LONDON — The Church of England's governing body blocked a move Tuesday to permit women to serve as bishops.
The General Synod's daylong debate ended with the rejection of a compromise that was intended to unify the faithful despite differing views on whether women should be allowed in the hierarchy. But backers failed to gain the necessary majority by six votes.
The defeat was a setback for Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who retires at the end of December, and his successor, Bishop Justin Welby.
Sister churches of the Anglican Communion in Australia, New Zealand and the United States already have women serving as bishops. Southern Africa joined that group Sunday with the consecration of Ellinah Wamukoya as the Anglican bishop of Swaziland.