Diocesan Synod Elections 2024

Diocesan Synod elections are taking place right now in every diocese, and we want inclusive members of the Church of England to consider standing.  This is an opportunity to learn more about the Church of England, connect with others in your diocese and shape the future of the Church locally and nationally.

What is a Diocesan Synod?
The Diocesan Synod brings together people from across the diocese to discuss matters relating to the life of the diocese and sometimes the national church.  It is a broad gathering of people in the diocese and supports the bishop, senior staff and diocesan team in shaping policy and understanding views from across Church.  Diocesan synods usually meet about three times a year and the term is for three years.

Who can be on Diocesan Synod?
Any priest who is a member of a deanery synod in the diocese, and any lay person (someone who is not ordained) who is on an electoral roll of a parish in the diocese.  Laity do not have to be on a deanery synod or even their PCC; you only have to be on the electoral roll to stand for election.  Laity worshipping at a cathedral or in a mission initiative may also be able to stand.

How does the election work?

The electorate for diocesan synod elections are the deanery synods in the diocese, with each deanery synod electing representatives.  Deanery synod members, both clergy and lay, will receive nomination papers.  To stand for election you need two deanery synod members from your deanery nominate you, with clergy nominating clergy, laity are nominated by laity.  If you are interested but not on deanery synod, ask a deanery synod member (every church has at least one!) for more information.  There will also be more details on the diocesan website.

Why does it matter?
If you want to see the Church of England embrace more inclusive policies this will only happen by engaging with its governance structures.  Diocesan synods matter because they:

  • represent the broad spectrum of views in your diocese, shaping diocesan policy
  • elect important Boards and Committees in the diocese, including the Bishop’s Council and the Vacancy in See Committee (which has an important role when a diocesan bishop needs to be appointed)
  • can be asked to vote on questions passed on by General Synod, as happened with women bishops and could happen with Living in Love and Faith
  • can pass motions for General Synod to debate

About Together for the Church of England
This information sheet has been published by Together for the Church of England.  We are a new group campaigning to remove all discrimination in the Church of England, especially where it is embodied in the formal and legal structures of the Church.  We encourage people to be more aware of and involved in the governance structures of the Church at all levels.  We have a network of diocesan groups; you can find your local contact and read more about our aims at www.togethercofe.org.uk.


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