Church Representation Rules online - part 3

Part 3 Deanery Synods (Rules 14 to 28)

PART 3

DEANERY SYNODS

Composition

14 A deanery synod consists of –

(a) a house of clergy, and

(b) a house of laity.

House of clergy

15  (1)   The members of the house of clergy of a deanery synod are every clerk in Holy Orders –

(a) who is beneficed in or licensed to a parish in the deanery,

(b) who is licensed under section 2 of the Extra-Parochial Ministry Measure 1967 in respect of an institution in the deanery,

(c) who is a clerical member of the General Synod or a diocesan synod and is resident in the deanery,

(d) who is resident in the deanery and licensed by the bishop to work throughout the diocese or in more than one deanery and is not subject to a direction under Rule 17 to be a member of another deanery synod,

(e) who is not resident in the deanery but is subject to a direction under Rule 17 to be a member of the deanery synod,

(f) who holds permission to officiate, is resident in the deanery or has habitually attended public worship in the deanery during the preceding six months, and is elected or chosen as mentioned in paragraph (2),

(g) who is co-opted under Rule 18, or

(h) who is made a member by virtue of a scheme under Rule 23 or 24 (cathedrals, royal peculiars, mission initiatives).

(2)   One clerk who is eligible for membership under paragraph (1)(f) is to be elected or chosen –

(a) for every ten clerks of that description, and

(b) where the number of such clerks is not divisible by ten without fraction or remainder, for the fraction or remainder.

(3)   The election or choice under paragraph (2) is made by and from the clerks who are eligible for membership under paragraph (1)(f) in such manner as the bishop may approve.

(4)   As soon as possible after 31 December in the year before an election of the parochial representatives of the laity to the deanery synod, the rural dean of the deanery must inform the bishop of the number of clerks in Holy Orders who are eligible for membership under paragraph (1)(f).

(5)   A member of a deanery synod under paragraph (1)(f) –

(a) is elected or chosen every three years, and

(b) holds office for a term of three years beginning with the next 1 July following the date when the election or choice takes place.

House of laity

16  (1)   The members of the house of laity of a deanery synod are –

(a) each parochial representative elected to the deanery synod by the annual parochial church meeting of each parish in the deanery,

(b) any lay member of the General Synod or a diocesan synod whose name is on the roll of a parish1 in the deanery,

(c) each deaconess or lay worker who is licensed by the bishop to work in the whole or part of the deanery,

(d) any deaconess or lay worker who is resident in the deanery and licensed by the bishop to work throughout the diocese or in more than one deanery and is not subject to a direction under Rule 17 to be a member of another deanery synod,

(e) any deaconess or lay worker who is not resident in the deanery but is subject to a direction under Rule 17 to be a member of the deanery synod,

(f) if the bishop considers that a community in the deanery which is in the spiritual care of a chaplain licensed by the bishop should be represented in the house of laity, one lay person chosen by and from the members of the community in such manner as the bishop approves,

(g) any lay person who is co-opted under Rule 18, and

(h) any lay person who is made a member by virtue of a scheme under Rule 23 or 24 (cathedrals, royal peculiars, mission initiatives).

(2)   Where a person’s name is on the roll of more than one parish, the person must choose one of the parishes concerned for the purposes of paragraph (1)(a) or (b).

(3)   A person is eligible for membership of a deanery synod under paragraph (1)(f) only if the person is an actual communicant and is aged 16 or over.

(4)   The person who is the member of a deanery synod under paragraph (1)(f) –

(a) is chosen every three years, and

(b) holds office for a term of three years beginning with the next 1 July following the date when the choice is made.

Direction to join a different deanery synod

17  (1)   A clerk in Holy Orders, deaconess or lay worker who resides in the deanery and is licensed by the bishop to work throughout the diocese or in more than one deanery may be given a direction –

(a) not to be a member of the deanery synod for the deanery in which he or she resides, but

(b) instead to be a member of the deanery synod specified in the direction.

(2)   A direction under this Rule may be given to a clerk in Holy Orders only by the clerical members of the bishop’s council and standing committee; and, when doing so, they must have regard to the number of parochial and non-parochial clergy in the deanery in which the clerk resides.

(3)   A direction under this Rule may be given to a deaconess or lay worker only by the lay members of the bishop’s council and standing committee; and, when doing so, they must have regard to the number of deaconesses in the deanery in which the deaconess resides or (as the case may be) the number of lay workers in the deanery in which the lay worker resides.

