The general synod of the Church of England has narrowly rejected a compromise on the issue of ordaining women bishops.
Proposals supported by the spiritual head of the Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, would have given traditionalist parishes exemption from serving under a woman bishop.
But the BBC reports the proposals were lost as they failed to achieve a majority in each of the houses.
The general synod also voted against an amendment that proposed three new dioceses to cater for objectors to women bishops.
Afterwards, Dr Williams warned it could widen divisions within the Church.