The Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament comprises 30
members; 15 drawn from the House of
Commons and 15 from the House of Lords. Members, who
are by convention backbenchers, are appointed by the
Speaker of each House, early in a Parliament, and
usually remain on the Committee for the life of the
It is a statutory Committee, created through the
Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919. While the
Committee's powers are those laid down by the Act, its
procedures are those of a Joint Select Committee.
The Ecclesiastical Committee examines draft Measures presented
to it by the Legislative Committee of the General Synod of the
Church of England. It reports to Parliament on whether or not it
considers the measures to be expedient.
It will generally ask members of the General Synod to assist it
in its deliberations. In some circumstances a conference of the
Ecclesiastical Committee and the Legislative Committee may be
The Church of England Measure on which the Committee has
reported is then presented to both Houses in its final form at the
same time as the Committee makes its report.
Before the Measure becomes law, both Houses must approve motions
that the Measure should be presented to the Sovereign for Royal
Assent, in the form that it was laid before Parliament.
Once both Houses have passed the necessary approval motions, the
Measure is presented for Royal Assent and becomes law.
A factsheet on Church of England Measures produced by the House
of Commons Library is available
More details about the current Ecclesiastical Committee,
appointed in 2010, can be found on the Parliament website
Details of the work of the Ecclesiastical Committee in
previous Parliaments can be found