Anglicans paves way for women bishops

Melbourne, Australia - The Anglican Church's decision-making body has voted to amend legislation at Saturday's Melbourne Synod paving the way for women to be appointed bishops.

The Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia last month found that there was no legal impediment in the church's constitution to women being consecrated bishops in a diocese.

The Anglican Church in Melbourne Diocese voted in 2003 to affirm the principle of women as bishops and on Saturday voted to remove a technicality in the church's legislation which had prevented women becoming bishops.

The legislation was brought before the Melbourne Synod on Saturday morning at St Paul's cathedral in the city, by Archbishop Philip Freier.

Dr Freier said it was an historic day for the Anglican church in Melbourne.

"There was overwhelming support to enable the diocese to proceed with having women as bishops, and it was done with a great feeling of unity," Dr Freier told AAP.

"Melbourne has a long history of supporting women in orders," he said.

"So there has been a long period of expectation that we would be able to move in this way.

"It means that Melbourne can now have a woman serving as bishop in various roles that bishops occupy in this diocese.

"There is no impediment in our church law for that happening now."

Dr Freier said there was not currently a vacancy in the Melbourne Diocese for a bishop, so it was difficult to say exactly when the first woman would be appointed to the role.

"But I think it's really good now that we can chose from all of the talent we have available in our church for the work of a bishop."