THE Bishop of Blackburn Julian Henderson hopes the latest proposals to all-ow women to join the Chur- ch of England’s top rank of clergy will pacify oppon-ents.

He now hopes its ruling General Synod will pass the legislation when it meets in July.

He spoke in the wake of his deputy and Bishop of Burnley John Goddard voting against the prop-osal when it was consid-ered by Blackburn Diocese’s Synod earlier this month.

Bishop John said after the meeting: “I could not in conscience vote for the elev- ation of women to the Epis- copate, therefore I voted against.

“The latest proposals rep- resent a considerable impr- ovement.”

Bishop Julian said: “I am delighted that Blackburn Diocesan Synod has voted in favour of the legislation which will, if approved by General Synod and then by Parliament, allow women to become bishops in the Church of England.

“I recognise that there are those in our diocese who are unable to accept the ordination of women as priests, or as bishops.

“I was very pleased to hear many of those who, in conscience, voted again-st women bishops, say how much more helpful the current proposals are.

“I am confident that the proposals will lead to arr-angements being put in place here, and in other dioc- eses, which will allow those who cannot accept women bishops to flourish within the Church of England.”

At the close of Blackburn Diocese’s Synod, there was a majority of 83 to 34 in favour, with three absten-tions. Bishop Julian and the Bishop of Lancaster, Geoff Pearson, both voted in favour.

When proposals for wom-en bishops came before the General Synod in 2012, Bishop Julian, then Arch-deacon of Dorking in Surrey, voted against the meas-ures because he believed not enough consideration had been given to oppon-ents’ views. If passed by the General Synod in July, the legislation would go to Parliament, and could be in force before the end of the year.

Bishop Julian said on his appointment, in October, he would support women bishops and ordain female priests, unlike his predecessors.