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Statutory Instruments

2020 No. 526

Ecclesiastical Law, England

The General Synod of the Church of England (Postponement of Elections) Order 2020

Made

20th May 2020

Coming into force

21st May 2020

At the Court at Windsor Castle, the 20th day of May 2020

Present,

The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have made the joint request referred to in section 84 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 F1.

Her Majesty, in exercise of the powers conferred by that section, is pleased by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, to order as follows:

Citation and commencementE+W

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the General Synod of the Church of England (Postponement of Elections) Order 2020.

(2) This Order comes into force on the day after the date on which it is made.

Commencement Information

I1Art. 1 in force at 21.5.2020, see art. 1(2)

PostponementE+W

2.  The date on which the Convocations of Canterbury and York stand dissolved for the purposes of the Church of England Convocations Act 1966 F2 is postponed to 31st July 2021.

Commencement Information

I2Art. 2 in force at 21.5.2020, see art. 1(2)

Ancillary provision [F3: members of the General Synod] E+W

3.—(1) 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.

(2) Each person who, immediately before the scheduled dissolution, holds a Convocation office continues to hold that office in accordance with the person's terms of service as such; and for this purpose, “Convocation office” means—

(a)the office of Prolocutor of the Convocation of Canterbury or York,

(b)the office of Pro-Prolocutor of the Convocation of Canterbury,

(c)one of the four other elected offices of the Standing Committee of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury,

(d)the office of Deputy Prolocutor of the Convocation of York, or

(e)the office of Assessor of the Upper or Lower House of the Convocation of York.

(3) The person who, immediately before the scheduled dissolution, holds office as the Chair or Vice-Chair of the House of Laity of the General Synod continues to hold office as such in accordance with the Constitution of the General Synod F4 and the standing orders of the House.

(4) A member of either Convocation or of the House of Laity of the General Synod who, immediately before the scheduled dissolution, is a member of a Board, Commission, Committee or other body of the General Synod continues as such in accordance with the Constitution of the General Synod.

(5) A member of either Convocation or of the House of Laity of the General Synod who, immediately before the scheduled dissolution, is an ex officio member of a body constituted under the Church Representation Rules F5 continues as such in accordance with those Rules.

(6) Where a casual vacancy in the Upper or Lower House of either Convocation or in the House of Laity of the General Synod has not been filled because it arose during the 12 months before the period for holding a general election to that House was due to begin, that vacancy is to be filled as it would have been if it had arisen before the beginning of that 12-month period.

(7) This Article does not affect the power of the bishop of each diocese under Rule 78 of the Church Representation Rules (power to make supplementary provision etc.).

(8) “Scheduled dissolution” means the end of 23rd November 2020 (the date on which the Convocations would, but for this Order, have stood dissolved subject to being dissolved sooner pursuant to Her Majesty's directions).

F4The Constitution of the General Synod is set out in Schedule 2 to the Synodical Government Measure 1969 (1969 No.2).

F5The Church Representation Rules are set out in Schedule 3 to that Measure.

Commencement Information

I3Art. 3 in force at 21.5.2020, see art. 1(2)

[F6Ancillary provision: members of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for EnglandE+W

4.  Each person who, immediately before the end of 30th April 2021, is a member of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England is, in spite of paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 to the Care of Cathedrals Measure 2011 (which provides for a member’s term of office to run for five years), to continue as a member of the Commission until—

(a)30th April in the year following that in which the next dissolution of the General Synod takes place, or

(b)if, before that date, the person’s membership of the Commission otherwise comes to an end, the date on which it does so come to an end.]

Richard Tilbrook

Clerk of the Privy Council

Explanatory Note

(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.