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/ 29 April 2021

Stand for General Synod: elections 2021

Is there someone in your church community who would consider standing for General Synod?

The elections will start in July this year. General Synod is the legislative body of the Church of England. Being an elected member is a chance to represent the concerns of your community at a national level.

How often do elections take place?

Elections to the House of Laity take place every 5 years. Anyone can stand.

Who can stand?

The General Synod has three Houses: Bishops, Clergy and Laity. Each diocese is allocated a number of seats in the Houses of Clergy and Laity – the number of seats varies according to the size of each diocese.

Any serving clergy or retired clergy with permission to officiate in a diocese can stand. Any communicant lay person who is on a church electoral roll (or cathedral roll) and is 18 or above can stand. There is no need for lay candidates to be on a PCC, deanery synod or diocesan synod.

Why stand?

You can have a say in national legislation that affects all parts of the Church of England. You can also raise issues and contribute to debates on social and policy matters.

Time commitment and expectations

General Synod usually meets twice a year for 5 days each in London and in York. Each synodical term (known as a “Quinquennium”) lasts for five years. At the start of each Quinquennium, Synod also meets in London in November for a three-day Inaugural Synod. It is very unusual for Synod to meet three times a year outside the inaugural years.

Do I get paid?

The diocese will reimburse your expenses up to a nominated amount including travel expenses and accommodation at London Synods. For York Synods, accommodation and meals are provided on the campus of York University where Synod meets each July. Synod members may claim expenses for travel to York Synods.

I’m interested. What now?

More information on how to stand will be published in the coming weeks. In the meantime it might be useful to talk to your vicar, or a member of your deanery synod.


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