Church leaders have voted against plans to combine three Anglican dioceses into a new West Yorkshire ‘super-diocese’.
It is now up to the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, to decide the next step for the plan to combine the dioceses of Ripon and Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield.
On Saturday members of the Wakefield Diocesan Synod – which covers Kirklees – voted against the proposals.
Afterwards the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten, said: “These last few weeks have been quite difficult for all three dioceses so this vote was a welcome end to that part of the process.”
The plan to merge the three existing dioceses into a new diocese for West Yorkshire and the Dales was published late last year.
Three of the Diocesan Synods affected met and voted on Saturday. Ripon and Leeds voted in favour of the plan, as did Bradford.
But at the Wakefield Diocesan Synod meeting at St Catherine’s Church Centre in Wakefield, 76 members voted against the plan, with 40 voting in favour and four abstentions.
Because only two of the dioceses approved the plan, the Archbishop of York will now decide if it should go before the Church of England’s General Synod for a final decision in July.
Two other dioceses also have a say because their boundaries will be affected by the proposals – Sheffield has approved the plan and Blackburn will vote in April.
The Archbishop can only make his decision on whether to put the plan to the General Synod after Blackburn has voted.