Rules for deanery synods

Membership of the synod

Roll of members

1.1 The secretary shall keep a roll of the members of the synod constantly up to date, including the name, address and parish of any person notified to him by the secretary of the diocesan synod and qualified as an ex officio member.

Procedure for co-options

1.2 The co-option of additional members shall be by resolution of the respective house passed on a motion moved either on behalf or by permission of the standing committee of the deanery synod.

1.3 Participation by non-members

1.4 The following shall have the right to attend and speak but not to move any motion or amendment or to vote in the synod

  1. the bishop or a duly appointed commissary;
  2. the archdeacon;
  3. the registrar of the diocese;
  4. visitors invited by either of the Joint chairmen or the standing committee;
  5. persons appointed by the standing committee of the diocesan synod under rule

Members of general synod appointed to attend meetings

1.5 If there is no member of the deanery synod who is a member of the General Synod, the standing committee of the diocesan synod shall, if it thinks fit, appoint for the purposes of this rule one or -two members of the General Synod who represent the diocese and whose names are entered on the roll of any parish in the diocese. Such persons shall be entitled to receive copies of notices and other documents circulated to full members of the deanery synod and to attend and speak at its meetings but not to move any motion or amendment to vote.

Term of office

Co-opted members

1.6 Unless the house concerned fixes a shorter period of office, co-opted members shall retire on the 31st day of May in the year of the triennial elections.

The joint chair


1.7 There shall be Joint chairmen of the deanery synod, being the rural dean and a member of the house of laity elected triennial ly by that house; provided that, during the absence or incapacity of one, the functions exercisable Jointly may be performed by the other alone. The lay chairman unless he resigns or ceases to be qualified shall continue in office until the commencement of the meeting at which his successor is elected.

Election of lay joint chair

1.8 Before the first meeting of the synod after any triennial election or in the event of a vacancy in the office, the house of laity shall hold a special meeting to elect the lay Joint chairman. A member of the house appointed by the rural dean shall act as chairman for such meeting. Whoever so presides shall have a vote but no casting vote in the election and in the case of an equality of votes the decision shall be taken by lot.

Chair of meeting

Meetings of the synod

1.9 The Joint chairmen (as provided in rule 3) shall agree between them who shall chair each meeting of the deanery synod or particular items of business in the agenda of the synod. If either is absent, the other chairman shall preside. If both are absent, the meeting shall elect a chairman.

<Separate meetings of the houses

1.10 The Joint chairmen shall preside over any separate meetings of their respective houses, but if either is absent a member of the house chosen by the members present shall take the chair.


Appointment and term of office

1.11 At the first meeting after each triennial election the synod shall appoint a secretary, an assistant secretary and a treasurer from among its own members; provided that of the secretary and assistant secretary, one shall be a clergyman and the other a lay person. The persons so appointed, unless they resign or cease to be qualified, shall serve until the conclusion of the meeting at which their successors are appointed.

Standing committee


1.12 There shall be a standing committee of the synod consisting of the joint chairmen, secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer and [ ] persons elected by the members of each house in equal numbers from among their members. This committee shall have no power to co-opt additional members.

Elected members


  1. Elected members shall retire on the election of their successors or on ceasing to be qualified;
  2. Elections shall be triennial and immediately after elections to the to the synod;
  3. Voting shall be by houses;
  4. The outgoing standing committee shall make no nominations;
  5. Subject to paragraph (f) below, not later than the 31st day of May in the year of the triennial elections, the synod shall decide whether the next elections shall be conducted at a meeting, using the same procedure with essential modifications as for election at an annual parochial church meeting, or by post, using the same procedure with essential modifications as for elections to the diocesan synod;
  6. Elections shall be by simple majority unless, not later than the said 31st May, the synod shall have determined that the method of the single transferable vote under the regulations as from time to time in force shall apply.

