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Women Bishops Finally Allowed By Anglican Churches In Wales (POLL)

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Women will finally be allowed to become bishops in the Church in Wales following a historic "yes" vote by its governing body on Thursday.

Bishops within the Church tabled a bill calling for the change, which was finally accepted by its governing body after a previous vote in 2008 failed by just three votes.

Following Thursday's landmark vote, relieved Bishops revealed their joy at the decision.

"Do we really care whether the bishop has external or internal plumbing?" Nigel King, stewardship officer for the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon asked.

While the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said it made "no theological sense" not to ordain women as bishops when the church already ordained them as deacons and priests.

women bishops

Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney, speaking in 2012 during a meeting of the General Synod

Controversially, a committee had recommended a second bill to amend the Church's constitution in order to accommodate clergy who don't want to work under a woman.

However, in a move certain to enrage conservatives, an archdeacon said it would have seen discrimination written into the Church's constitution – an attitude backed by the governing body.

But Father Ben Andrews, from Barry, said it could be difficult for some people to stay in the church if women bishops were allowed.

He said: "The bishop's role is to hold the diocese together, and for those of us who in good conscience cannot accept the sacramental ministry of a woman bishop means we cannot be in communion with that bishop.

"We are told we have an honoured place within the church but that place is going to be difficult if not impossible for us to stay and remain. There may come a time when it is impossible for me to function as a priest in the Church in Wales."

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The archdeacon's bill now requires the Church to draw up the code of practice "without delay".

Supporters and women's rights groups called the decision long overdue - arguing the exclusion of women from the top roles made the church less relevant in modern society.

Now, the decision puts pressure on their English counterparts to follow suit - given that Scotland and Northern Ireland allow female bishops.

In England, the issue is due to be discussed again in November, while Ireland and Scotland both already allow female bishops, although none have been elected yet.

Earlier this year the controversial topic was back on the agenda for the Church of England, as Members of the General Synod met to discuss plans for a new draft law.

After talks descended into chaos last November, the Church of England's national assembly restarted attempts to introduce women bishops.

The new proposals could mean final approval for female bishops in England by 2015.

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