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Deanery Synod

by Michael Ford last modified 18 Jan, 2019 10:25 AM

What Deanery Synods do: membership, clergy, laity, formula, elections

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What Deanery Synods do

Deanery Synods:

  • Consider matters concerning the Church of England
  • Bring together the views of the parishes of the deanery
  • Act as a channel of communication between parishes and Diocesan Synod
  • Effect decisions made by Diocesan Synod
  • Raise matters with Diocesan Synod
  • Elect representatives to Diocesan Synod and General Synod


A Deanery Synod consists of two Houses, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity.  Membership of these two Houses is as follows:

House of Clergy

  • All Clerks in Holy Orders (clergy) beneficed or licensed by the Bishop who reside or work within the deanery.
  • All Clerical members of the General or Diocesan Synods resident in the deanery.
  • One or more Clerks in Holy Orders holding permission to officiate, one for every ten such Clerks resident or habitually worshipping in the deanery, elected or chosen from amongst their own number.
  • In Salisbury Deanery the Dean, the Residentiary Canons and any other full-time Ministers of the Cathedral Church.
  • Co-opted Clerks in Holy Orders up to 5% of the total members of the House or three whichever is the greater.

House of Laity

  • Lay members of the General and Diocesan Synods whose names are entered on the roll of any parish in the deanery.
  • Deaconesses and other full-time lay workers licensed to work in any part of the deanery.
  • Parochial representatives (and in Salisbury Deanery those entered on the roll of members of the Cathedral community and whose names are not entered on the roll of any parish) elected by the Annual Meetings of the parishes, districts or the Cathedral (in Salisbury Deanery) in the deanery, in accordance with the formula set out below.
  • Co-opted members (actual Communicants of sixteen years or upwards) up to 5% of the total members of the House or three whichever is the greater.

Formula of Parochial Representation

Numbers on electoral rollNumbers of Deanery Synod representatives
1    – 25
26  – 100 
101– 200 
201– 300  
301– 400 
401– 500
501– 750
751– 1000
Over 1000

Please note that the formula applies to the numbers on the roll in the previous year to the year in which elections are held.


Parishes elect lay representatives to the Deanery Synods every three years. The next elections will take place in 2020. The numbers to be elected by parishes in 2017 can be found here.

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