Functions of the committee

1.14 The functions of the standing committee shall be to initiate and advice on proposals; to ensure that members are adequately informed on questions raised and other natters of importance to the deanery; to prepare the agenda to transact the business of the synod between meetings; and to make such appointments and do such other things as the synod may delegate to It.

Other committees

1.15 (Here may be quoted any resolutions of the deanery synod on existing committees).


1.16 The synod may constitute additional committees with such chairmen, membership, term of office, functions, mode of appointment and other procedure as it thinks fit.

Procedure of committees

By whom determined

1.17 Subject to these rules and any resolution of the synod, the chairmanship and other procedure of a committee, including the standing committee shall be determined by itself.

Meetings of the synod

Meetings required annually

1.18 The synod shall hold two meetings at least in every year at such times and places as the Joint chairmen shall decide after consulting with the standing committee and taking account of the dates fixed for meetings of the diocesan synod.

Other meetings

1.19 The Joint chairmen may summon a meeting of the synod at any time. If they refuse or neglect to do so within 28 days after a requisition for that purpose signed by not less than 20 members of the synod such members may forthwith summon a meeting.

Notice of ordinary meetings

1.20 The date, time and place of ordinary meetings of the synod, when fixed, shall be announced to members as soon as possible in such manner as the Joint chairmen may approve; provided that not less than six weeks before each meeting a notice signed by the secretary, specifying any business proposed to be transacted thereat and inviting other business, shall be posted or delivered to every member.

Special meetings

1.21 In the case of sudden emergency or other special circumstances the Joint chairmen may summon a special meeting at not less than one week's notice but the quorum required for business at such meeting shall be a majority of the members of each house and only business specified on the agenda may be transacted.

Separate meetings of the houses

When held

1.22 Either house shall sit and vote separately if the deanery synod so resolves, the house itself so decides or these rules or the rules of the house so provide. Each house may determine its own procedure consistently with these rules.



1.23 Subject to these rules and any resolution of the synod, and without prejudice to the rights of individual members to a reasonable opportunity within the time available of bringing matters before the synod, the standing committee shall settle the agenda for each of its meetings, specifying therein all business:-

  1. of which due notice has been received and which is in order;
  2. of an earlier meeting not disposed of or withdrawn;
  3. of the diocesan synod which is of concern to the deanery synod, and particularly any matters referred to the diocesan synod by the General Synod;

and shall determine the order in which the business on the agenda shall be considered.


1.24 The secretary shall post or deliver an agenda paper to every member two weeks at least before a meeting, or in the case of a meeting called at less than two weeks' notice at the same time as the notice.

Report on proceedings

1.25 Every agenda shall include the approval as a correct record not only of the minutes of the last meeting but also, unless it consists of those minutes, of a report by the standing committee of the proceedings of that meeting as circulated, or intended for circulation, to parochial church councils in accordance with rule 21:.

Addresses, papers and discussions

1.26 Either of the Joint chairmen or, with the consent of the standing committee, any other member, may give notice for the agenda of a subject for an address, paper or general discussion without the moving of a formal motion. An address or paper may be given by the member signing the notice or by a visiting speaker, and then be followed by a general discussion, if the standing committee so decides.

Businesses permitted to be considered

1.27 Nothing shall be considered at a meeting of the synod except business on or arising from the agenda; provided that at the request or by consent of both Joint chairmen urgent matters may be considered but not decided by the synod.

Varying the order of business

1.28 The order of business may be varied by the chairman at his/her discretion, or by a resolution of the synod to be put without debate.

Notice of business


1.29 Notice of any business for a meeting of the synod shall be in writing, signed and delivered to the secretary not later than the period before the meeting which is required by these rules.

Length of notice

1.30 Subject to rule 10.4:, the following periods of notice are required: -

            New business for the agenda 4 weeks
  Motions and amendments arising from the agenda 7 days

Dispensing powers

1.31 Notice of a motion arising from the agenda or of an amendment may be dispensed with by permission of the chairman or by resolution of the synod, but a copy shall, if the chairman so requests, be signed and delivered to the secretary.

