Ballarat Anglican church approves women priests

THE Anglican Diocese of Ballarat has approved the ordination of women priests during its synod held today.

At least two thirds of the approximately 100 people in the synod voted in favour of allowing women to become priests.

The decision has been the major issue during the two-day synod held at the Anglican Diocesan Centre in Lydiard Street.

Glen Wesley, domestic chaplain to Bishop Garry Weatherill, said the vote was an overwhelming success in favour of the ordination of women.

He said Bishop Weatherill was now free to ordain women from today onwards.

"It was a very robust debate that extended for almost two hours but there was a lot of respect on both sides," he said. "It was one of the best debates we've had."

Until today, Ballarat has been one of the five dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia which do not allow the ordination of women.