(4)   A person may not, as a result of a direction under this Rule, be a member of more than one deanery synod in the same diocese.

(5)   A direction under this Rule may provide for –

(a) a specified category of clerks, deaconesses or lay workers (as the case may be) to choose some of their number to be members, and

(b) the term of office of a person so chosen.

Co-option

18  (1)   The house of clergy of a deanery synod may co-opt as additional members other clerks in Holy Orders.

(2)   The house of laity of a deanery synod may co-opt as additional members other lay persons who are actual communicants aged 16 or over.

(3)   The number of persons co-opted to a house under this Rule must not exceed either 5% of the total number of members of that house or three, whichever is greater.

(4)   The term of office of a person co-opted under this Rule is (subject to termination or resignation) for the lifetime of the deanery synod; but that does not prevent the person from being co-opted on one or more subsequent occasions.

Election of parochial representatives

19  (1)   The parochial representatives of the laity on a deanery synod –

(a) are elected every three years beginning with 2020 by the annual parochial church meeting of each parish in the deanery, and

(b) hold office for a term of three years beginning with the next 1 July following the date of their election.

(2)   The number of representatives to be elected from each parish is determined by a resolution of the diocesan synod no later than 31 December in the year preceding the elections.

(3)   A diocesan synod may calculate the number of representatives from a parish for the purposes of paragraph (2) –

(a) by reference to the number of names on the roll of the parish specified in the notification under Rule 10,

(b) by reference to the number of parish churches or districts in the parish, or

(c) by a combination of both those methods.

(4)   The secretary of a diocesan synod must, no later than 31 December in the year preceding the elections –

(a) certify to the secretary of each PCC the number of parochial representatives to be elected at the annual parochial church meeting of the parish, and

(b) give the secretary of each deanery synod a copy of each certificate given under sub-paragraph (a) and information relating to each parish in the deanery.

List of members to be given to diocesan electoral registration officer

20  (1)   The secretary of each deanery synod must, after the election of the parochial representatives of the laity to the synod but no later than the next following 1 July, give the diocesan electoral registration officer (see rule 27) –

(a) a list of the names and addresses of the members of the house of clergy of that synod, specifying for each member the category of membership under Rule 15(1), and

(b) a list of the names and addresses of the members of the house of laity of that synod, specifying for each member the category of membership under Rule 16(1).

(2)   If a person is co-opted to either house of a deanery synod under Rule 18, the secretary of the synod must give the diocesan electoral registration officer the name and address of the person.

(3)   The secretary of each deanery synod must give the diocesan electoral registration officer details of any subsequent changes to the membership of the house of clergy or the house of laity of that synod.

Number of members

21  (1)   A diocesan synod must exercise its powers under this Part of these Rules so as to secure that the total number of members of each deanery synod in the diocese is –

(a) no more than 150 (subject to paragraph (2)), and

(b) so far as practicable, no less than 50.

(2)   The figure of 150 given in paragraph (1)(a) may be exceeded in order –

(a) to secure that the house of laity has at least as many members as the house of clergy has, or

(b) to enable the operation of a scheme under Rule 23 or 24 which was made since the most recent resolution passed under Rule 19(2).

(3)   For the avoidance of doubt, the figure of 150 given in paragraph (1)(a) includes the maximum number of persons who may be co-opted as members of either house.

Scheme for variation of membership

22  (1)   A diocesan synod may make a scheme to vary the preceding provisions of this Part of these Rules that relate to the membership of deanery synods so as both –

(a) to meet the special circumstances of the diocese or the deaneries, and

(b) to secure better representation of clergy or laity or both on the deanery synods.

(2)   Where a scheme under this Rule has effect, the preceding provisions of this Part of these Rules, in so far as they apply to each deanery synod concerned, have effect subject to the scheme.

Scheme for representation for cathedrals and royal peculiars

23  (1)   In the case of the cathedral church of each diocese (other than the cathedral church of Christ in Oxford, as to which see paragraph (2)) or, where a diocese has more than one cathedral church, each of them, the diocesan synod must make a scheme to provide for the representation on a deanery synod of –

(a) the dean, the residentiary canons and other ministers (or any of them), and

(b) unless the cathedral church is a parish church, every lay person whose name is on the community roll.

