Women will be allowed to become bishops in the Church of England, following a vote at the General Synod meeting in York gave final approval to legislation to introduce the change.

After almost five hours of debating, the House of Bishops approved of women bishops 37 to two with one abstention, the House of Clergy approved 164 to 24 with three abstentions, and the House of Laity approved 153 to 40 with eight abstentions.

The results was met with cheers by those in attendance at the University of York.

The agreement comes twenty years after the introduction of women priests in the Church of England, and overturns centuries of tradition.

A previous vote to allow women bishops in 2012 was supported by the bishops and clergy but was rejected by lay members of the Church.

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