Anglican minister fails to become first female bishop

The Scottish Episcopal Church has voted against electing Britain’s first female Bishop.

Revd Canon Dr Alison Peden had been shortlisted along with two male candidates for the position of Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway.

But on Saturday an electoral synod of 115 clergy and lay church members met at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow and voted in favour of one of the male candidates.

If Revd Peden had been elected as a Bishop in the Scottish Episcopalian Church it would have increased the pressure on the Church of England to accept female Bishops.

The head of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop David Chillingworth, insisted that gender had played no part in the synod’s decision and claimed that Revd Peden’s inclusion on the shortlist had changed the perception of women in the church.

The electoral synod voted for the Very Revd Dr Gregor Duncan, rector of St Ninian’s church in Glasgow, to become the new Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway.

Revd Peden is the first female to be shortlisted to become a Bishop since the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to consecrate women in 2003.

The Church of England is due to debate a report on the consecration of female Bishops at its General Synod next month.

The Church in Wales voted against it in April 2008.

The Church of Ireland allows the ordination of female bishops but no women have been appointed.

The Scottish Episcopal Church, which has about 39,000 members, is part of the world-wide Anglican Communion along with the Episcopal Church in the United States.

The Episcopal Church in the US allows the ordination of “partnered gays” as bishops.

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