‘Overwhelming’ support for female bishops at Synod meeting

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Church leaders from North Yorkshire and Leeds have voted overwhelmingly in favour of women bishops.

The Diocese of Ripon and Leeds stretches from south Leeds to the borders with County Durham.

Its Synod, or governing body, met on Saturday, October 1, at the David Young Community Academy in Leeds to debate a draft measure called ‘Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women), which has been forwarded to every diocese in the country by the General Synod.

The Synod decided overwhelmingly in its favourwith the vote to approve the women bishops’ measure going 74 in favour and 7 against with 2 abstentions.

If the majority of Diocesan Synods approve the draft legislation the measure enabling women to become bishops will return to the General Synod, probably in February 2012, for final drafting.

So far every diocese which has met to debate the issue has voted in favour and the ‘Final Approval’ stage could be reached in July 2012.

The draft measure includes a code of practice giving provisions for those who cannot for reasons of belief accept women as bishops, but some traditionalists believe that these do not go far enough.

A ‘following’ motion calling for legal provision for alternative male bishops to be set up by statute rather than a code of practice was defeated by 70 votes to 12.