The Church of England may be taking another step toward ordaining women bishops.
Campaigners and supporters of women bishops are expecting the Church of England’s general synod, the church’s governing body, to allow female bishops within the church when it meets this week, according to The Guardian.
For the Church of England to fully approve women bishops, the synod would need to approve the move this week, then again endorse a “draft declaration” at next February’s meeting, and final approval would be given in November 2014, The Guardian reported.
Christian Rees, who serves on the archbishops’ council and advocates for female bishops, was optimistic about this next round of discussion, according to The Guardian.
"I'm more hopeful than I've been in quite some time because to me there is a different tone in the report from the steering committee," she said to The Guardian. "There is the sense that for the first time, genuinely, we're all in this together and that we can and we will find a way forward."
The Church of England has “under public and political pressure to introduce female bishops since the synod rejected previous legislation by just six votes almost exactly a year ago,” according to The Guardian.
The Times reported that traditional groups, like Forward in Faith, that argued against the move last year “have decided not to block legislation” that could add women bishops.
These groups may be looking to aid the Church of England, which has faced decline in recent years. The total number of baptisms among all ages in the Church of England has dropped from 266,000 in 1980 to 140,000 in 2011, according to BBC.
Former church leader the Rev. George Carey said the modern Church of England needs to reach out and attract the youth, otherwise it will be obsolete by the next generation, according to The Daily Express.
"We are one generation away from extinction, if we do not invest in young people there is going to be no one in the future,” he told to paper.