A Bill to ordain women as bishops was narrowly defeated by members of the Church in Wales today.
The Bill failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority in one of the three “houses” of the Governing Body which is meeting at the University of Wales, Lampeter. While it was unanimously supported by the House of Bishops and passed by the House of Laity, it was three votes short of the majority in the House of Clergy.
An amendment for the Bill to provide a bishop for those opposing the ordination of women was also voted against.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, who proposed the Bill, last night said, “I am deeply disappointed that the Bill was not passed, especially since it was only lost by a very low margin in the House of Clergy. However, I am glad the amendment was also defeated – it is likely the Bill would have sailed through if the amendment had been passed but that would have meant us, as supporters, compromising our principles, which we were not prepared to do.
“Like this Bill, the Bill to ordain women to the priesthood was initially defeated, but it came back to the Governing Body and was passed 11 years ago. This is not the end for this Bill either – it will not go away and it will not be ignored, it is something the Church in Wales will have to grapple with. But it saddens me that we will have to go through the whole process and all the work involved once again.”
In the House of Laity the Bill was supported by 52 members and opposed by 19. In the House of Clergy, it was supported by 27 and opposed by 18.
Item from: The Church in Wales