The General Synod of the Church of England (Postponement of Elections) Order 2020 was made yesterday, 20 May, and comes into force today. In brief:
- the date on which the Convocations of Canterbury and York stand dissolved for the purposes of the Church of England Convocations Act 1966 is postponed to 31 July 2021; and
- a person who, immediately before the scheduled dissolution, is a member of the Convocation of Canterbury or York or a member of the House of Laity of the General Synod is to continue as such until the next dissolution of the General Synod or, if sooner, the vacation of the member’s seat or the member’s term of office otherwise coming to an end.
- The Constitution of the General Synod is set out in Schedule 2 to the Synodical Government Measure 1969 (1969 2).
- The Church Representation Rules are set out in Schedule 3 to that Measure
(This note is not part of the Order)
This Order is made under section 84 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and postpones to 31st July 2021 the date on which the Convocations of Canterbury and York are dissolved.
The effect of that is to postpone the elections to the General Synod of the Church of England, which had otherwise been expected to be held this autumn. Under paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 2 to the Synodical Government Measure 1969, the General Synod is automatically dissolved when the Convocations are dissolved.
Article 3 of the Order makes provision for matters which are ancillary to the postponement, including provision for membership of the General Synod, offices held in the Synod and membership of any body of the Synod or constituted under the Church Representation Rules.