The next Archbishop of Canterbury has insisted that women will eventually be ordained as bishops despite the change being voted down last night.

Justin Welby said the General Synod had "overwhelmingly" backed the idea, although it did not receive the two-thirds majority needed among lay members on Tuesday.

Welby, Bishop of Durham until he takes over from Dr Rowan Williams next year, said he agreed with comments by the Archbishop of York John Sentamu.

"Sentamu has said there will be women bishops and I agree with him," he told the Press Association.

justin welby

Welby insisted he believed legislation would eventually pass

"The Church has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the principle. It is a question of finding a way that there is a real consensus that this is the right way forward.

"That is going to take some time, some care, and some prudence."

Asked whether he was determined to push the issue, Welby, who had earlier tweeted that yesterday was a "very grim day", said: "I'm going to listen to all the other bishops and we will talk together and decide together."

Earlier on Wednesday, Dr Williams said the Church of England has a "lot of explaining" to do after rejecting the legislation.

general synod

The church's General Synod voted against allowing female bishops on Tuesday night

"Whatever the motivation for voting yesterday whatever the theological principle on which people acted and spoke, the fact remains that a great deal of this discussion is not intelligible to our wider society," he said.

"Worse than that, it seems as if we are wilfully blind to some of the trends and priorities of that wider society.

"We have some explaining to do, we have as a result of yesterday undoubtedly lost a measure of credibility in our society."

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  • BRITAIN-RELIGION-ANGLICAN-WOMEN-VOTE

    Marie-Elsa Bragg, Assistant Curate, embraces a collegue after the Church of England's draft legislation approving women bishops failed to pass during the England General Synod at Church House in central London on November 20, 2012. The legislation needed a two-thirds majority among the three houses of bishops, clergy and laity, but failed by just six voters among the laity. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL,BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-RELIGION-ANGLICAN-WOMEN-VOTE

    Marie-Elsa Bragg embraces a collegue after the Church of England's draft legislation approving women bishops failed to pass during the England General Synod at Church House in central London on November 20, 2012. The legislation needed a two-thirds majority among the three houses of bishops, clergy and laity, but failed by just six voters among the laity. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL,BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-RELIGION-ANGLICAN-WOMEN-VOTE

    The Bishop of Norwich Graham James speaks to the media after the Church of England's draft legislation approving women bishops failed to pass during the England General Synod at Church House in central London on November 20, 2012. The legislation needed a two-thirds majority among the three houses of bishops, clergy and laity, but failed by just six voters among the laity. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL,BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-RELIGION-ANGLICAN-WOMEN-VOTE

    Female members of the clergy leave after the Church of England's draft legislation approving women bishops failed to pass during the England General Synod at Church House in central London on November 20, 2012. The legislation needed a two-thirds majority among the three houses of bishops, clergy and laity, but failed by just six voters among the laity. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL,BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, after draft legislation introducing the first women bishops in the Church of England failed to receive final approval from the Church of England General Synod, at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Rt Rev Justin Welby, the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury (top) with Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury (back to camera), after draft legislation introducing the first women bishops in the Church of England failed to receive final approval from the Church of England General Synod, at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Rt Rev Justin Welby, the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury (background) looks on as Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury is given a hug, after draft legislation introducing the first women bishops in the Church of England failed to receive final approval from the Church of England General Synod, at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams (back to camera), the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, provides a shoulder of comfort after draft legislation introducing the first women bishops in the Church of England failed to receive final approval from the Church of England General Synod, at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, after draft legislation introducing the first women bishops in the Church of England failed to receive final approval from the Church of England General Synod, at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury (left) listens to a speech by the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Manchester, during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    A general view of the Assembly Hall of Church House, during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    The Venerable Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    The Venerable Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    The Reverend Janet Appleby speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Canon Rosie Harper speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Rt Rev Justin Welby, the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury (left) listens to a speech by the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Manchester, during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Rt Rev Justin Welby (centre), the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury after speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Rt Rev Justin Welby, the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Rt Rev Justin Welby (centre), the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury after speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, after speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - at Church House in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    A general view of the Assembly Hall of Church House, during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    A 'No Entry' sign in the Assembly Hall of Church House, during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    A general view of the Assembly Hall of Church House, during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    A general view of the Assembly Hall of Church House, during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - in central London.

  • The Church of England's Synod Vote On Women Bishops

    LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Visitors enter Church House for the afternoon session of the Synod on November 20, 2012 in London, England. The Church of England's governing body, known as the General Synod, will later today vote on whether to allow women to become bishops. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Vote on female bishops

    A general view of the voting handset which will be used during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    PLEASE NOTE THE PERSON'S NAME ON SMARTCARD PIXELATED BY REQUEST OF THE CHURCH AUTHORITIES : A general view of the voting handset which will be used during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - in central London.

  • Vote on female bishops

    PLEASE NOTE THE PERSON'S NAME ON SMARTCARD PIXELATED BY REQUEST OF THE CHURCH AUTHORITIES : A general view of the voting handset which will be used during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England - where a vote on whether to give final approval to legislation introducing the first women bishops will take place - in central London.

  • The Church of England's Synod Vote On Women Bishops

    LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Reverend Sally Hitchiner crosses her fingers outside Church House during a lunch break on November 20, 2012 in London, England. The Church of England's governing body, known as the General Synod, will later today vote on whether to allow women to become bishops. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Church of England's Synod Vote On Women Bishops

    LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Reverend Sally Hitchiner stands outside Church House during a lunch break on November 20, 2012 in London, England. The Church of England's governing body, known as the General Synod, will later today vote on whether to allow women to become bishops. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Church of England's Synod Vote On Women Bishops

    LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Reverends (L-R) Jody Stowell, Nicola Shephard and Sally Hitchiner talk with Peter Broadbent, The Bishop of Willesden outside Church House during a lunch break on November 20, 2012 in London, England. The Church of England's governing body, known as the General Synod, will later today vote on whether to allow women to become bishops. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Church of England's Synod Vote On Women Bishops

    LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Reverend Sally Hitchiner stands outside Church House during a lunch break on November 20, 2012 in London, England. The Church of England's governing body, known as the General Synod, will later today vote on whether to allow women to become bishops. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)