The Bishop of Lincoln has expressed his disappointment at the General Synod’s decision to reject the proposal allowing women to be bishops in the church.
The decision, which was supported by the Diocese of Lincoln, cannot be discussed again until the new General Synod is elected in several years’ time.
Bishop of Lincoln Rt Revd Christopher Lowson: “This is a very sad day indeed, not just for those of us who support the ministry of women, but for the future of the Church, which might very well be gravely damaged by this.
“The proposal had the overwhelming support of most of the Diocesan Synods, and this raises very serious questions about the representation of General Synod, and calls for a broad review of how General Synod members are elected.
“The Church has suffered a serious credibility problem while it worked on the legislation, and this is a set-back that could cement the Church’s reputation as being outdated and out-of-touch.
“Young people have spoken to me of their concerns about the Church, and the way it appears to fight against that which for many people is perfectly normal and acceptable.
“I am meeting with women clergy from around the Diocese of Lincoln next week to discuss the implications of this vote, and to work with them to re-affirm their ministry in the coming years.”
The Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey, the Venerable Jane Sinclair, is the most senior woman in the local diocese.
The most senior woman in the Diocese of Lincoln, the Venerable Jane Sinclair, said: “This is of course a very sad day.
“A lot of people have worked very hard to make the proposed legislation fair and it took seriously the concerns of those in conscience who could not accept the ministry of women.
“They are very much the minority in the Church, as the recent results from Diocesan Synods showed, and the result is certainly not representative of the Church as a whole.
“However, I and my colleagues are determined to continue to support those parishes which in conscience cannot accept the ministry of women, particularly as it is inevitable that the matter will be raised again in the future.”