Bishop of Grantham: ‘Vote against women is a blow to the church’

Bishop of Grantham Rt Rev Dr Tim Ellis.

Bishop of Grantham Rt Rev Dr Tim Ellis.

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The Bishop of Grantham has described Tuesday’s vote against women bishops as a ‘blow to the church’.

The Church of England’s General Synod narrowly voted against the proposal in a rebuff to its leaders including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the man who will soon replace him, the Rt Rev Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, who are in favour of women bishops.

Bishop of Grantham, the Rt Rev Dr Tim Ellis, said: “It’s a very serious blow to the internal morale of the Church, but the Church will continue to get on with its work in the way it has always done.

“I would certainly have liked the vote to have gone the other way. The question now remains whether we have shown ourselves to be out of touch with modern cultural developments with regards to equality.”

Dr Ellis said the issue had taken up 17 years of thought by the church and 10 years by the General Synod, and that an ‘overwhelming number of people in the Church were in favour of women bishops.”

The vote in favour fell short by only six votes and many bishops said the result was ‘disastrous’, ‘gravely 
damaging’ and a ‘national embarrassment’ for the Church.