Each parish is entitled to have three representatives at Synod, being the minister and two elected lay persons. Provisional parishes are entitled to two representatives (the minister and one elected lay person).
Role and responsibility of Synod representatives
The Synod has five main functions, to which parish representatives participate and contribute. These are –
- to elect persons to diocesan bodies (such as schools and organisations)
- to make ordinances (the legislation that governs the Diocese)
- to pass resolutions and make policies
- to receive reports from diocesan organisations and taskforces
- to provide a time for diocesan-wide fellowship
The Role and responsibilities of Synod members page provides greater detail.
Election of lay representatives
Synod operates on a three year term, with an ‘ordinary’ session each year and opportunity for ‘special’ sessions to be held in addition to the ordinary sessions. The Synod three-year term commences with the 1st ordinary session. Lay representatives are elected at the parish annual general meeting (AGM) in the same year as the 1st ordinary session of a Synod, and are elected for a term of three years. Accordingly, all parishes should elect lay representatives in 2020 (for the 1st ordinary session of the 52nd Synod), and again in 2023 (for the 1st ordinary session of the 53rd Synod, in 2023), etc.
If a lay representative resigns during that three year term, the parish at a general meeting may elect another lay representative for the balance of the original term.
Qualifications for a lay representative
In order to be elected as a lay representative for a parish, a person must not be a member of the clergy, and must be –
- 18 years of age or older; and
- a communicant member of the Anglican Church of Australia (baptised and regularly participate in the Lord's Supper at an Anglican church).
Appointment of an alternate representative
If the minister or a lay representative cannot attend a particular session of the Synod, they may appoint an alternate for that session. The process is different for lay and clergy representatives -
- A minister should email firstname.lastname@example.org in order to provide notice of the member of clergy they have appointed as their alternate
- A lay member of Synod should complete the form on the Registry page.
Notification of representative and Further information
- Notify the Registry of the election, retirement, resignation, of representatives, or the appointment of an alternate.
- Part 4 (clauses 8A-8C) of the Synod Membership Ordinance 1995 sets out in full the method for a minister to appoint an alternate.
- Part 5 (clauses 9-22) of the Synod Membership Ordinance 1995 sets out in full the rules governing the election of Synod representatives, and the appointment of alternates for lay representatives.
- Further information about the Synod and meeting dates.