What is the General Synod?

The General Synod acts as the Parliament of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

It is the Church’s legislative and deliberative body.  Members oversee and direct the work of the Church’s Boards and Committees.

The General Synod meets once a year to vote on two broad types of motion: firstly, on formal changes to Canon Law or internal church policy; secondly on wider issues of national and international concern.

Under the first category, the General Synod could authorise a new baptism service, change the rite for the burial of the dead or change clergy disciplinary procedure.

Subjects covered by the second, boarder type of motion have in the past ranged from the situation in the Middle East to nuclear power stations and the loss of rural post offices.  In these cases, the General Synod has the power to speak out and call for action on behalf of the whole Church.

The annual meeting also receives reports from its various boards and committees and elects new conveners and members.  The Annual Report, which includes the Synod’s accounts, also includes written reports from the Conveners of the Boards and Committees.  These reports are normally “taken as read” and are not specifically debated but there is opportunity for questions to be asked of the respective Conveners.


Who are the members?

The General Synod has 124 elected members – 62 of them clergy and 62 lay people.  Each Diocese elects a set number of members, according to its size.

In addition, the Church’s seven Bishops, the Conveners of the Provincial Standing Committee and Boards and the Church’s representatives on the Anglican Consultative Council are automatically Synod members.


For further information and copies of General Synod 2019 papers please use the link below: