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 14 members to General Synod to serve for a five year term from 2015 to 2020. This term was extended due to the delay of the quinnquennial elections caused by the pandemic. It is planned that the election will take place in 2021. There is one vacancy at present.
The names and email address for Chelmsford's representatives are as follows:
Revd Canon David Banting
Revd John Dunnett
Revd Canon David Hague
Revd Stuart Halstead
Canon Robert Hammond
Ven Elizabeth Snowden
Revd Brenda Wallace
Revd Canon Louise Williams