Church of England to name first female bishop: British media

LONDON (AFP) - The Church of England is to name its first-ever female bishop, ending centuries of male leadership following a historic change to its rules, the British media reported on Wednesday.

The Church is set to ordain a female priest as the new Bishop of Stockport, a post that has been vacant since May, newspapers The Telegraph and The Guardian reported. The name of the new bishop would be announced on Wednesday, according to the newspapers.

The mother church of the global Anglican Communion, which has 80 million followers in more than 165 countries, gave its final approval to the change last month.

The decision, which comes two decades after the first women were ordained as priests by the Church, has provoked division in the ranks of believers and was opposed by conservatives.

Anglican churches around the world do not have an obligation to follow England's lead but the ordination will set a symbolic precedent.