Overview of the Synod


        By clause 1 of the 1902 Constitutions the members of the Anglican Church of Australia in the Diocese of Sydney are to meet in Synod, at least once each year. The Archbishop, as bishop of the Diocese, convenes meetings of the Synod by summons, stating the time and place of meeting.

        A new Synod must be elected and convened every 3 years.

        Membership of Synod

        The members of the Synod are the Archbishop and those persons who are members under the Synod Membership Ordinance 1995. The members of the 50th Synod are the following persons or groups of persons -

        The Archbishop (as President) 1
        Part 4: Ministers licensed to parishes, provisional parishes, recognised churches and provisional 
        recognised churches
        Part 5: Lay Representatives elected by parishes, provisional parishes, recognised churches and
        provisional recognised churches
        Part 6: Chief Executive Officers of Organisations, selected by the Standing Committee 6
        Part 7: Other licensed members of the clergy selected by the Archbishop 25
        Part 8: Laypersons elected by the Standing Committee (1 for each member of the clergy selected by the Archbishop) 25
        Part 8A: Nominated Indigenous Representatives elected by the Sydney Anglican Indigenous Peoples'
        Ministry Committee
        Part 9: The Chancellor, Registrar and the Diocesan Secretary, the Warden of St Paul's College and 2 laypersons elected by the Council of the College 6
        TOTAL 809



        There are often around 20 parochial units vacant, a few vacancies for lay representatives and a few persons who do not attend Synod sessions because of illness or absence from the Diocese, or because they do not want to attend. There is provision for appointing alternates for parochial ministers and parochial representatives. Further details about the appointment of alternates are found in Part 4 Division 2 and Part 5 Division 5 of the Synod Membership Ordinance 1995.

        The Archbishop cannot vote on any matter before the Synod but may take part in debate.

        Election of lay representatives

        At a general meeting of parishioners held in the calendar year in which the first session of a Synod is to be held, or at any time thereafter, the parishioners of the church of the parochial unit (in the case of a single church parochial unit) or the parishioners of the parochial unit (in the case of a multi-church parochial unit or a parochial unit which is administered as a whole) may elect a representative or representatives for that Synod.

        Generally parishes and recognised churches may elect 2 lay representatives and provisional parishes and provisional recognised churches may elect 1 lay representative.

        Further details about the election of lay representatives of a parochial unit are found in Part 5 of the Synod Membership Ordinance 1995.

        Powers of the Synod: ordinances and resolutions

        By clause 2(1) of the 1902 Constitutions, the Synod may make ordinances upon and in respect of all matters and things concerning the order and good government of the Anglican Church of Australia and the regulation of its affairs within the Diocese. Those powers are subject only to the provisions of the Anglican Church of Australia Constitutions Act 1961 and any other Act in force in New South Wales.

        Further powers are given by other clauses of the 1902 Constitutions, by the 1961 Constitution and by the 1917 Act and the 1938 Act.

        Apart from ordinances, the Synod can express its mind by passing resolutions which become an expression of the opinion of a majority of those present and voting at the time.

        Many of the ordinance making powers of the Synod have been delegated to its Standing Committee: see the Delegation of Powers Ordinance 1998.

        Procedures of the Synod

        Click here for information about Synod Procedures.




        Current as as 10 February 2017