The General Synod
is the deliberative and legislative body of the Church of England
. The synod was instituted in 1970, replacing the Church Assembly
, and is the culmination of a process of rediscovering self-government for the Church of England that had started in the 1850s.
Church Assembly: 1919 to 1970
Before 1919, any change to the Church's worship or governance had to be by Act of Parliament
, which resulted in little being done. In 1919, the Convocations
of the Provinces of Canterbury
proposed that a National Assembly of the Church of England be established and be given power to legislate for the church.
This proposal was given effect through the Church of England Assembly Act 1919
. The Act gave the assembly power to pass Measures
–laws which were to "have the force and effect of an Act of Parliament" on "any matter concerning the Church of England", and included the power to repeal or amend Acts of Parliament concerning the Church.
The Act required that, after being passed by the Assembly, the measure had to be examined by a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament
and then approved by a vote of each House before being submitted to the Sovereign
for Royal Assent
. If MP
or members of the House of Lords
were not content with a Measure then they could vote to reject it, but not amend it. Once a measure had been agreed... Read More