National Church Governance Programme

The National Church Governance Programme overseas the implementation of the National Church Governance Proposals set out in GS 2307 and welcomed by the General Synod in July 2023.

These proposals have taken forward the work of the earlier Governance Review Group (GRG) to establish a National Church governance structure that can effectively serve, support, encourage and enable the work and mission of the Church of England now and in the future.

At the centre of the work has been a commitment to help rebuild trust by ensuring that the proposed reforms deliver greater transparency, accountability and effectiveness at a National Church level.

This proposal seeks to give greater confidence and build trust in the National Church’s decision-making processes. It recognises that there is a need to work together, and to be clear as to which body is accountable for a decision and who else will be engaged in the process. Both decision-making and execution of those decisions will be speeded up, making better use of precious staff and volunteer resources, and enabling the Church to respond with more agility to new challenges.

While the governance of the National Church is wider than that of the National Church Institutions, the proposed governance reform simplifies the national structure and clarifies the purpose and functions of the National Church Institutions. It makes recommendations for smaller and more diverse trustee boards and committees, with a mix of appropriately skilled, elected and appointed members. It emphasises accountability and mutuality.

It introduces a new operational delivery body (replacing the Archbishops’ Council and Church of England Central Services) dedicated to serving and supporting the wider Church through the provision of strategic funding, services, advice, and guidance. The new charity will co-ordinate work undertaken at the national level, allocate resources in line with agreed priorities and ensure effective execution of agreed strategies. Bringing key voices to the table, it will be responsible for developing policy for approval through the House of Bishops and the General Synod.

The Proposal was welcomed at the General Synod in July 2023. The report and recommendations are available here :GS2307 National Church Governance Report and Recommendations

Previous reports and other supporting and background information can be found on this page: National Church Governance Project  - Supporting Documents.

The Membership of the Programme Board under the Chair of Sir David Lidington, has been refreshed to ensure oversight of the implementation of the proposal.

Please send any comments or questions to [email protected].