The Diocesan Bishop’s Council comprises the ‘Bishop’s Council and Standing Committee of the London Diocesan Synod’, whose functions include transacting the business of the Diocesan Synod when it is not in session, and initiating proposals for action by the Synod; and the ‘Council of the London Diocesan Fund’, which is the Board of Trustees and Directors of the London Diocesan Fund. The members of the Diocesan Bishop’s Council also constitute the membership of other bodies, such as the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee.
The functions of the Diocesan Bishop’s Council are:
- to plan the business of the Diocesan Synod, to prepare the agenda for its sessions, and to circulate to members information about matters for discussion;
- to initiate proposals for action by the Synod and to advise it on matters of policy which are placed before it;
- to advise the president (i.e. the Bishop of London) on any matters which he may refer to the Council;
- subject to the directions of the Synod, to transact the business of the Synod when it is not in session;
- to appoint or elect members of committees or nominate members for election to committees, subject to the directions of the Synod;
- to carry out such other functions as the Synod may delegate to it.
It is not legally possible for the Diocesan Synod to hold property, and so the London Diocesan Fund (LDF) was set up to have stewardship of the Diocese’s assets. The LDF is a charitable company limited by guarantee which holds and manages the funds and properties of the Diocese, including parsonages. The LDF additionally collects Common Fund and pays the clergy. The LDF in this diocese carries out the functions performed by the London Diocesan Board of Finance in many other dioceses.
The ‘Council of the London Diocesan Fund’ are the trustees and directors of this charitable company. Being elected to the Bishop’s Council means that after signing the ‘Declaration and Consent’ document, you also become a trustee and director, as well as a member of the LDF. The trustees, directors and members of the LDF are required to act in the best interests of the organisation and to see to the wise stewardship of the Diocese’s assets.
The Bishop’s Council consists of the senior Diocesan clergy (i.e. the Bishops, Archdeacons and Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral), and lay and clerical members of the Diocesan Synod elected on an Episcopal Area basis. Two clerical and four lay members are elected from each Episcopal Area by and from among the respective Area memberships of the separate Houses of the Diocesan Synod.
In addition (and in order to balance the large ex-officio clerical component of the Council), three lay members are elected to the Council by and from amongst the membership of the House of Laity of the Diocesan Synod.