Procedural motions

1.32 A procedural motion mentioned in these rules may be moved without notice, unless express provision is made to the contrary.

<Powers of chairs


1.33 Subject to these rules, the procedure at any meeting of the synod or either house shall be regulated by the person who presides.



1.34 The secretary shall prepare minutes of every meeting which shall be circulated to members and shall record the names of those attending.


One-third of each house

1.35 Except as provided in rule 10.4:, a quorum shall be one-third of the members of each house of the synod. Unless at least a quorum is present no business shall be considered at a meeting except a motion to adjourn a debate or the meeting.

If quorum not present

1.36 The chairman shall, if requested by any member, take a count of the members present and shall adjourn the meeting if a quorum is wanting. No decision of the synod shall be invalidated by the absence of a quorum unless the chairman's attention is called thereto immediately upon the vote being taken.

Moving instead of another member

1.37 If the member who gave notice of a motion or amendment, on his name being called, chooses not to move it another member may do so in his stead.

Opportunity for questions

1.38 Immediately after a motion has been moved the chairman may give members an opportunity to ask questions of the mover or speaker, solely for the purpose of elucidating facts.

One motion at a time

1.39 During the debate on a motion or amendment no other motion shall be moved except a procedural motion under rule 18.1: and no other amendment may be moved on the same motion before the prior amendment is decided; provided that the chairman may permit two or more motions or amendments to be discussed but not voted on if circumstances suggest to him that this course would facilitate the proper conduct of the synod's business.

Reconsideration and rescission

1.40 No motion or amendment to the same effect as or dependent on one which has been rejected within the preceding twelve months and no motion to rescind a resolution passed within the same period shall be proposed without the agreement of the standing committee or the consent of the synod.

Speaking more than once

1.41 Subject to rule 16.8:, no member shall speak more than once on a motion or amendment under debate except that:-

  1. the mover of a motion shall have a right of reply to the debate on his motion;
  2. a speech on an amendment shall not be deemed a speech on the main motion;
  3. a point of order or a personal explanation may be made at any time whether or not another member is interrupted.

General discussion

1.42 The chairman may at any time suspend the last preceding rule for so long as he thinks the purposes of the synod would be more usefully served by ageneral discussion and he may direct that such discussion shall be held in informal groups. A general discussion under this rule shall be conducted in accordance with procedure to be determined by the chairman under 23.1:, but no motion or amendment shall be moved or put to the vote during such discussion and the number of speeches made by any member while it continues shall be disregarded for the purpose of rule 41 when that rule is declared by the chairman to be again in force.


1.43 Every speech shall be addressed to the chair and shall be succinct and relevant to the matter under debate.

Length of speeches

1.44 The chairman may at any time impose a limit of not less than [  ] minutes on the length of speeches and may vary or revoke such limit; provided that he shall inform members of each ruling which shall not be open to question.


1.45 A motion or amendment which has been moved may be withdrawn by the mover with the consent of the synod.

Division of Text

1.46 The chairman may, with the consent of the mover, so divide any motion or amendment as to enable the synod to vote separately upon each part.



1.47 An amendment shall be relevant to and shall not have the effect of negating the motion. 1.48 No amendment shall be moved to

  1. a motion to receive the report of a committee;
  2. a motion, under rule 20.3:(i), on a question referred by the diocesan synod;
  3. another amendment.

Order of consideration

1.49 Unless the chairman rules otherwise, amendments shall be moved in the order in which they affect the motion.

Procedural motions


With the consent of the chairman the following procedural motions may be moved with or without notice, but so as not to interrupt the speech of any member:-

  1. that the synod be now adjourned;
  2. that the debate be now adjourned;
  3. that the synod do now pass to the next business;
  4. that the debate be closed;

Motions under rule 18.1: (iii) - (iv)

1.51 In the case of the motions mentioned in rule 18.1: (iii) and (iv);-

  1. such motion shall not be moved on any question referred by the General Synod;
  2. the debate shall be limited to a brief speech by the proposer of not more than two minutes and, unless the chairman permits further speeches, a brief reply by the mover of the original motion or, failing him, one other member.

