PART IV
DIOCESAN SYNODS

30. Membership of diocesan synods

(1) A diocesan synod shall consist of a house of bishops, a house of clergy and a house of laity.

(2) The members of the house of bishops shall consist of the bishop of the diocese and such other person or persons, being a person or persons in episcopal orders working in the diocese, as the bishop of the diocese, with the concurrence of the archbishop of the province, may nominate.

(3) The bishop of the diocese shall be the president of the diocesan synod.

(4) The members of the house of clergy shall consist of —

(a) the following ex-officio members —

(i) the Archdeacon of Man;
(ii) the Vicar General (if in Holy Orders);
(iii) the canons of the cathedral church of St German;
(iv) the proctor elected from the diocese to the Lower House of the Convocation of the Province of York;
(v) the chairman of the diocesan advisory committee (if in Holy Orders);
(b) every clerk in Holy Orders beneficed or licensed to officiate in the diocese;
(c) one or more clerks in Holy Orders holding permission to officiate in the diocese. One clerk may be elected or chosen for every ten such clerks or part thereof, elected or chosen in such manner as may be approved by the bishop by and from such clerks.

(5) The members of the house of laity shall consist of —

(a) the following ex-officio members —

(i) the Vicar General (if not in Holy Orders);
(ii) the member elected from the diocese to the House of Laity of the General Synod;
(iii) the chairman of the diocesan advisory committee (if not in Holy Orders);
(b) the parochial representatives of the laity elected to the synod by the annual meetings of the parishes in the diocese;
(c) the deaconesses and full-time lay workers licensed by the bishop to work in the diocese.

(6) The bishop of the diocese may nominate ten additional members of the diocesan synod, who may be of the clergy or the laity and shall be members of the appropriate house. Except in regard to their appointment the nominated members shall have the same rights and be subject to the same rules as elected members. Where a nominated lay person is on more than one electoral roll, he shall choose the parochial church council of which he is to be a member.

(7) No person, other than the chancellor of a diocese, shall be entitled to be a member of more than one diocesan synod at the same time.

31. Election and choice of members

(1) The parochial representatives of the laity elected by annual meetings shall be so elected every three years, and shall hold office for a term of three years beginning with the 1st September next following their election.

(2) The numbers to be so elected from the several parishes shall be determined from time to time by resolution of the diocesan synod, and those numbers shall be related to the number of names on the roll of each parish as at the date of the annual meeting at which the election takes place.

NOTE: The number of members is fixed by the Church Representation Rules (Lay Members of Synod) (Isle of Man) Resolution 1999 (SD 730/99, continued in force by SD 399/03) at one for each complete 50 names entered on the church electoral roll as at the date of the annual meeting at which the election takes place, plus one for any number after the last complete 50, with a minimum of one and a maximum of 5.
  Number on roll Number of members  
  1-49 1  
  50-99 2  
  100-149 3  
  150-199 4  
  200 or more 5  

(3) A resolution under paragraph (2) of this rule shall not have effect in relation to an election unless it is passed before the 1st January in the year in which the election takes place; and the secretary of the diocesan synod shall notify the secretary of each parochial church council of the resolution as soon as may be after it is passed.

(4) Any person to be chosen as mentioned in rule 30(4)(c) shall be so chosen every three years and shall hold office for a term of three years beginning with the 1st September next following the date on which he is so chosen.

