Diocesan Synod is the democratically elected decision-making body of the diocese. Its membership is comprised of both clergy and laity, representing the 20 deaneries in the diocese. Synod members are elected for a period of three years, beginning on 1st August in the year of their election – see Diocesan Synod Constitution for full details.
Three meetings are normally held each year – on Saturdays in March, June (often a half-day meeting), and in October. Synod meets at the All Saints Academy, Dunstable LU5 5AB [Directions to All Saints Academy].
• Considers matters concerning the Church of England and makes provisions for such matters in relation to the diocese.
• Considers and expresses its opinion on any other matters of religious or public interest.
• Advises the Bishop on any matters on which he may consult the Synod.
• Considers and expresses opinion on any matters referred to them by the General Synod – the ruling body of the Church of England – and in particular approves or disapproves provisions referred to Diocesan Synod under Article 8* of the General Synod Constitution.
*Article 8 of the Constitution of the General Synod provides that certain kinds of legislation may not receive the final approval of the General Synod unless they have first been approved by the majority of Church of England diocesan synods.
How does it function?
The Synod consists of three Houses: Bishops, Clergy and Laity. The Bishop of St Albans is the President of the Synod. From time to time, when a particular need arises, meetings of the individual Houses are held. The Houses meet together for the meetings of Synod.
The procedures of the Synod and its method of functioning are regulated by its Standing Orders. A copy of these is distributed to new members of Synod at the start of each triennium.