Since 1970, the General Synod has been the national assembly of the Church of England, taking over almost all of the functions that were previously the responsibility of the Convocations of Canterbury and York.
The 478 voting members of General Synod are arranged into three Houses – the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity. The most important decisions at Synod require a two-thirds majority to vote for it in each of the three houses.
There are also 14 non-voting representatives – three from Deaf Anglicans Together and 11 ecumenical representatives.
Click here to see a detailed diagram of General Synod membership.
A list of the current membership of Synod is available on the Members' Resources page.
Houses of the General Synod
- The House of Bishops consists of the 42 diocesan bishops, nine elected suffragan (assistant) bishops and two ex-officio members (the Bishop of Dover and the Bishop to the Armed Forces). The House regularly meets separately from the Synod several times a year to discuss issues of episcopal ministry, mission and national issues affecting the Church of England. Learn more about the work of the House of Bishops and the larger College of Bishops, which includes every diocesan and suffragan bishop.
- Excluding bishops, all ordained members of the General Synod form the House of Clergy.
- The House of Laity consists of lay members from every diocese of the Church of England. Nearly all lay members of Synod are elected by deanery synods (or annual meetings of the chaplaincies, in the case of the Diocese in Europe) or are chosen by and from the lay members of religious communities.
The Synod Office
The General Synod is supported by staff of the National Church Institutions. The Synod Office is located at Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ. The Church House switchboard number is 020 7898 1000.
- William Nye, Secretary General (020 7898 1361)
- Simon Gallagher, Director of the Central Secretariat (020 7898 1385)
- Jenny Jacobs, Clerk to the Synod (020 7898 1363)
- The Revd Alexander McGregor, Chief Legal Adviser and Joint Registrar of the Provinces of Canterbury and York (020 7898 1748)
- Louise Wills, Deputy Legal Adviser (020 7898 1683)
- Christopher Packer, Legislative Counsel (020 7898 1799)