The General Synod is the national assembly of the Church of England. It decides on key issues in the life of the Church, ranging from legislative and policy decisions, such as the ordination of women as bishops or the approval of new forms of liturgy, to more routine matters like the fees for church weddings.
The Synod is given power by Parliament to pass Measures which, on approval by Parliament, become part of the law of the land.General Synod also has a strong interest in current affairs and social issues.
General Synod is elected every five years by a system of proportional representation, the Single Transferrable Vote. It is made up of three Houses: Bishops, Clergy and Laity.
The House of Bishops includes all diocesan bishops plus seven suffragan (or assistant) bishops. In addition to clergy elected from the dioceses, the House of Clergy also includes cathedral deans, a representative of prison chaplains and clergy employed in the universities.
The House of Laity is composed chiefly of lay people elected from the dioceses. Both the Houses of Clergy and Laity include representatives of the armed forces, as well as members of religious communities.
Directly elected members of the House of Clergy are elected by the clergy of their dioceses and directly elected members of the House of Laity by the lay members of the deanery synods.
General Synod normally meets two or three times a year in London or York.
Chelmsford Diocese has elected 15 members to General Synod to serve for a five year term from 2021 to 2025.
The names and email address for Chelmsford's representatives are as follows:
- The Revd Dr Sara Batts-Neale
- The Revd John Dunnett
- The Revd Dr Susan Lucas
- The Revd Andy Sachs
- The Revd Mark Wallace
- The Revd Doctor Brenda Wallace
- The Revd Canon Jane Richards
- Gill Ball
- Richard Brown
- Katia D'Arcy-Cumber
- Mary Durlacher
- Canon Robert Hammond
- Michelle Obende
- Sandra Turner
- Glynne Williams
General Synod By Election
Following the retirement of the Ven Elizabeth Snowden and the departure of the Revd Sam Maginnis two vacancies for clergy representatives on General Synod from the Diocese of Chelmsford arose.
The by election has now been carried out and the Revd Canon Jane Richards and the Revd Brenda Wallace have been elected to fill the vacancies and represent the Diocese for the remainder of the current General Synod term.
The notice and detailed results of the election can be downloaded on the link below.