Church of England rejects women bishops

Women bishops rejected

"We need to do a lot of work to persuade the lay people of Synod that there is a way forward on this together.

"The irony of the decision we've just taken is that I believe it is the mind of the church that we have women bishops.

"There's a danger that the national church becomes a bit of a national embarrassment over this."

The Church of England the mother church of the 85-million-strong worldwide Anglican communion backed the introduction of women priests 20 years ago.

They now make up one-third of the Church of England's clergy.

The ordination of women as bishops had the backing of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and his successor Justin Welby, who takes over the position in March.

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