Special session of General Synod to go ahead amid new Covid-19 measures


A special session of the Church of England General Synod, needed to pass urgent legislation enabling Synod to continue to operate amid the challenges of the pandemic, will go ahead in London on Thursday.

A limited number of members will meet in person at Church House Westminster, following appropriate physical distancing measures, to consider a new Measure which would allow Synod to meet officially online later this year if public health restrictions make it impossible to do so in person.

Following the latest Government announcement of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Synod officers have taken legal and other advice and concluded that the changes do not impact the General Synod’s ability to meet tomorrow as planned.

The session will be limited to taking the Remote Meetings Measure through its legislative stages and extensive safety, hygiene and physical distancing will be put in place.

Shelf of bound books, General Synod papers 2007

Although numbers will be limited they will be enough to meet quorum requirements.

The annual residential meeting of Synod, held in York in July, was cancelled this year because of the Government restrictions on gatherings.

Although members held a day-long meeting online, it was not a formal sitting of Synod.
Under the current rules, Synod can only pass legislation and transact key business by meeting in person.

If approved, the proposed measure would potentially enable the November group of sessions to take place online if necessary, and consider legislation and other important business.