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Church of England approves women bishops

Women may now become bishops in the Church of England for the first time. Its governing body voted in favor of the change which will give women a more senior role in the Anglican church.

The Church of England approved a historic change on Monday which will now allow women to become bishops.

After nearly five hours of debate, the General Synod – the church's governing body – announced its decision, which overturned a 2012 vote against the measure.

The Archbishop of Cantebury, Justin Welby, said he was "delighted" with the outcome.

"Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years with the ordinatio of women as priests," Welby said in a statement.

"Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases disagreeing."

Two years ago, the legislative body fell short of the two-thirds majority needed from its three houses, which represent the bishops, clergy and laity.

Women already serve as bishops within the Anglican Communion - the worldwide network of churches affiliated with the Church of England - in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

kms/hc (AP, AFP, dpa)