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Bishop of Manchester describes ‘devastating blow’ for female clergy bid – as petition falls only six votes short

By Mancunian Matters staff

Women across Manchester hoping to become bishops have been left ‘devastated’, after the bid to introduce female clergy was rejected yesterday.

The Bishop of Manchester saw his wish for the introduction of female bishops rejected following a day-long debate at the general synod yesterday.

The Church of England voted 132 for with 74 against, falling six short of the 138 needed to pass the legislation, condemning the church to more debate on the issue.

Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch voiced his concerns about the repercussions when opening the debate in the House of Laity.

“It would be a devastating blow to the morale of many, not least our female clergy,” Bishop McCulloch told the congregation.

“It would be a major deterrent to continuing to attract into the ordained ministry able women, and many able men too.

“I simply cannot believe that it is in the interest of the Church of England for that debate to continue for a further decade – the overwhelming majority of our dioceses have spoken so clearly.”

Bishop McCulloch will retire on January 17 after ten years in his post, leaving behind a Manchester Diocese with mixed views on the legislation.

Canon Simon Killwick, a vicar in Moss Side, addressed the synod yesterday and spoke of his opposition to the ordination of women as bishops.

He said: “I do not believe that this draft legislation will be good for the Church of England.

“Attempts by the House of Bishops to improve the provision for traditionalists in the code of practice will meet with resistance.

“This legislation would not bring closure because it does not provide a clear and lasting way forward.”

Elsewhere, outspoken member of the Manchester music scene, former Inspiral Carpets frontman Tom Hingley, expressed his dismay with the synod’s decision.

He tweeted: “What we need from the Synod now is lots of patronising lecturing about the ‘family’ and ‘tolerance’ and how women are only fit to do housework.

“It is time to close the Anglican Church down [sic] lecturing people, while being sexist, homophobic, conservative to the core, it’s outlived any purpose.”

Photo courtesy of the Catholic Church of England and Wales, with thanks.

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