Amendments and other procedural motions

1.52 The adjournment or closure may be moved on an amendment or another procedural motion but a motion to pass to the next business shall not be so moved.

Effect of procedural resolutions

1.53 In the event of any procedural motion being passed, the debate to which it relates shall be closed or stand adjourned, as the case may be, except that in the case of a motion that the debate on a motion be closed the mover thereof shall have a right to reply before the matter is put to the vote.

Adjourning amendments

1.54 The adjournment of an amendment shall be deemed to adjourn the debate on the original motion.

Resumption of business interrupted

1.55 Unless otherwise resolved, business interrupted by an adjournment of the synod shall be resumed at the next meeting, and on an adjournment of debate, if and when the standing committee so decides.



1.56 Decisions shall be taken by a majority of the members of the synod present and voting, except that a separate vote of each house shall be taken in the following cases:

Votes by houses

1.57 On a vote by houses, decisions of the synod shall be taken by a majority of the members of each house present and voting.<

Mode of voting

1.58 Useless otherwise provided in these rules, voting shall be by show of hands without a count, except that:-

Recording votes

1.59 The voting on a vote by houses shall be recorded in the minutes.

References by the diocesan synod

When considered

1.60 References by the diocesan synod shall be included in the agenda of such meeting as the standing committee shall consider appropriate.

Prior notice and documents required.

1.61 Unless the standing committee otherwise decides:-

  1. at least 28 days' notice of any matter referred shall be given to every member;
  2. a report or other document prepared by or on behalf of the General Synod, diocesan synod or standing committee shall be circulated.

Procedure of debate


  1. When the reference by the diocesan synod is in the form of a question requiring the answer Yes or No, the question shall be put to the deanery synod as a formal motion in the affirmative sense. No amendment shall be in order and a separate vote of each house shall be taken under rule 19:. If the motion is defeated, the question shall be decided in the negative.
  2. When the reference invites a fuller statement of opinion a motion containing a draft of such statement shall be moved on behalf of the standing committee and amendments to such a motion shall be in order.
  3. When all motions under the foregoing paragraphs 20.3:(i) and 20.3:(ii)have been decided, other motions arising therefrom may, if otherwise in order, be moved by any member.

Report on result

1.63 The decisions (together with the number of votes in each house) on every matter referred and on every additional motion shall be reported by the secretary of the deanery synod to the secretary of the diocesan synod.

Consultations within the deanery

1.64 Subject to any timetable laid down by the diocesan synod, the deanery synod before voting on a reference may refer any question to the parochial church councils or parochial church meetings in the deanery.

Reports by the deanery synod to parochial church councils

Report of proceedings

1.65 Within six weeks after a meeting of the deanery synod the secretary shall prepare and circulate to the secretaries of the parochial church councils in the deanery a report approved by the standing committee of the proceedings of that meeting. Such report may be in the form of the minutes.

Matters raised by parochial church councils and meetings

Mode of representation

1.66 Any parochial church council or parochial church meeting in the deanery may, on a motion moved by a member representing that parish, bring before the deanery synod any matter either of general Church interest or affecting that parish and may move that a representative of the deanery synod on the diocesan synod be instructed to bring such matter before that synod on behalf of the deanery synod. Subject to any direction by the deanery synod, the standing committee shall appoint such representative.

Addresses, papers and general discussion

Procedure determinable by chair

1.67 The chair presiding shall determine the procedure for any part of a meeting during which the item under consideration is not a motion or amendment but is: -

  1. an address or the presentation of a paper, whether a report or other document, by a member or a visiting speaker;
  2. a general discussion, whether or not introduced by such address or paper, including a discussion permitted by the chairman under rule 16.8:.

Financial business

Deanery Synod will assist with the implementation and administration of the Parish Share system as determined by Diocesan Synod and to use its best endeavours to ensure prompt payment by parishes to the board of finance.

