Members of the Church’s General Synod are due to take a final vote on the historic proposal when it meets in York next month, bringing to an end a tortuous 12-year process.
But senior figures in the Church are now bracing themselves for the possibility that the measure could collapse altogether after the current bishops inserted a last-minute concession to traditionalists.
The Church has struggled for many years to agree a way of ordaining women bishops while enabling those who object to the female authority on doctrinal grounds to stay within it.
The main group campaigning for female bishops has rejected the latest concession as a compromise-too-far and some of the backers have now withdrawn their support altogether.
Speaking in London today William Fittall, secretary general of the Synod, said there was now uncertainty for the first time about whether a final decision could be reached at the July Synod. Read more...