Synods, Boards & Committees
The Church of England is led by The Archbishop of Canterbury.
The General Synod is the national assembly of the Church of England. Elected representatives from all dioceses gather to debate and decide the future direction of our Church. Meetings of the General Synod are referred to as “A Group of Sessions”.
The St Albans Diocese is led by The Bishop of St Albans.
Each of the dioceses has its own Diocesan Synod which consists of the bishops and elected laity and clergy. The Diocesan Synod considers matters sent to it from General Synod and from deanery synods, formulates diocesan policy on a wide range of issues, advises the bishop as appropriate and votes the funding of stipends and administration to be raised from the parishes. Rule 44 of Church Representation Rules (CRR) requires the Diocesan Synod to make Standing Orders which regulate the procedures of the Synod.
Each Deanery in the Diocese meet at Deanery Synods convened by the Rural Dean. It consists of all clergy licensed to a benefice within the deanery, plus elected lay members. It acts as an intermediary between the PCC’s of each parish in its deanery and the Diocesan Synod. CRR 26 requires the Diocesan Synod to make Rules for Deanery Synods,* which, in this Diocese, were most recently amended at the March 2015 Diocesan Synod. A booklet containing Guidance for Deanery Lay Chairs is available here. * Each Deanery also has a Pastoral Committee.
* References to dates within these publications have now been superseded by the CRR 2020 which amended the date of membership for each triennium for Lay Deanery Synod members to 1 July in the first year – 30 June in the final year. (Additionally, for 2020 only, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Lay Synod membership for the current triennium has been delayed to a start date of 1 December 2020. Members elected at this year’s APCM’s will serve from 1 December 2020 to 30 June 2023.
Within each deanery, parishes are governed by their own PCCs.