The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has spoken of his regret over a vote which called to reject a moratorium on gay bishops.

Last night, US Anglicans, including both clergy and laypeople, voted against a proposed moratorium on consecrating gay bishops.

Addressing the General Synod of the Church of England meeting in York, Williams said: “I regret the fact that there is no will to observe the moratorium in such a significant part of the Church in North America.”

Anglican leaders have called for “restraint” over the consecration of gay bishops since openly gay man Gene Robinson was consecrated. Williams has been dealing with the fallout from the decision since 2003.

The moratorium will be voted on today or tomorrow by the US Episcopal Church House of Bishops. If they vote to reject it, this could cause a schism in the Anglican Communion.