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John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, said he was confident that women would become bishops in his lifetime.

“The principle has already been accepted by the General Synod, it has already been accepted by all the dioceses,” Archbishop Sentamu, 63, said in a BBC radio interview.

“So what we need to do is find the legislation: 99.9 percent of the legislation is there, it’s this little business of provision for those who are opposed,” Archbishop Sentamu said.