A senior bishop has given his backing to a plea by the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Church of England to pass legislation introducing women bishops.
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, said it would look "terrible" in the eyes of the world if the General Synod fails to give final approval to the legislation when it meets next month.
"I hope that we in the Church of England will say yes to women bishops at our General Synod in November," he said in a video posted on YouTube.
"I even dare to hope that those who disagree may choose to abstain. That those who aren't sure will see that if we don't pass this it would look terrible in the eyes of the world, would hold back our mission, and would also plunge us into years more debate on this issue."
The message from the Rt Rev Cottrell comes after Dr Rowan Williams, who leaves his post at the end of this year, launched a campaign last week for the General Synod to give final approval to the legislation.
Dr Williams, a supporter of women bishops, warned that a failure to approve women bishops could be embarrassing for the Church and lead to "a period of continued and perhaps intensified internal conflict".
A final vote on women bishops was postponed in July by the General Synod when it met at York University amid continuing divisions over the issue.