The Church of England was one vote away from appointing its first gay bishop.
The openly gay Dean of St Albans Dr Jeffrey John was one vote away from becoming the newest Bishop of Exter, according to The Times, replacing the Right Rev Michael Langrish.
Since the beginning of this year, John has been considered for high-ranking posts within the Anglican Church.
With hopes he would establish ‘positive relationships’ with LGBTI Anglicans, in April 2013 John was being considered for the role of Bishop of Durham, the Church’s third-most powerful position in the Anglican Church.
Both in April and in December, it is believed John was blocked from appointment because of conservative opposition.
John, 60, is married to Rev Grant Holmes, but continues to live under the Church’s clergy guidance of celibacy.
Thanks to the Church dropping its ban on gay clergy becoming bishops this year, John was shortlisted for the Exeter post, and while he missed this appointment, some clergymembers believe mounting pressure on the Church to appoint a gay bishop will become a reality soon.
According to a Times source, John’s presentation and interview was ‘outstanding in every way’.
The new Bishop of Exeter is expected to be announced soon.
The Church’s evolving attitudes also include the possible appointment of female bishops by the end of 2014, after an overwhelming majority of the Church’s governing body voted in favor of dropping the 20-year ban.