Deanery Synods

Each of the fifteen deaneries in the Diocese of Liverpool has a Deanery Synod.

This page gives you information about who the members of a Deanery Synod are and what the synod does.

Each Deanery Synod is made up of two groups of people, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity.

The House of Clergy consists of all the clergy licensed in the deanery (Incumbents [that is Vicars, Rectors, Priests in Charge], Assistant clergy, clergy in Sector Appointments [mainly hospitals and prisons], plus some representation of retired clergy).  It is chaired by the Area Dean, who is appointed by the Bishop.

The House of Laity is mainly made up of the lay people elected from the parishes of the deanery at their respective Annual Meetings.  It also includes stipendiary Lay Workers (e.g. Church Army Officers) and other laity who have been appointed or elected to a higher Synod (Diocesan or General).  The Chair of the House of Laity is selected by the members of that house from its own membership each year.

The Deanery Synod meets to share issues of concern to the deanery, debate items emerging from parishes or referred by the Diocesan or General Synods and to develop the Deanery Mission Plan in the spirit of our diocesan Growth Agenda.  Each Deanery Synod will also have a Mission and Pastoral Committee that plays a key role in taking this work forward. 

More on this in the section on Pastoral Reorganisation.

Election of Lay Members to Deanery Synods

Each parish must elect representatives to serve on the Deanery Synod. This normally takes place at the parish’s Annual Meeting. The number of representatives to be elected is directly related to the total number of people certified as being on the parish’s Electoral Roll at the previous Annual Meeting. An additional factor is also included to account for parishes with multiple places of worship.

For 2023 onwards the following formula is used for our diocese:

Electoral Roll size Num. Reps
1-25 1
26-50 2
51-100 3
101-200 4
201-300 5
for each additional 100 or part thereof
up to a maximum of 2,501







A table showing the additional number of representatives for parishes with multiple buildings can be seen here.

Term of Office for Deanery Synod Representatives

The normal Term of Office for someone elected at their parish’s Annual Meeting is 3 years. If a lay member resigns or has to step down mid-term then a casual vacancy occurs. A person elected to fill a casual vacancy is to finish the existing Term of Office and does not receive a new 3 year term.

A person elected to the Deanery Synod immediately becomes an ex-officio member of their PCC, except where there is a Scheme in place defining otherwise. However, their membership of the Deanery Synod commences on the 1st July after their parish’s Annual Meeting, unless they are filling a casual vacancy whereby their membership of the synod is immediate.

PCC Membership

Unless there is a Scheme in place that defines otherwise, all lay members of a Deanery, the Diocesan or General Synods are also ex-officio members of their respective PCC.  However, any clergy members of a Deanery Synod, who are not already members of a PCC, are not automatically members of any PCC.

For queries about Deanery Synods, please email 


Download a copy of our model terms of reference here.

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