A MOVE to allow women to become Bishops in the Church of England was welcomed today.
The Rev Catherine Ogle, Vicar of Huddersfield and a priest for 13 years, said it was a move to be applauded.
But the Church of England was left facing turmoil within its own ranks after its ruling body threw out compromise proposals over the consecration of women bishops.
Members of the Church of England General Synod voted to press ahead with the ordination of women bishops but without the legal safeguards demanded by traditionalists.
The Synod members voted to approve work on a statutory national code of practice to accommodate parishes and clergy who object to women bishops on grounds of conscience.
They rejected the creation of new dioceses for parishes and clergy opposed to women bishops, the preferred option of traditionalists.
The Synod also rejected compromise proposals for work on two possible options – that of a new order of “super bishops” to cater for objectors and a national code.
Mrs Ogle, who was ordained a Deacon in 1988 and a priest in 1995, said: “I welcome the decision of the Church of England General Synod to ordain women as bishops with great joy.
“It’s very now important for us to show those opposed to this move that they are a valued and important part of the Church of England. We are a broad church and need to remain committed to living generously with those we disagree with.
“I am glad that we are trusting ourselves to a code of conduct rather than instituting rules which risk insulting women leaders, or formalising schism.
“This is a time to thank God for the gifts that ordained women have brought to the church over the last 20 years and recognising that the Church of England is greatly blessed by the men and women that serve as priests.
“Soon women will be recognised as bishops – but its important to say that what is at stake here is much more important than simply ‘jobs for the girls’.”
Mrs Ogle, Vicar of Huddersfield since 2001, added: “The consecration of women as bishops in the C of E will show in a symbolic and decisive way that Christians believe women and men are both made in God’s image.
“Both women and men are able to represent humanity, and both women and men are able to represent Christ and his church.
“The Church of England is part of the world wide Anglican community and its actions are highly significant. In a world where many women are still second-class citizens, on the receiving end of prejudice and violence, it is a message of hope for women”.