The national consultation on the draft legislation for women bishops in the Church of England has concluded with a resounding ‘yes’ from the dioceses.

On Saturday the last six dioceses to debate the draft legislation to allow women to be bishops gave their assent. These results bring the total number of dioceses voting in favour to 42 out of 44 with the 2 voting against having only small majorities.

The large majority nationwide voted in support of the legislation, which contains provision within it for those who remain opposed.

The percentages we have obtained for the diocesan voting in support of the legislation show

85% bishops;

76% clergy;

77% laity

in support of the legislation.

32 dioceses voted against “follow on motions” asking for enhanced provision for those opposed.

The draft legislation will now go to the General Synod in February for them to send it to the House of Bishops before the ‘Final Approval debate in General Synod in July 2012 where it requires 2/3 support in each of the Houses (Bishops, Clergy and Laity)

Hilary Cotton, Head of Campaign said: “This result shows a clear affirmation and desire from the Church at large for the Church of England to have women in the House of Bishops without delay. We trust that the bishops and General Synod will take notice of this groundswell of opinion when they meet over the coming months to make final decisions about the legislation”.