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Bishop of Barking ‘delighted’ after Church of England votes for women bishops

PUBLISHED: 13:56 15 July 2014 | UPDATED: 15:55 15 July 2014

Peter Hill was announced as the new Bishop of Barking in succession to the Rt Revd David Hawkins.

Peter Hill was announced as the new Bishop of Barking in succession to the Rt Revd David Hawkins.

Archant

The new Bishop of Barking has expressed his delight at the news the Church of England has voted for women bishops.

Peter Hill was announced as the new Bishop of Barking in succession to the Rt Revd David Hawkins.Peter Hill was announced as the new Bishop of Barking in succession to the Rt Revd David Hawkins.

Peter Hill travelled to the York Synod on Monday to cast his vote in favour of including women in the house of Bishops.

Bishop Hill, who will be consecrated Bishop of Barking on July 26, said he was “delighted” at the result, but did admit concerns for those who voted against the move.

The crucial vote in the House of Laity went 152 in favour, 45 against, and there were five abstentions.

In November 2012 the change was derailed by just six votes cast by the lay members.

Bishop Hill said: “I was concerned for those that do not think it is the right decision. I want to see the support of all the church moving forward.”

Monday’s announcement, made by Archbishop of York John Sentamu, was met with cheers in York.

The vote marks the breaking of more than 2,000 years of exclusively male bishops.

Women were allowed to become priests for the first time a little more than 20 years ago.

Bishop Hill also added: “The church decided a long time ago that women should be bishops, so I am more disappointed this has not happened sooner.”

The former Archdeacon of Nottingham hoped the general public would be pleased, too, at the news.

“I hope the public will now see the church as an institution which is for equality and in favour of women bishops across the board,” added Bishop Hill.

“This is something that has been misunderstood in the past.

“The vast majority of the church has been in favour of women bishops for a long time.

“It was simply that we wanted to keep as many [traditionalists] as we possibly could within the Church of England - it is just making that a possibility.”

The first woman Bishop could potentially be appointed later this year.

The motion will now go before Parliament’s ecclesiastical committee, which examines measures from the Synod.

The Synod would then meet again on 17 November to formally declare women can be bishops.

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