NEWS that the Church of England has voted to allow women to become bishops for the first time in history has been welcomed by the clergy in Hartlepool.
Hartlepool vicar, Father Paul Allinson, of the town’s Church of England parishes in Greatham and Seaton Carew, said he was “thoroughly delighted”.
He said: “I’m thoroughly delighted by the vote and I think it’s well overdue and then once we’d agreed to have women priests then I think it’s logical to have women bishops.”
Father Paul added: “It means we can fully use the gifts that women bring to the church, which is a good thing.
“We just had to go forward and make this decision.”
Reverend Norman Shave from All Saints Church, Stranton, Hartlepool, echoed Father Paul’s sentiments.
Rev Shave said: “I personally am pleased that the vote has gone through in a positive way.
“It’s good that they’ve found a way of proceeding with women bishops while allowing for those who struggle with that proposal.
“They’ve found a compromise that was acceptable to them all.”
Woman priest for Hart and Elwick parishes, Janet Burberry, who is also the Area Dean for Hartlepool, said: “I’m not on any particular side.
“It was expected and there’s been a long process to get here and it seems the best way forward. I believe this is an important message to the world that we can show each other how to get on and remain in unity even though we have our slight differences.”
The Church of England’s General Synod meeting gave approval to legislation introducing the change by the required two-thirds majority. A previous vote in 2012 was backed by the Houses of Bishops and Clergy but blocked by traditionalist lay members.
The crucial vote in the House of Laity went 152 in favour, 45 against, and there were five abstentions.