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Women in the episcopate draft legislation referred to dioceses

Dioceses have until Monday, 14 November, 2011, to debate and vote on draft legislation that would allow the consecration of women as bishops, according to documents published this week.

The four documents have been posted to Diocesan Secretaries and circulated to General Synod members, as well as being posted on the Church of England website. They are:

- a background note on the history of the legislative proposals;

- the text of the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of

Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 30;

- an explanatory memorandum relating to the draft Measure and draft

Canon; and

- a procedural note together with a copy of the response form which diocesan secretaries need to send the Clerk to the Synod recording the diocesan decision by 5pm on Monday 14 November 2011.

The membership of a group established to assist the House of Bishops in preparing a draft of the statutory code of practice that would be required under the Measure will be announced shortly.

Article 8 of the Constitution of the General Synod provides that certain kinds of legislation may not receive the final approval of the General Synod unless they have first been approved by the majority of diocesan synods. Legislation to enable women to become bishops falls within the scope of Article 8 and hence this reference of the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 30 to dioceses.