Throughout the course of a year there are a number of meetings that bishops attend that help further the work of the Church of England.
- Archbishops – Diocesan bishops who have pastoral responsibility for their province
- Diocesan bishops – chief pastors of their diocese
- Other bishops – primarily suffragan bishops but also area bishops who are appointed to work with diocesan bishops to help with the pastoral responsibility for the diocese.
- PEV’s (Provisional Episcopal Visitors) – four suffragan bishops who have a special responsibility to support parishes that have petitioned under the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993.
The role of the Standing Committee is to set agendas for the House of Bishops meetings; represent the House of Bishops in discussions with other faiths and to deal with certain matters on behalf of the House of Bishops.
The Standing Committee is made up of eight members:
- Archbishop of Canterbury
- Archbishop of York
- The two bishops elected as members of the Archbishops’ Council on the basis that one of them serves as the Business Committee Chair
- If this is not possible then one of the Council bishops and the bishop elected onto the Business Committee
- One bishop from the elected Church Commissioners
- The Chair to the Faith and Order Commission
- One bishop elected from the House of Bishops
- One appointed by the Archbishops
- One female bishop elected
The Delegation Committee considers general issues such as mission, ministry and matters of general public policy, the Committee will look at all business relating to the following bodies:
- Ecumenical business arising from the Council for Christian Unity
- The Education Division/National Society
- Ministry Council
- Business from the Faith and Order Commission
The members of the Delegation Committee are:
- Bishop of Blackburn
- Bishop at Lambeth
- Bishop of Stockport
- Bishop of Ely
- Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich
- Bishop of Portsmouth
- Bishop of Lichfield
- Bishop of Sherborne
- Bishop of Willesden
The House of Bishops is one of three Houses that make up the General Synod, all members of the House of Bishops are members of the General Synod. They meet separately to talk about issues such as episcopal ministry, mission and national issues that affect the Church.
- The House of Bishops meet in May and December outside of General Synod
- Under Article 7 of the Constitution of General Synod, the House of Bishops has a special role with matters relating to doctrine, liturgy or Sacrament. Also, it has the right to amend legislation as it sees fit before the legislation is put before the General Synod for approval
- Female suffragan bishops (who are not members of the House) and PEV’s can attend and speak at these meetings, however, they are not allowed to vote.
The House of Bishop is made up of:
- All diocesan bishops including the offshore dioceses of Sodor and Man and Gibraltar in Europe
- The Bishop of Dover
- The Bishop to the Armed Forces
- Nine elected suffragan bishops
In addition, six elected female suffragan bishops and 3 Provincial Episcopal Visitors attend and speak at meetings of the House, but are unable to vote
The six female bishops are:
- Bishop of Aston
- Bishop of Crediton
- Bishop of Hull
- Bishop of Repton
- Bishop of Sherborne
- Bishop of Taunton
The three Provincial Episcopal Visitors are:
- Bishop of Ebbsfleet
- Bishop of Richborough
- Bishop of Maidstone
(The Bishop of Fulham is one of the seven suffragan bishops of the House)
Summary of Decisions
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Key documents from the House of Bishops
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Area of the Church under the authority of an archbishop – consisting of a number of dioceses. Hence ‘Province of Canterbury’ (Southern Province), ‘Province of York’ (Northern Province).