The General Synod
is the governing body of the Church of England
, a church within the Anglican Communion
. It was instituted in 1970
and is the culmination of a process of rediscovering self-government for the Church of England that had started in the 1850s.
General Synod is elected every five years by a system of Proportional representation and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II.
It is divided into the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity. All diocesan bishops are members of the House of Bishops ex-officio; in addition, nine suffragan bishops are elected by all suffragan bishops. Membership of the House of Clergy is by election through the House of Clergy in each Diocesan Synod. Membership of the House of Laity is by election through the House of Laity in each Deanery Synod. There are 574 General Synod members in total.
There are two synodical sessions per year (4-5 days each), one in Church House, Westminster, the other at the University of York.
General Synod deals with three main areas:
General Synods of other churches within the Anglican Communion
- Central church business
- Relations with other churches
- Public issues
- New Zealand
- United States of America
More to follow.........