So convinced is the incumbent:
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, says he is convinced his role will eventually be held by a woman.
He said it would “certainly” happen one day despite the Church of England General Synod’s rejection of plans to admit women to the episcopate in November last year.
He voiced confidence that a new measure to be fast-tracked onto the agenda when the Synod meets in July would eventually succeed.
He was speaking as he prepared to be enthroned as Archbishop in a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral, confirming him as leader of the Church of England and the nominal head of the 77 million-strong worldwide Anglican Church.
In a sign of the changing face of the Church in the 20 years since the first female priests were ordained, he will be enthroned by a woman – The Venerable Sheila Watson, Archdeacon of Canterbury.
Speaking to Channel 5 News, the Archbishop said a woman would undoubtedly sit on the throne of St Augustine one day.
Asked when this might be, he said: “When the right person turns up – but yes I think there certainly will.”
He added: “We’re going to bring in new proposals this summer and then they work through the synodical system and we’ll see how long that takes.”
But he insisted he wanted to make provision for those with theological objections to women bishops, rather than risk an exodus of traditionalists from the Church.
He said: “The point is we’re not a political party so we don’t simply vote in favour and say to the people who disagree in good conscience: ‘Well we don’t want anything to do with you’.
“The issue is about all of those who are in the Church of England are valued and allowed to exert their faith and their ministry.”
His Enthronement is dealt with by Archbishop Cranmer.
Lambeth Palace notes (and the Anglican Communion does not):
The date of the ceremony resonates in several ways: March 21st is the day when the church remembers the martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1556. It is also the feast day of St. Benedict of Monte Cassino, a significant figure for both Canterbury Cathedral and Archbishop Justin himself, who is an oblate of the Order of Benedict.