Having unelected male religious leaders from one denomination in an unelected legislative chamber is unfair, inappropriate and contrary to the Christian message of equality and justice, an audience in parliament heard this week.
In a historic and controversial move, the Episcopal Church in the USA, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, has voted to remove the bar on priests in monogamous same-sex relationships from becoming bishops.
Members of the Church of England's General Synod have been told that it is 'highly unlikely' that a vote to allow women to become bishops will be taken before 2010. In the meantime the UK Parliament will continue to be the only democracy in the world with places exclusively reserved for men.
Pressures from several directions may put disestablishment of the Church of England back on the agenda, say reports following the General Synod and concerns about the long term impact of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Sharia speech.