Bishop 'very disappointed' by women bishop defeat
CHURCH leaders in Notts say they are disappointed at the Church of England's vote against women bishops.
The measure fell at the final hurdle by just six votes in the General Synod on Tuesday.
Supporters vowed to continue their campaign but it could be five years before another vote is held.
The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler, wrote to all his clergy and ministers to say: "I am personally very disappointed. Many will also be angry and bewildered and everyone will need time to take stock and reflect on what we do next."
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The Bishop will be setting up an open meeting, open to anyone, in the next few weeks to look at future options.
He added: "This was the letter I honestly did not want to have to send, after yesterday's vote. But we are all called to continue to live out our calling to join together in the transforming mission of God.
"Many will feel Synod's decision has hindered that work, but it emphatically has not stopped it. God will keep working, and so must we."
Liz Murray, assistant curate for the Eastwood and Brinsley with Underwood parish, which has two churches, also spoke out against the decision.
"I am surprised and disappointed," she said. "I really thought it would go through.
"This is a major blow to the Church, but I think we can survive it.
"And I think for the wider Anglican community it seems a little embarrassing, because New Zealand, states in Africa, Australia and America all have women priests already.
"But my hopes are high this will be revisited soon."
The draft measure was carried in the three houses of the General Synod but failed to gain the necessary two thirds majority among lay members.
The House of Bishops voted 44 in favour, with three against and two recorded abstentions. In the House of Clergy, 148 voted in favour, 45 against and there were no abstentions.
But in the House of Laity, 74 voted against, compared to 132 in favour with no abstentions.
Supporters of women bishops were "devastated" and betrayed.
Sally Barnes, of campaign group Women and the Church (Watch), said she and her colleagues were "very angry".
She said: "My initial reaction is one of deep sorrow at the missed opportunity, especially as we know that the House of Bishops really wanted it to go through.
"We have always said that the way of voting people into the Synod needs a wider electorate to get a wider representation of views because they've gone against the stated view of the wider Church."