Female bishops are welcomed by Portsmouth church leader

Haverhill's Family Christmas Night (as pictured from last year) takes place on Friday, December 1. Picture by Andy Mayes.

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THE Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth has backed a vote which could see the first woman become a Church of England bishop.

The Rt Rev Christopher Foster was one of eight representatives from the Diocese of Portsmouth which voted for a series of measures to enable women to become bishops. It was also a way of resolving any future disputes over the arrangements.

The Church of England’s General Synod voted by 378 to eight in favour of proposals outlined by a Steering Group for the Draft Legislation of Women in the Episcopate.

The proposals included a simple piece of legislation allowing women to become bishops and archbishops.

Bishop Christopher said: ‘I’m delighted at the overwhelming support that the General Synod gave to proposals.

‘It means the first women bishops are appointed much sooner than was previously thought.

‘I was pleased that the debate was carried out with good grace on all sides.

‘The group that drew up the new proposals should also be praised, as they have drafted legislation that is simpler to understand.’