The General Synod of the Church of England has approved a change to its rules to enable it to meet online, if necessary, because of the coronavirus restrictions.

A special session of General Synod was held in London to approve a measure amending Synod’s standing orders to allow remote meetings.

The special sitting of Synod involved reduced numbers - although enough to meet quorum requirements – extensive safety, hygiene and physical distancing measures.

The measure was taken through all its Synod legislative stages in a day. It will now be referred to Parliament and will come into force on receiving Royal Assent.

Earlier this year, the annual residential meeting of Synod in York had to be cancelled because of the Government restrictions on gatherings.

Instead, members held a day-long meeting online but it was not a formal sitting of Synod under the rules and could not pass legislation or transact key business.

The new measure would enable the November group of sessions to take place online, if necessary, and consider legislation and other important business.

Notes to Editors

Synod members voted to give final approval as follows:

Bishops:             for 14    against 0            abstention 0

Clergy:                for 42    against 0           abstention 0

Laity:                  for 45    against 0            abstention 2

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