"A Midlands church council has approved draft legislation which would allow women bishops in the Church of England.
The Lichfield Diocesan Synod, which covers Staffordshire and parts of Shropshire, the Black Country and West Midlands, met on Saturday.
It is one of 44 regional councils to discuss the proposals which have passed the first stages at the Church of England General Synod.
The debate in Stafford heard from a range of speakers.
If the draft law is approved by at least half of all the 44 diocesan synods, it can return to the General Synod for further debate.
If approved there, it will be sent to Parliament for approval and Royal Assent.
Gavin Drake, Lichfield Diocesan director of communications, said the draft law had so far been approved by 19 other diocesan synods.
By the end of the year, the draft legislation is due to have been debated by all 44 synods."