Simplification and Legislative Reform

A Simplification Task Group was established in 2014 to consider constraints caused to the mission and growth of the Church of England by existing canons, legislation, regulations and procedures, and to bring forward options and proposals for simplification and deregulation.

The Task Group recommended changes to legislation which has led to the Legislative Reform Measure 2018 and the Mission and Pastoral etc. (Amendment) Measure 2018 being enacted. This will be followed by other legislation in due course.

The legislative changes are important, but the implementation is even more important. The Legislative Reform Measure will enable Synod, through a Committee, to remove burdens by making it possible, in certain cases and subject to a number of safeguards, to amend or repeal some Acts of Parliament and Church Measures by way of orders without going through the full legislative process that applies to Measures. It is expected that this Measure will be used to consider several pieces of legislation, such as the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956, among others.  The Mission and Pastoral etc. (Amendment) Measure 2018 has provided changes to processes around Bishop’s Mission Orders, providing legal status for Deanery Plans and introduced a new form of Bishop’s Pastoral Order. Further details can be found here.


In the final quarter of 2018, a consultation on the Patronages (Benefices) Measure 1986 took place.  We were delighted to receive a substantial number of contributions.  We are currently analysing this feedback and we will provide an update in due course.

There was one submission following consultation on the draft legislative reform (Patronage of Benefices) Order.  As required by Standing Order 69E (2), the submission is attached here.

At the February 2019 Synod, the draft Church Representation and Ministers Measure was presented to the General Synod for final approval. The debate raised some concerns about the inclusion of a provision which would limit parochial lay representatives on deanery synods to two consecutive terms of three years. Elections Review Group has agreed to consult on a number of different options and the attached document outlines the consultation proposal and process. We would welcome any comments by Wednesday 10th July.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read our new FAQs document, which answers a number of questions you might have about our Simplification progress so far: