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General Synod

by Michael Ford last modified 27 Feb, 2020 04:34 PM

How the Church of England is governed. Details from the latest sessions.

Updated Listing = latest updates

Church of England Click here for all agendas and papers

Twitter Follow '@synod' on Twitter for news as it happens

2015-2020 Quinquennium

House of Clergy:

  • Peter Breckwoldt
  • Alan Jeans
  • Chris Tebbutt
  • Thomas Woodhouse.

House of Laity:

  • Paul Boyd-Lee
  • Sarah Beach
  • Richard Jones
  • Gill de Berry
  • Keith Leslie
  • Debbie McIsaac

What is General Synod?

The General Synod is the national assembly of the Church of England. Elected representatives from all dioceses gather to debate and decide the future direction of our Church.

Meetings of the General Synod are referred to as “A Group of Sessions”.

Although General Synod was set up in 1970 to give the laity more say in the decisions of the Church, the roots of synodical governance actually date back to the medieval period.

What do members of General Synod do?

  • Attend debates during Synod meetings which are held twice a year, each lasting 4 or 5 days
  • Worship together
  • Vote, because decisions at Synod are always taken by voting. Members vote according to individual conscience and, we hope, according to what they believe God is saying at this time
  • Speak, although not everyone who wants to speak can be called. It’s the majority who listen carefully to the debate and then vote who actually take the decisions
  • Keep in touch with their electorate, because the wider church has the right to know what goes on at General Synod. Members should be closely aware of the issues facing their particular constituency

General Synod Online

For more about General Synod, its duties, responsibilities and powers, or to download background papers, audio files of debates and updates from previous sessions, click here.

Click here for past groups of sessions and here for the papers.

BBC Parliament's digital TV channel broadcasts debates from General Synod. To view this coverage on the web, and to see previous broadcasts from Synod, click here.

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