The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, second right, and unidentified members of the clergy, arrive for the General Synod meeting, at The University of York, in York England, July 14, 2014. The Church of England is set to vote on whether women should be allowed to enter its top ranks as bishops. The Church's national assembly, known as the General Synod, is meeting in York, northern England, where it will debate the issue ahead of a vote Monday. (Lynne Cameron / AP)
London — The Church of England has voted to allow women to enter its top ranks as bishops.
The Church’s national assembly, known as the General Synod, approved the historic measure at its meeting in York in northern England Monday.
A total of 351 members of the Synod’s three different houses voted in favor of the measure, while 72 voted against and 10 abstained.
The measure had the support of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Prime Minister David Cameron.
The vote comes two years after similar legislation failed to reach a two-thirds majority among the General Synod’s lay members, despite approval from bishops and clergy.
Earlier Monday, Welby told the BBC that he hoped the vote would go through, saying “the votes, I think, are there.”
The Church of England is part of the Anglican Communion, which has the largest Christian denomination in Britain and a presence in more than 160 countries.