32. Procedure

(1) The diocesan synod shall make standing orders which shall provide —

(a) that the bishop need not be chairman of its meetings if and to the extent that standing orders otherwise provide;
(b) that there shall be a secretary of the diocesan synod;
(c) that a specified minimum number of meetings being not less than two shall be held in each year;
(d) that a meeting of the diocesan synod shall be held if not less than a specified number of members of the synod so request;
(e) that subject to the following sub-paragraphs, nothing shall be deemed to have the assent of the diocesan synod unless the three houses which constitute the synod have assented thereto, but that if in the case of a particular question (except a matter referred to the diocesan synod by the General Synod under the provisions of Article 8 of the Constitution) the diocesan bishop (if present) so directs, that question shall be deemed to have the assent of the house of bishops only if the majority of the members of that house who assent thereto includes the diocesan bishop;
(f) that questions relating only to the conduct of business shall be decided by the votes of all the members of the diocesan synod present and voting;
(g) that every other question shall be decided by the members of the diocesan synod present and voting, the assent of the three houses being presumed unless the diocesan bishop (if present) requires or any ten members require that a separate vote of each house be taken;
(h) that if the votes of the houses of clergy and laity are in favour of any matter referred to the diocesan synod by the General Synod under the provisions of Article 8 of Schedule 2 of this Measure, that matter shall be deemed to have been approved for the purposes of the said Article;
(i) that where there is an equal division of votes in the house of bishops, the diocesan bishop shall have a second or casting vote;
(j) that the diocesan bishop shall have the right to require that his opinion on any question be recorded in the minutes;
(k) that there shall be a standing committee of the diocesan synod with such membership as may be provided by standing orders and with the functions exercisable by it under section 4(4) of the Measure and such other functions as may be provided by the standing orders or by these rules or by any Measure or Canon; and may contain such further provisions consistent with these rules as the diocesan synod shall consider appropriate.

(3) The registrar of the diocese shall be the registrar of the diocesan synod, and may appoint a deputy.

33. Diocesan electoral registration officer

In every diocese there shall be a diocesan electoral registration officer who shall be appointed by the standing committee of the diocesan synod and who shall record the names and addresses of all members of the house of laity of the diocesan synod in a register (in these rules referred to as "the register of lay electors".

PART V
HOUSE OF LAITY OF GENERAL SYNOD

35. Membership of House of Laity

(1) The House of Laity of the General Synod shall consist of —

(a) the members elected by the diocesan electors of each diocese as hereinafter provided;
(b) two members chosen by and from the members of religious communities having their mother house in either province in such manner as may be provided by a resolution of the General Synod;
(c) such ex-officio and co-opted members as are hereinafter provided.
(d) not less than three nor more than four members elected or chosen in such manner as may be determined by the Forces Synodical Council as soon as practicable after any dissolution of the General Synod, being actual communicants, provided that the total number of persons elected or chosen to serve on the General Synod by virtue of this sub-paragraph, paragraph 1(d) of the provisions relating to the Convocation of Canterbury of Canon H 2 and paragraph 1(bb) of Canon H 3 shall not exceed seven.

(2) For the purpose of this Part of these rules the diocese in Europe shall be deemed to be a diocese in the Province of Canterbury.

(3) For the purposes of this Part of these rules, the diocesan electors of the diocese of Sodor and Man shall be the members of the house of laity of the diocesan synod except persons who are lay members of a religious community with separate representation in the General Synod under paragraph (1)(b) of this rule.

(5) The qualifying date for lay members of religious communities under paragraph (1)(b) of this rule and for diocesan electors under paragraph (3) of this rule shall be 6.00 a.m. on the date of the dissolution of the General Synod, save that when a casual vacancy is being filled, the qualifying date shall be 6.00 a.m. on the date on which the nomination papers are issued.

(6) The register of lay electors shall be open to inspection at the diocesan office and any errors and omissions in the list may be corrected until the close of nominations. Thereafter no names may be added or removed until the declaration of the result of the election and those persons whose names are entered on the register shall be the qualified electors entitled to vote in that election.

Elections of members

36. Number of elected members

(1) The total number of members directly elected and specially elected from the dioceses in the Province shall not exceed 136 for Canterbury and 59 for York and no diocese shall have fewer than three elected members (except the diocese of Sodor and Man which shall elect one member). The representatives of the religious communities referred to in rule 35(1)(b), the elected or chosen persons referred to in rule 35(1)(d), ex-officio and co-opted members (as defined in rule 35) shall be additional to the said total number.

37. Qualifications of elected members

Subject to the provisions of rule 1(4) and of rule 46A, a lay person shall be qualified for election for any diocese by the diocesan electors if —

(a) he is an actual communicant as defined in rule 54(1) but as if, in that definition, for the words "whose name is on the roll of a parish and" there were substituted the word "who";
(b) he is of eighteen years of age on the date of dissolution of the General Synod or, when a casual vacancy is being filled, on the date on which the nomination papers are issued in accordance with rule 39(3);
(c) his name is at 6.00 a.m. on the date of dissolution of the General Synod entered on the roll of any parish in the diocese or, when a casual vacancy is being filled on the date on which the nomination papers are issued in accordance with rule 39(3).
38. Electoral areas

The diocese of Sodor and Man shall be an electoral area for the purpose of elections to the House of Laity.

