Women will be bishops, says Sentamu

Dr John Sentamu believes the Church of England will allow women bishops "in my lifetime"PA

A day after legislation to allow women bishops was rejected by the Church of England's parliamentary body, the Archbishop of York has spoken of his confidence that women in the episcopate will happen "in his lifetime".

The mood was sombre after yesterday's vote in which a majority of 324 General Synod members voted for the move as opposed to 122 against.

The legislation fell because it required a two-thirds majority in each of the three houses of the General Synod. While bishops and clergy voted in favour, lay members rejected it by a margin of just six votes.

The outcome is a bitter blow to supporters of women bishops, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and his successor, the Right Reverend Justin Welby.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Dr Sentamu said: "There will be women bishops in my lifetime".

He said: "The principle has already been accepted by the General Synod. It has already been accepted by all the dioceses.

"So what we need to do is find the legislation - 99.9% of the legislation is there.

"It's this little business of provision for those who are opposed."

Bishop Welby tweeted his disappointment last night: "Very grim day, most of all for women priests and supporters, need to surround all with prayer & love and co-operate with our healing God."

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