A Thursday vote in Wales has approved women to become bishops in the Anglican Church, a landmark decision which is expected to put increasing pressure on the Church of England to allow women to rise to senior posts.
People cheered after the ruling was announced, which will allow women to become bishops around this time next year. Supporters of the decision called the it "long overdue," saying that limiting top roles to men made the church "less relevant in modern society," according to The Guardian.
Before the debate that preceded the vote, the archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, said it made "no theological sense" not to ordain women as bishops, and formally asked members of the church's governing body to vote in favor of female ordination.
The vote was strongly pro-women ordination. The governing body has more than 140 members and is comprised of three divisions, which include the the six bishops, clerical representatives, and non-clerical representatives. The bishops voted unanimously in favor and the other two groups had only 24 "no" votes between them, reports the BBC.
"For too many years, sadly, the Church has been lagging behind," Morgan commented. "I'm very glad we got the result we have today."
Female bishops are already allowed in Northern Ireland and Scotland, though none have been elected yet. England will be discussing the issue again in November, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said there are "good signs" that female ordination will be approved.
In his BBC interview, Morgan called it a "historic day for the Church in Wales."