General Synod

About The Diocese > What We Do > Synods > General Synod

The General Synod is the national decision making body for the Church of England.

It came into being in 1970 under the Synodical Government Measure 1969, replacing a body called the Church Assembly.

Its membership comprises three Houses:
  • The House of Bishops comprising all the Diocesan Bishops, a small number of Suffragan Bishops who are elected and a few others;
  • The House of Clergy which, as its origins date back to medieval times, often operates as the Convocation of Canterbury or York (Liverpool is in York!).  It consists principally of clergy elected from Dioceses in relation to the number of clergy plus others appointed by the Forces, Religious Orders, and Universities, etc;
  • The House of Laity which comprises mainly representatives from Dioceses elected according to the total electoral roll.  There are other members from the Forces, ex officio, etc.
The Synod normally meets twice a year – February in London and July in York and, when the business demands it, in November (also in London).

Quoting from the national Church of England website which has lots of useful background.

It has powers in the following areas:
  • Legislation by Measure
    To pass Measures which, if approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, receive Royal Assent and thereby become part of the law of England
  • Legislation by Canon
    To legislate by Canon, subject to Royal Licence and Assent
  • Relations with other Churches
    To regulate the Church of England’s relations with other churches and to make provisions for matters relating to worship and doctrine. It can make provision by Act of Synod, regulation or other instrument in cases where legislation by or under a Measure or Canon is not necessary
  • Liturgy and Doctrinal Assent
    To approve, amend, continue or discontinue liturgies and make provision for any matter (except the publication of banns of marriage) to which rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer relate and to ensure that the forms of service contained in the Book of Common Prayer continue to be available for use in the Church of England. The Synod also decides the form in which ministers and officers of the Church of England are required to assent to the doctrine of the Church of England (the Declaration of Assent).
  • Deliberation
    To consider any other matters of religious or public interest
  • Finance
    To approve (or reject) the central church budget each year.

In This Section

Our Members

The members of the General Synod from Liverpool are:

Bishop Paul Bayes

House of Clergy
Revd Canon Peter Spiers
Revd Canon Kate Wharton
Revd Canon Steve McGanity
Revd Amanda Fairclough
Revd Sonya Doragh

House of Laity
Canon Maggie Swinson
Mr David Martlew
Mr Chris Pye
Mr Keith Cawdron
Mrs Debra Walker