THE governing body of the Diocese of Hereford has voted unanimously in favour of backing women bishops.
Neither of the Diocesan Synod’s three Houses - Bishops, Clergy and Lay - recorded a single vote against.
Meeting on Saturday, Synod members, who represent the whole geographic area of the Diocese, were asked to approve the motion: That this Synod approves the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and the draft amending Canon No 33
The need for the vote followed the General Synod vote of 2011, which failed to enable the legislation which would have seen women become Bishops, fail.
This was despite 42 of the 44 English Dioceses voting in favour and 73% of synod members voting for the new legislation.
In the unique voting system, this meant it narrowly failed to secure the requisite two-thirds majorities in each of the Synod’s three Houses.
In the 15 months since, the Church of England has moved fast to identify a new approach with the potential to enable the necessary majorities being secured.
It was the result of this work that Hereford Synod members were voting on at Saturday’s meeting.
“It is good news from the Diocese of Hereford, with no dissent at all,” said Anni Holden, spokesperson for the Diocese.
“We have always been a very pro women Diocese and have the largest proportion of women priests of any of the 44 dioceses,” she said.
The unanimous vote rules out any referral to the Deanery Synods - the next tier down from Diocesan Synod - to continue the debate.
Though waiting for a new bishop, Hereford Diocese won’t get the first woman having been timed out of its chance ahead of any change to existing legislation .