THE Church of England must resolve the row over women bishops to stop Parliament passing laws to enforce change, Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry has said.

The Conservative – a church estates commissioner in Parliament – said women must be allowed to attain bishop status.

The Church’s general synod last month narrowly rejected the reform.

Sir Tony told Parliament on Wednesday: “Some voices this evening, quite understandably, have suggested that if the Church of England does not act, Parliament might need to.

“It is my earnest prayer that over the coming months the Church of England can and will demonstrate that it can resolve this issue itself.”

The Anglican added: “Everyone within the Church of England recognises that until we can resolve the issue of women bishops, we will not be able fully to fulfil our role as a national Church.

“This is not an issue that can be parked.”

Sir Tony said: “One cannot have a category of second-class women bishops or in some way create a church within a Church to accommodate this matter.”

Arguments against the reform include honouring tradition and Bible teachings.

Others warn that ordaining women would prevent unity with Roman Catholics.