39. Conduct of elections

(1) Subject to any directions by the General Synod or the Presidents thereof, elections to the House of Laity shall be carried out during the three months immediately following any dissolution of the General Synod and shall be so carried out in each diocese during such period within the said three months as shall be fixed by the archbishops of Canterbury and York.

(2) The presiding officer in each diocese or each area of a diocese shall be the registrar of the diocese or a person appointed by him with the approval of the registrar of the province, except that, if the said registrar is a candidate in the election, the presiding officer shall be a person appointed by the registrar of the province. The expenses of the elections shall be paid out of diocesan funds.

(3) On receipt of the names and addresses of the qualified electors from the diocesan electoral registration officer (which shall, in the case of each elector who has notified the diocesan electoral registration officer that he wishes to receive and send nomination papers and receive election addresses by electronic mail, include the electronic mail address which the elector has authorised for those purposes), the presiding officer shall ensure that in respect of the election —

(i) those persons are sent or given nomination papers (which, in the case of a person who has authorised the use of an electronic mail address, shall be sent to that address); and
(ii) only such persons are sent or given nomination and voting papers at the address entered against their name in the register of lay electors or at some other address notified in writing to the presiding officer by the person concerned before the close of nominations.

The presiding officer shall also send nomination papers to any other person who requests them (and, if the person making the request authorises the use of an electronic mail address, the papers shall be sent to that address).

(4) Every candidate must be nominated and seconded by diocesan electors qualified to vote in the area in which the candidate is seeking to be elected. All nominations shall be in writing, shall include the year of the candidate's birth and a statement as to whether the candidate has previously served as a member of the House of Laity and, if so, as to the dates of the candidate's previous service and shall be delivered either by post, as an attachment to electronic mail, by facsimile transmission or in person to the presiding officer of the area, together with evidence of the candidate's consent to serve, within such period, being a period of not less than twenty-eight days ending on such date as may be specified by the presiding officer, as that officer may specify.

(5) It shall be the duty of the presiding officer —

(a) to scrutinise nomination papers as soon as they have been lodged and he shall, without delay, inform the candidate concerned whether the nomination is valid; Where the nomination is invalid the presiding officer shall give his reasons for so ruling and if, by the close of the nomination period no valid nomination is received, the candidate shall be excluded from the election;
(b) to supply free of charge to a duly nominated candidate in the election one copy of the names and addresses of the qualified electors (including, if an elector has authorised the use of an electronic mail address, that address) within seven days of receiving his written request.

(6) If any of the candidates so request the presiding officer shall despatch to every elector election addresses from those candidates being not more than one sheet of A4 paper. One copy of the address shall be provided by the candidates at their own expense and be delivered or sent by electronic mail to the presiding officer by such date as he shall determine being not less than seven days after the close of nominations. The presiding officer shall be under no obligation to despatch to electors election addresses received after the due date or which are not in the prescribed form.

(6A) It shall be the duty of the presiding officer, before voting papers are issued, to post or cause to be posted on the website of the diocese concerned copies of all election addresses received by the due date in the prescribed form, together with a list of all the candidates.

(7) It shall be the duty of the presiding officer in any election under these rules to seek to ensure that during the period beginning on the date won which nominations are invited and ending on the last date for return of voting papers, no papers or other literature except election addresses prepared by the candidates under paragraph (6) of this rule shall be circulated to the electors by him or by or under authority of the diocesan synod or distributed at a synod meeting which in his opinion are likely to prejudice the election.

(8) Subject to rule 51, if more candidates are nominated for any area than there are seats to be filled, the election shall be conducted by voting papers by the method of the single transferable vote under rules to be made from time to time as provided by the Standing Orders of the General Synod. Every voting paper, which shall include the year of birth of each candidate and a statement as to whether the candidate is seeking re-election and, if so, as to the dates of the candidate's previous service, shall be marked and signed on the reverse thereof by the elector and shall be returnable to the presiding officer within such period, being a period of not less than twenty-eight days after the date on which the voting paper is issued, as that officer may specify, provided that a voting paper sent by facsimile transmission shall not be counted as a valid vote.