Annual review

1.68 The standing committee shall not later than 31 May in each year submit to the synod

  1. a report and audited accounts for the preceding financial year;
  2. a statement showing the estimated expenditure of the synod during the next financial year;
  3. proposals for raising the income required to meet such expenditure.

General provisions

Admission of press and public

1.69 Subject to any directions by the synod or the standing committee, any member of the synod may move that the representatives of the press and members of the public shall withdraw during the whole or part of the business before the synod. If the motion is carried, the chairman shall request the representatives of the press and members of the public to withdraw.

Periods of notice

1.70 Any period of notice required by these rules shall be deemed to consist of clear days or weeks, not including the date of despatch and the date of the event before which the notice must be delivered.

Procedural defects

1.71 A meeting of the synod or any of its committees of which the minutes have been approved and signed shall be deemed to have been duly summoned and held notwithstanding any defect in the procedure for summoning or conducting such meeting, and no proceedings thereat shall be invalidated by the accidental omission to give the required notice of the meeting to any member.

Variation of rules made by diocesan synod

1.72 Any of these rules which have been made by the diocesan synod shall not be varied, revoked or suspended except by a further resolution of that synod.

Deanery Mission and Pastoral Committee


1.73 To help enable the “Making and growing of disciples of Jesus Christ”1 in the deanery.

1.74 To maintain the Deanery Pastoral Plan. The Pastoral Plan records the current status of each parish and benefice (e.g. number of buildings, staff etc.) and make proposals for future changes (e.g. changes to boundaries, suspensions and other pastoral reorganisation). The Diocese Mission and Pastoral Committee expect all Deaneries to maintain a Deanery Pastoral Plan.

1.75 To understand, comment on and help implement Diocesan plans

1.76 To promote multi-benefice events and actions that encourages mission, pastoral care, and discipleship.


1.77 To Deanery Synod and the Deanery Standing Committee

1.78 To the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee through the Area Pastoral Committee.


1.79 Between 6 and 8 members

1.80 Area Dean and Lay Chair are ex-officio members the committee

1.81 At least one other ordained member and one other lay member

1.82 Members are elected by Deanery Synod (no separation of lay and ordained). The term of membership is three years. If a member in not an existing synod members they will be co-opted into synod

1.83 The committee may co-opt up to two other members who they consider have necessary skills or experience to allow the committee to function effectively.


1.84 Members act for the deanery, they are not representatives of their parish or benefice.

1.85 The committee meets at least three times a year.

1.86 The committee will monitor diocesan pastoral plans and will feed back comments and suggestion.

1.87 The committee will obtain regular updates from parishes and benefices and will regularly report back to the parishes and benefices. The parish representatives2 are the point of contact with the parishes.

1.88 The committee will hold continuing discussions with the parish representative regarding any plans or actions that directly affect their parishes.

1.89 The committee will stay up to date with community and wider church developments in the deanery, and will factor these developments into its plans.

1.90 The committee will monitor needs and opportunities for mission and pastoral work that can best be met at a wider level than parish or benefice, and will initiate responses to those needs and opportunities.

Parish Representatives

1.91 The parish representatives are not members of the deanery mission and pastoral committee.

1.92 Each parish will be represented by their incumbent and a lay person. It is expected, but not necessary, that the lay representative will be a churchwarden. It is essential that the representatives understand the parish situation and their plans and aspirations and are truly able to represent the parish. A benefice may appoint a single lay representative to represent all parishes.

1.93 The representatives should be available for discussions with the deanery mission and pastoral committee throughout the year.

1.94 The representative should regularly update the parish PCC, and will need to ensure actions that need PCC approval proceed in a timely manner.

1.95 It is hoped the parish representative will bring suggestions to the deanery mission and pastoral committee on any aspect of deanery plans or ways to promote mission, pastoral care and discipleship in the deanery.

Page last updated: Wednesday 22nd November 2023 3:18 PM
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