Bishop of St Albans’ disappointment at Synod vote on women

LEADING churchmen in the St Albans diocese have admitted that the vast majority of the local congregation had supported the ordination of women as Bishops.

The comments of the Rt Rev Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Rev Paul Bayes, Bishop of Hertford, and the Rt Rev Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford, was in response to the vote on women bishops taken in the General Synod on Tuesday.

The move was rejected because a two-thirds majority was required in all three Houses of Synod for the legislation to proceed and only two of the three achieved that figure.

In a statement, the three diocesan Bishops said: “We have always been supporters of women bishops’ legislation and share in the disappointment of the many outstanding women priests who play such a valuable role in the mission and ministry of our diocese.

“We recognise that a significant minority of people in the Diocese of St Albans have theological objections to the proposals which were being debated. We have always tried to keep in close contact with them and to support them.

“Nevertheless we know that the vast majority of people in the diocese were in favour of this development and for them the vote will be a cause for deep sadness. We need time to reflect on what has happened.”