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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 February 2006, 16:27 GMT
'No woman priest' move defended
A senior figure in the Church of England has defended a village's refusal to appoint a woman priest.

The village of Barsham in Suffolk has vetoed the idea of a woman in the pulpit at their church in Bungay.

The parochial council for the church decided it did not want a woman in the post and the vacancy was advertised for male priests only.

Archdeacon of Suffolk, the Venerable Geoffrey Arrand, said he understood the reasons and would support the council.

He said: "There is an interpretation of the tradition of the church that says women cannot be priests and these are overriding issues for some people.

"I know that for some people who are not practising members of the church this is very difficult for them to understand."

Nick Clarke, communications director for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: "From our point of view this is something of a rarity. We welcome very highly the contribution of women priests to communities across Suffolk."

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