(2)   In the case of Westminster Abbey, St George’s Chapel, Windsor and the cathedral church of Christ in Oxford, the diocesan synod in each case must make a scheme to provide for the representation on a deanery synod of –

(a) the dean, the residentiary canons and other ministers (or any of them), and

(b) every lay person whom the dean has declared to be a habitual worshipper and whose name is not on the roll of a parish.

(3)   A scheme under this Rule must include provision for determining the deanery synod or synods to which it applies.

Scheme for representation for mission initiatives

24  (1)   Where a bishop’s mission order is in force, a diocesan synod must, at the direction of the bishop or bishops who made the order, make a scheme to provide for the representation on a deanery synod of such of the persons to whom the order relates as are specified in or under the scheme.

(2)   The Code of Practice under section 84 of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 (mission initiatives) must include guidance as to the exercise of functions under this Rule.

(3)   The bishop or bishops, in giving a direction under paragraph (1), and the diocesan synod, in making a scheme under this Rule, must have regard to –

(a) the need to make due provision for the representation of the worshipping community involved in the mission initiative,

(b) the governance of the initiative (which may, for example, take the form of a charitable body of some kind), and

(c) the guidance referred to in paragraph (2).

(4)   A scheme under this Rule must include provision for determining the deanery synod or synods to which it applies.

Schemes: approval

25  (1)   A copy of a proposed scheme under Rule 22, 23 or 24 must be given to each member of the diocesan synod at least 14 days before the meeting at which it is to be considered for approval.

(2)   A proposed scheme under Rule 22 is approved by the diocesan synod only if –

(a) the house of bishops approves it,

(b) in the house of clergy, it is approved by at least two-thirds of the members present and voting, and

(c) in the house of laity, it is approved by at least two-thirds of the members present and voting.

(3)   A proposed scheme under Rule 22 which is approved by the diocesan synod must be laid before the General Synod.

(4)   If a member of the General Synod gives notice in accordance with its Standing Orders that the member wishes a proposed scheme under Rule 22 to be debated, the scheme does not come into operation unless it is approved by the General Synod.

(5)   If a proposed scheme under Rule 22 is approved by the General Synod or no notice such as is mentioned in paragraph (4) is given, the scheme comes into operation –

(a) on the day after the end of the group of sessions during which it was laid before, or approved by, the Synod, or

(b) on such later date as the scheme may specify.

Procedure

26  (1)   A diocesan synod must make rules for the deanery synods in the diocese.

(2)   The rules must include provision –

(a) for the rural dean and a member of the house of laity of the deanery synod elected by that house to be the joint chairs;

(b) for the joint chairs to decide between themselves who is to chair each meeting or particular items of business on the agenda;

(c) for there to be a secretary;

(d) for a specified minimum number of meetings to be held in each year;

(e) for decisions to be taken by a majority of members present and voting, except where the rules require there to be a vote by houses;

(f) for there to be a standing committee, the membership and functions of which are provided for by the rules;

(g) for a report of the deanery synod’s proceedings to be given to every PCC in the deanery.

(3)   The rules may include provision for such other matters consistent with the provision required by paragraph (2) as the diocesan synod decides.

(4)   The provision which may be made under paragraph (3) includes provision to impose a maximum period for which a person may serve as an officer, or as a member of the standing committee, of a deanery synod in the diocese.

(5)   The provision which may be so made also includes provision to enable the lay chair of each deanery synod in the diocese to continue to hold office as such until the election of his or her successor as chair.

(6)   Subject to the rules, a deanery synod may determine its own procedure.

(7)   ‘Lay chair’, in relation to a deanery synod, means the member of the house of laity of the deanery synod who, by virtue of paragraph (2)(a), is one of the two joint chairs of the synod.

Diocesan electoral registration officer

27  (1)   In each diocese, a diocesan electoral registration officer is appointed by the bishop’s council and standing committee of the diocesan synod.

(2)   The diocesan electoral registration officer must, subject to paragraph (4), record in a register the name and address of every member of the house of clergy of each deanery synod in the diocese (the ‘register of clerical electors’).

(3)   The diocesan electoral registration officer must, subject to paragraph (4), record in a register (separate from the register of clerical electors) the name and address of every member of the house of laity of each deanery synod in the diocese (the ‘register of lay electors’).

(4)   Persons co-opted as members of the house of clergy or the house of laity of a deanery synod are not to be recorded in the register concerned.

(5)   Where a member of the house of clergy or the house of laity of a deanery synod has provided the diocesan electoral registration officer with an email address, the address recorded for that member in the register must include that email address.

