, July 7-11.
Bishops voted 31 in favor, and 9 against; clergy voted 134 in favor, and 42 against; laity voted 123 in favor, and 68 against.
The motion deals with the principle of women bishops. Further debate on a motion that addresses the process of ordaining women to the episcopate, is scheduled for July 10.
The full text of the motion, moved by the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, follows:
"That this Synod welcome and affirm the view of the majority of the House of Bishops that admitting women to the episcopate in the Church of England is consonant with the faith of the Church as the Church of England has received it and would be a proper development in proclaiming afresh in this generation the grace and truth of Christ."
A detailed ENS report will follow.