Church to cast votes on women bishops
THE Church of England's national assembly is to gather this week for a key three-day meeting where members will decide whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops.
The General Synod, meeting in Church House, London, will hold a series of votes tomorrow on women bishops billed as the most significant decision the 470-strong body has taken since it backed women priests 20 years ago.
The legislation needs a two-thirds majority in all three houses of the General Synod – of bishops, clergy and laity – in order to gain final approval. Commentators have said they believe it will clear the houses of bishops and clergy with the necessary majority but the vote among lay members of the General Synod is thought to be on a "knife-edge".
A defeat for the legislation would be seen as a serious blow to Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, who has staked his authority on a Yes vote in a campaign launched last month.
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