A bishop has welcomed historic news that the Church of England has voted to allow the appointment of women bishops.

Dr Martin Warner has heralded the news following the historic vote at the General Synod in York this afternoon – 18 months after a previous attempt was blocked.

The Bishop of Chichester said the decision will be widely greeted with huge relief and end a prolonged period of “uncertainty and introspection” in the Church of England.

He added: “Across the whole of society, today's decision will be received as an overwhelming affirmation of women, and their dignity, of their ordained ministry and the gifts that God has given the Church through them.”