[Reuters] 12 Feb 2009--So the Church of England opted for safety when it met to discuss the next stage in the ordination of women bishops, avoiding the cataclysmic result of a ‘no’ vote.
More than 280 members of the General Synod, or governing body, voted in favour of sending draft legislation and a code of practice to a revision committee, ensuring its continued progress.
The church will still take its time over the legislation, with no woman bishop likely to be installed before 2014.
But as Jonathan Gledhill, Bishop of Lichfield, said: “I believe we must go forward today however slowly the progress may be.”
Failure to have voted in favour would not have killed off the prospect of women bishops - as the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said on Tuesday, the issue will not go away - but it could have delayed ordination for many years.
Anglicans in Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand already have women bishops.
But don’t be fooled. There was still widespread discontent, with 114 members voting against, and 13 abstaining.