(9) A candidate or a person nominated by him has the right to be present at the counting of the votes in order to scrutinise the count but shall take no part in it. The presiding officer shall give not less than seven days' notice in writing to each candidate of the time and place at which the votes are to be counted.

(10) Where within seven days of a count being completed the presiding officer is of the opinion that a recount should take place because of a possible irregularity or inaccuracy in the count, he may, with the concurrence of the registrar of the province, order such a recount and shall give notice in writing to each candidate of the time and place at which the votes are to be recounted.

(11) A full return of the result of each election and of the result sheet shall be sent by the presiding officer within four working days of the declaration of the result to each candidate in the election, the Clerk to the General Synod and an election scrutineer appointed by the Business Committeeof the General Synod. The scrutineer shall have power within ten days of the declaration of the result to order a recount of the voting papers if in his opinion this might be material to the result of the election.

(12) The full return of the result and the result sheet shall, until the end of the first group of sessions of the new Synod —

(a) in the case of an election in a diocese or part of a diocese, be displayed in the diocesan office, posted on the diocese’s website and displayed at the General Synod Office;
(b) in the case of any other election, be displayed at the General Synod Office and posted on the Church of England website.

(13) The presiding officer in each area shall ensure that the valid voting papers received by him for the purposes of any election to the House of Laity are preserved for a period of not less than two years beginning with the date of the election.

40. Duties and payment of presiding officers

(1) Rules defining the duties to be undertaken by the presiding officers in connection with elections to the House of Laity shall be prepared by the provincial registrars acting jointly, but no such rules shall have effect unless approved by the lay members of the Business Committee of the General Synod.

(2) A presiding officer shall be entitled to such fees for the performance by him of the duties aforesaid as may be specified in any order for the time being in force made under section 1 of the Ecclesiastical Fees Measure 1986 (as it has effect in England); and where with the prior agreement in writing of the standing committee the presiding officer or any other person performs any other duties in connection with elections to the House of Laity he shall be entitled to such fees as may be specified in the agreement.

41. Term of office of members of General Synod and other bodies

The term of office of elected members of the House of Laity, of the members elected or chosen under rule 35(1)(d) above and of members chosen by the lay members of religious communities shall be for the lifetime of the General Synod for which they are elected or chosen, but without prejudice to their acting under Article 3(4) of the Constitution during the period of the dissolution of the General Synod or their continuing to be ex-officio members of other bodies constituted under these rules during that period.

42. Ex-officio and co-opted members of the House of Laity

(1) The following persons, if they are not in Holy Orders, shall be ex-officio members of the House of Laity —

(a) the Dean of the Arches and Auditor;
(b) the Vicar-General of the Province of Canterbury;
(c) the Vicar-General of the Province of York;
(d) the three Church Estates Commissioners;
(e) the Chairman of the Central Board of Finance;
(f) the Chairman of the Church of England Pensions Board;
(g) the members of the Archbishops' Council who are actual communicants;
[(h) the chair of the Dioceses Commission.]

(2) The House of Laity shall have power to co-opt persons who are actual lay communicant members of the Church of England or eighteen years or upwards to be members of the House of Laity:
Provided that —

(a) the co-opted members shall not at any time exceed five in number; and
(b) no person shall be qualified to become a co-opted member unless not less than two-thirds of the members of the Standing Committee of the House of Laity shall have first consented to his being co-opted, either at a meeting of the Standing Committee or in writing.

(3) Except in regard to their appointment, the ex-officio and co-opted members shall have the same rights and be subject to the same rules and regulations as elected members. Where such members are on more than one electoral roll, they shall choose the parochial church council of which they are to be a member.

(4) Co-opted members shall continue to be members of the House of Laity until the next dissolution of the General Synod, but without prejudice to their acting under Article 3(4) of the Constitution during the period of the dissolution or to their continuing to be ex-officio members of other bodies constituted under these rules during that period:
Provided that the House of Laity may, in the case of any co-opted member, fix a shorter period of membership.

(5) The House of Laity may make standing orders for regulating the procedure of and incidental to the appointment of co-opted members and otherwise for carrying this rule into effect.