The Churchâ€™s most senior official told a parliamentary committee that in vacant sees where a male and female cleric considered equally well qualified are going head to head for the same post, those making appointments will be advised to choose the female candidate.
William Fittall, the Secretary General to the General Synod, the Church of Englandâ€™s equivalent to the head of the Civil Service, said that although the Church is exempt from equality laws, bishopsâ€™ selection boards will be instructed to follow the same principles in order to boost the number of women in the episcopate.
The ruling General Synod overwhelmingly voted last week for new legislation allowing women to become bishops.
The vote, at its sitting in York, ended 40 years of wrangling and opened the way for the first women bishops to be appointed around the end of this year. [More]