The General Synod of the Church of England voted Monday to allow women to become bishops. Women have been priests in the church since 1992, but legislation to make them bishops failed in 2012.

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury and the leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans, supported today's legislation. The bishop of Rochester, Right Rev. James Langstaff, told the Synod to respect the wishes of the laity with their votes. Langstaff explained,

The Church of England has spoken very clearly through the voting of the diocesan synods and we today have, I believe, a responsibility to show that we have listened. Wherever each of us stands on the spectrum of views, I want to suggest today that we have a responsibility to be guided, yes, by what we ourselves think, but also by what we assess to be the settled view of the great majority within the Church of England.

Female clergy member Meg Gilley put it more succinctly: "I think we look ridiculous. God has been calling us on this road for a long time and we need to get on with it."

The BBC reports that women could be appointed bishops by the end of this year.

[Image via AP]