The legislation was passed by the General Synod, achieving approval from both the Houses of Bishops and Clergy as well as the House of Laity. In 2012, a similar motion was shot down by traditional lay members.
On Monday, the House of Laity approved the motion, with 152 in favor, 45 against, and five abstaining. The House of Bishops voted 37 to 2 in favor, with one abstention. 162 House of Clergy members voted in favor, 25 against, and four abstained.
Archbishop of York John Sentamu announced the results of the vote at the General Synod at York University, asking for "restraint and sensitivity." Many cheered.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, tweeted that the "Synod women vote [was] the result of grace and patience by all involved, in favour and against, and skills of facilitators, especially [Director of Reconciliation David Porter]."
Synod women vote the result of grace and patience by all involved, in favour and against, and skills of facilitators, esp @baldynotion— Justin Welby (@JustinWelby) July 14, 2014
In a prepared statement released by Lambeth Palace, Archbishop Welby said, "Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases disagreeing. The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds."
Both Welby and British Prime Minister David Cameron had previously voiced their support for women bishops.