Convocation of the English Clergy

Convocation Of The English Clergy

Convocation of the English Clergy

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The Convocation of the English Clergy is a synodical assembly of the Church of England consisting of bishops and clergy.

Background and introduction

Since the church is divided into two provinces, there are properly speaking two convocations, the Convocation of Canterbury and the Convocation of York. These assemblies have a history stretching back to mediaeval times; but their status, composition, and powers have changed greatly over the years. Today, the Church of England is indeed governed synodically; but by a new assembly called General Synod, which includes lay members in additional to clerical and meets as a single body for both provinces. Some types of General Synod legislation, however, require separate approval from each of the provincial convocations, and so they still exist and continue to meet.

Each convocation has an upper house, for bishops, and a lower house, for other clergy. All diocesan bishops have a seat in their province's convocation; the suffragan bishops of a province elect a few from among themselves to join them. Most of the "proctors" (members) of the lower house are elected to represent a diocese from among the clergy of that diocese, although a handful serve ex officio or are elected by special constituencies (such as universities or cathedral dean). Bishops and clergy are members of General Synod by virtue of their membership in one convocation or the other; thus the convocations form a subset of General Synod and can always...
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