Members of the diocese of St Albans have expressed their disappointment that the Church of England voted against allowing women to become bishops.

The Rt Reverend Alan Smith, the bishop of St Albans, has said that he has always been a supporter of women taking on the role.

The church’s General Synod voted against the proposal on Tuesday, November 20.

The bishop said: "We have always been supporters of women bishops’ legislation and share in the disappointment of the many outstanding women priests who play such a valuable role in the mission and ministry of our diocese.

"We recognise that a significant minority of people in the diocese of St Albans have theological objections to the proposals which were being debated.

"Nevertheless we know that the vast majority of people in the diocese were in favour of this development and for them the vote will be a cause for deep sadness. We need time to reflect on what has happened."

A two-thirds majority was required in all three Houses of Synod for the legislation to be passed.

The House of Bishops and the House of Clergy achieved the necessary two-thirds majority - however, the House of Laity did not.

The bishop added: "It is a bishop’s task to unite all those in his care and we call on all the people of the diocese to continue in the service of their communities, loving them as Christ loved us, sacrificing their pain to that task.

"We have more listening and more work to do to achieve the end result which so many believe is the right way forward both inside and beyond our church."