The Church of England could pursue legislation to allow women bishops at the next meeting of its council, the general Synod, it announced on Wednesday.
It was expected that legislation concerning female bishops could not be discussed for another five years after proposals were narrowly rejected at the Synod earlier this month, after 12 years of planning.
But in a statement released on Wednesday, the CoE said the Archbishops' council have recommended the bishops council look again at new legislation that can be discussed in 2013.
"Many council members commented on the deep degree of sadness and shock that they had felt as a result of the vote and also of the need to affirm all women serving the church - both lay and ordained - in their ministries," they said.
"In its discussions the Council decided that a process to admit women to the episcopate needed to be restarted at the next meeting of the General Synod in July 2013."
It is understood that the legislation cannot be the same as the laws recently rejected by the Synod. The House of Bishops also need to approve looking at the mater.
"This is aspirational on the part of the Archbishop's council," a CoE spokesperson told The Huffington Post UK, adding that The House of Bishops needed to agree and the legislation needed to be decided.
Last week Justin Welby, the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury, said he believed there would be female bishops at one point.
"It was a pretty grim day for the whole church. There is a lot to be done but I am absolutely confident that at some point I will consecrate a woman bishop," he told reporters.
The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, also aid the Church of England has a "lot of explaining" to do after rejecting the legislation.Suggest a correction