Mission initiative roll

27A (1)    Where a direction is given under Rule 24(1), the leader of the mission initiative must establish and maintain a roll (a ‘mission initiative roll’) on which the names of lay persons are entered in accordance with this Rule.

(2)   A person is eligible to have his or her name on a mission initiative roll if he or she –

(a) is baptised,

(b) is aged 16 or over, and

(c) has made a written application to have his or her name on the roll.

(3)   An application under paragraph (2)(c) must include a declaration that the applicant –

(a) either is a member of the Church of England or a Church in communion with it or is a member in good standing of a Church which is not in communion with the Church of England but which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and

(b) has habitually attended public worship as part of the worshipping community involved in the initiative during the preceding six months.

(4)   A person who is eligible to have the person’s name on more than one mission initiative roll is entitled to have the person’s name on each of the mission initiative rolls concerned.

(5)   In the case of a mission initiative which is in more than one diocese, the function of giving a direction under paragraph (1) is exercisable by the diocesan bishops concerned acting jointly.

(6)   Where a direction was given under rule 29A of the Old Rules, the duty under paragraph (1) of this rule to maintain a mission initiative roll applies to the roll established under that rule; and a reference in Rules 27B to 27D to a mission initiative roll includes a reference to any mission initiative roll so established.

(7)   In paragraph (6), ‘the Old Rules’ means these Rules as set out in this Schedule in the form it took immediately before the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Church Representation and Ministers Measure 2019.

Additions to and revision of mission initiative roll

27B (1)    The name of a person who is eligible to have his or her name on a mission initiative roll must be added to the roll.

(2)   A mission initiative roll must be revised by the leader of the mission initiative no later than 30 May in each year.

(3)   On each revision of a mission initiative roll –

(a) every addition to the roll since the previous revision (or, if there has not yet been a revision of the roll, since the establishment of the roll) must be reviewed and any further additions must be made as necessary, and

(b) a person’s name must be removed from the roll in each of the following cases.

(4)   The first case is where the person has died.

(5)   The second case is where the person has become a clerk in Holy Orders.

(6)   The third case is where the person has stated in writing the wish to have his or her name removed.

(7)   The fourth case is where the person was not entitled to have his or her name entered on the roll at the time it was entered.

(8)   The fifth case is where the person –

(a) has not habitually attended public worship as part of the worshipping community involved in the initiative during the preceding six months, and

(b) has not been prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

Preparation of new mission initiative roll

27C (1)    The leader of a mission initiative must, no later than 30 May in every sixth year beginning with 2025, prepare a new mission initiative roll.

(2)   On the preparation of a new mission initiative roll, the name of each person who is eligible to have his or her name entered under Rule 27A must be entered on the roll; and a fresh application, which must include the declaration under Rule 27A(3), is required from each person who is already on the roll.

(3)   A person whose name is already on a mission initiative roll is not disqualified from having his or her name on the new roll merely because he or she has not complied with the condition in Rule 27A(3)(b), if the person was prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause.

(4)   In a case where paragraph (3) applies, the application must briefly state why the person did not comply with that condition.

Notification of number on mission initiative roll

27D       The leader of a mission initiative must, no later than 1 July in each year, give the secretary of the diocesan synod written notification of the number of names there are on the mission initiative roll as at 30 May in that year.

Casual vacancies

28  (1)   A casual vacancy2 among the parochial representatives elected to a deanery synod must be filled as soon as practicable after the vacancy occurs.

(2)   Where the annual parochial church meeting is not due to be held within the two months following the occurrence of the vacancy, the vacancy must be filled by the election by the PCC of a person who is qualified to be elected as a parochial representative.

(3)   An election to fill a casual vacancy among the parochial representatives elected to a deanery synod is, where possible, to be held at a time which will enable all casual vacancies among the parochial representatives so elected to have been filled by the time of the next election to the House of Laity of the General Synod; but no such election is invalid merely because such a casual vacancy is not filled.

(4)   The secretary of a PCC must give a return of a parochial representative of the laity elected to fill a casual vacancy on the deanery synod –

(a) to the diocesan electoral registration officer, and

(b) to the secretary of the deanery synod.

Notes

1 A person whose name is on the roll of a guild church in the City of London is treated for this purpose as if his or her name is also on the roll of the parish in which the guild church is situated: see rule 83(7) and (8).

2 ‘Casual vacancy’ includes the case where there is a vacancy because not enough candidates were nominated to fill the places available: see rule 83(9).