The general synod of the Church of England has voted narrowly against the appointment of women as bishops.
The measure was passed by the synod's houses of bishops and clergy but was rejected by the House of Laity.
Supporters vowed to continue their campaign but the BBC reports it could be five years before a similar vote can be held.
The motion needed two-thirds majorities in each of the synod's three houses.
The BBC reports the votes were 44 for and three against with two abstentions in the House of Bishops, 148 for and 45 against in the House of Clergy, and 132 for and 74 against in the House of Laity.
At 64%, the vote in the House of Laity, was just short of the required majority - six more "yes" votes were needed.
The House of Bishops will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday morning.