Groups working for an open Church of England have welcomed the first vote by an English diocese on the Anglican Covenant - which rejects the plan.
Both clergy and laity (the latter overwhelmingly) rejected the Covenant at the Wakefield Diocesan Synod meeting on Saturday 12 March 2011.
Modern Church, Inclusive Church and the No Anglican Covenant Coalition (Anglicans for Comprehensive Unity) have issued a statement expressing gratitude for the outcome.
"While recognising the need to avoid the bitter controversies of recent years, we are glad that this Synod does not believe the Covenant is the way to do it," they say.
"We believe we should retain the traditional Anglican openness in which provinces govern themselves and disagreements are resolved by openly debating the issues free from threats of sanctions or schism," the groups continue in a joint press release.
"The proposed Anglican Covenant offers instead a process for suppressing disagreements by establishing a central authority, with power to pass judgements and penalise dissident provinces by excluding them from international structures.
"We trust that other Church of England Dioceses will have the courage to follow Wakefield’s example."
Inclusive Church - www.inclusivechurch2.net/
Modern Church - www.modchurchunion.org/
No Anglican Covenant: Anglicans for Comprehensive Unity - noanglicancovenant.org/