Elections for the next General Synod are currently underway. The Nomination Period has now closed, and there will be an election for both the House of Laity and the Proctors in Convocation. Details of the nominated candidates can be found below as well as their published Election Address. Electors will also be able to view these on the Online Voting Portal.
Candidates will have the opportunity to speak during Hustings, which this year will take place online. Those involved will have received details of how to take part, or how to observe. The Ballot will open on 17 September 2021, at which point Electors will receive an E-Mail inviting them to cast their votes. Voting will finish on 8 October 2021 at 12 Noon. Candidates who are not members of Deanery Synod will not be able to vote, but will receive confirmation of the results, along with the Electors, by 21 October 2021.
Elections to General Synod 2021
Elections to General Synod will be required to be undertaken this year. A pre-notification has been sent to all Deanery Synod Members, Southwark Diocesan Synod Members, and others who form the Electorate. Elections are to be completed online using Civica Election services by 11 October 2021, with the results being announced by 21 October 2021.
Anyone who is aged over 18, is a communicant of the Church of England, and is registered on the Parish Electoral Roll can stand for General Synod. This includes those who are not elected to Diocesan or Deanery Synods. However, General Synod passed a motion which allows those who could not receive Holy Communion, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, still to stand for election.
Deanery Synod members form the electorate (except for co-opted members who are unable to vote) for these elections but nominations can come from those who are not on Deanery Synod, subject to the Church Representation Rules’ guidance on those wishing to stand must be proposed and seconded.
Details about how to conduct the elections can be found in the Diocesan Secretary’s letter by clicking below.
What is General Synod?
The General Synod is the national assembly of the Church of England. It came into being in 1970 under the Synodical Government Measure 1969, replacing an earlier body known as the Church Assembly.
The General Synod considers and approves legislation affecting the whole of the Church of England, formulates new forms of worship, debates matters of national and international importance, and approves the annual budget for the work of the Church at national level.
There are 483 members of General Synod. Members are arranged into three Houses: The House of Bishops, The House of Clergy, and The House of Laity. Elections to The House of Clergy and The House of Laity are to be conducted by Civica on behalf of the Dioceses of this country. Each Diocese can nominate and elect members to provide fair representation. They come together to lead the Diocese, enable mission and serve the people of God. The number of clergy and lay members in Diocesan Synod are broadly equal.
It is a statutory institution which serves not only our Diocese but influences and helps to direct the National Church on matters of Church, public and Government policy. It also includes some mandatory governance items such as approval of the budget and the annual accounts.
What skills do representatives need?
General Synods exist to serve the mission of the wider Church, to make strategic decisions, and to encourage the growth of mission and ministry in our Diocese. It is important that General Synod, as any representative body, broadly reflects the diversity of all our church members in gender, ethnic origin, age, experience, and church tradition, and we welcome and encourage membership across all these groups.
We also need people to stand who have:
Vision: Do you have a vision for a flourishing Church and a passion to work with others to share your Christian faith and deepen the discipleship of those around you?
Commitment: Are you ready to seek God’s will through prayer and theological reflection, with a heart for growth, mission, and engagement across boundaries?
Openness: Are you open to trying new approaches while learning from others, embracing change and the bigger picture and to sharing inspiring feedback with your Diocese, Deanery, PCC, and wider church family?
Enthusiasm: Members of Synod are encouraged to speak and challenge confidently, enabling change whilst leading and encouraging others.
Good communication: Do you have a listening ear? Are you receptive and open-minded and do you have the ability to share your passion? Members of Synod are ambassadors, both amongst themselves and as a bridge between the wider Church, Diocese, and the parishes.
Candidates are still able to stand for election to General Synod even if they are not a member of Deanery Synod. If you wish to stand for General Synod, but are not a part of Deanery Synod, you must still fulfil all of the following criteria:
- You have received communion in the Church of England (or a Church in communion with it) at least three times in the year to 12 July 2021 – or would have done so but were prevented for reasons connected with Coronavirus
- You are confirmed, ready and desirous of being confirmed, or receive communion because you are a communicant member of another Church which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity
- You were at least 18 on 12 July 2021
- You are either on the Electoral Roll of a Parish in the Diocese, or have been declared since 12 June 2021 to be a part of the worshipping community of a mission initiative (BMO) in the Diocese
Upon meeting the requirements of these criteria, you can request a Nomination Paper from the Presiding Officer by pressing the button below. Further information about the process can be found in the Pre-Notice of Election.
If you are a member of Deanery Synod and wish to nominate yourself, you should have received an E-Mail outlining the nomination process. Please get in touch with the Diocesan Office if you have not received this E-Mail.