Report suggests split over women bishops
The Church of England may split if women become bishops, an official report has revealed today.
Under the proposals, an approved faction could be set up for male clergy opposed to women clerics.
The idea of a traditionalist "third province" is seen as a way to avoid a mass exodus of clergy opposed to the consecration of women, which may happen within five years.
It would have its own archbishop, bishops, parish clergy and training colleges - but no women clergy.
The proposals come in a draft report by a working party headed by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir Ali.
A recent survey suggested up to a quarter of clergy remain opposed to women bishops.
Proposals for a traditionalist "third province" have been floated before but this is the first time they have received official recognition.
The report is due to be considered by the House of Bishops this month and could be debated by the General Synod this year.