Dec. 25 - In his Christmas homily, the leader of the Anglican church says a vote last month against women becoming bishops had been deeply painful. Rough cut- no reporter narration.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury said a vote last month that struck down proposals to allow women to become bishops had been "deeply painful."
But Rowan Williams said Christianity was still relevant in Britain despite falling numbers of believers.
Williams, who leads the global 80-million-strong Anglican Communion, said in his Christmas Day sermon: "In the deeply painful aftermath of the synod vote last month what was startling was how many people who certainly wouldn't have said yes to the census question turned out to have a sort of investment in the church, a desire to see the church looking credible."
The Church of England narrowly voted against allowing women bishops last month - to the dismay of Williams and Prime Minister David Cameron.
A census showed earlier this month that the number of people in England and Wales describing themselves as Christian has declined by 13 percent over the last decade, but Williams warned secularists not to become "too excited".
Williams, 62, is stepping down after 10 years in his post, and will be replaced next year by former oil executive Justin Welby.
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