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By Tim Clarke Wednesday 21 November 2012 Updated: 22/11 08:58
THE BISHOP of Worcester has admitted many people will have been left "hurt and disappointed" by the decision of the Church of England to reject moves to introduce the first women bishops.
But Dr John Inge said he remained confident it was only a matter of time before the first women were ordained bishop, despite Tuesday's (November 20) controversial decision by the Church's General Synod.
The legislation needed to secure a two thirds majority in each of the Synod's three houses which it achieved overwhelmingly in the House of Bishops, where 44 of the 49 bishops backed it, and the House of Clergy where 148 voted in favour and just 45 against.
But its failure to win the backing of the House of Laity by just six votes ensures the wait will continue for the first women bishops.
Bishop John - who had been a strong supporter of the legislation- said: "Very many people indeed will be disappointed and hurt by this decision, not least the huge numbers of women whose ministry as priests has enriched the Church of England immeasurably over the past 20 years.
"I want all of them to know, especially those in the Diocese of Worcester, that their ministry is greatly valued by me and many others both inside and outside of the Church and that they are in my thoughts and prayers."
Bishop John said the final decision was particularly disappointing given that the overwhelming majority of the Dioceses of the Church - 42 out of 44 - had signalled their support for it
“I remain confident that, though it will not happen as soon as many of us had hoped, women will be ordained bishop in the Church of England before too long," he added.
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