The Episcopal Church in California has avoided a row over homosexuality after choosing a heterosexual bishop to become its next minister.

There were fears of a new row over homosexuality after the Diocese of California included two gay clergymen on its shortlist for a new bishop.

However, after calls from the leader of the Episcopal Church in the US and outcry over the appointment of gay bishop, Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, the diocese has chosen straight candidate, Mark Andrus.

The gay candidates for the California diocese were the Very Rev Robert Taylor, the dean of St Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, and the Rev Bonnie Taylor, the rector of All Saints church, Chicago.

Meanwhile the Episcopal Church in America will consider gay marriage at its conference in Ohio next month.