Anglican Church of Canada
General Synod 2007

Glossary of Terms

This is a short glossary of some of the more common terms you will find used in this booklet, in the Convening Circular and at General Synod. A more complete glossary is found on page 1 of the Handbook of General Synod.

Acting Primate: the senior metropolitan who functions in the place of the Primate between the retirement or death of one Primate and election of a new Primate.

Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples [ACIP]: A Council established by the 1975 and 1980 General Synods giving ACIP members the responsibility to carry concerns of the people directly to the Council of General Synod and General Synod. Members must be indigenous people and representatives from dioceses with indigenous congregations or urban indigenous populations.

Archbishop: A bishop elected by clerical and lay delegates of the synod of an ecclesiastical province; the senior official of an ecclesiastical province. Takes the titles of archbishop of the diocese (e.g. Archbishop of Saskatoon) and the metropolitan of the province (e.g. Metropolitan of Rupert’s Land). The Primate carries the title of Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Bishop: The highest order of the ordained ministry in the Anglican Church. Bishops are elected by the diocese or by the province, according to the particular canons of the diocese. A Bishop almost always presides over a diocese and is sometimes called “the Diocesan”. The Canadian House of Bishops is a twice-yearly meeting of all bishops across Canada. The House of Bishops makes recommendations to General Synod on matters of church policy and nominates candidates for Primate.

Canon: An ecclesiastical law or regulation of the diocese/province/national Church or an honorary title conferred by a bishop on a priest or (if the canons of the diocese permit) on a lay member of the Church.

Chancellor of the General Synod:A judge or barrister who is an officer of the General Synod, appointed to advise the Primate.

Commission: A group of people appointed to undertake a particular task for the Church.

Convening Circular: A publication containing reports, notices of motion, resolutions, memorials and petitions related to the business of the General Synod and circulated to its members before the convening of the Synod.

Council of the North: bishops of the financially assisted dioceses: The Council identifies needs in the Church of the North and develops strategies for missions and for enhancing the relationships between the Church in the North and the Church in the South.
Courtesies of the General Synod: An invitation extended to certain persons who are not members of Synod to sit with and/or address the General Synod, but with no right participate in debate or to vote.

Credentials Committee: A sessional committee constituted to report to Synod the credentials of all the persons who claim membership in the General Synod, and to advise the chairperson as to a quorum of each Order.

Deacon: Someone ordained by a bishop to serve in a diaconal ministry, to model servanthood by personal example and in liturgical action. There is currently a movement in the Anglican Church to “restore” the office of Deacon so it is not limited to candidates for the priesthood serving as assistants in a parish.

Ecclesiastical Province: A group of dioceses under the jurisdiction of a provincial synod, and presided over by a metropolitan. In Canada, there are four ecclesiastical provinces: British Columbia, Rupert’s Land, Ontario, and Canada.

Ex-officio: A position or office that is granted to a person by virtue of another specified position that person holds.

Journal of Proceedings: A publication of the day-by-day decisions and activities of a session of Synod, together with reports and other related material.

Lay persons/laity: Baptized members of the Church who do not belong to the clergy.

Memorial: A formal written statement describing a position taken by an individual or organization, such as a diocesan synod.

Metropolitan: An archbishop, with jurisdiction over the ecclesiastical province, or the national Church (Primate).

Notice of Motion: A formal notice by a member that he or she intends to present a resolution on a particular stance. The resolution wording may be included in the notice.

Orders: Refers to the membership of the General Synod: The Order of Bishops, the Order of Clergy, the Order of Laity.

Orders of the Day: a detailed agenda distributed each day

Point of order: An appeal to the chair that the procedures of the meeting are at variance with the Rules of Order or Canons.

Priest: A person ordained by a bishop to be a servant of the Church through Word and Sacrament. Prior to ordination, a priest has served for a period of time as a Deacon.
Primate: The presiding bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Primate is the senior metropolitan of the Church, the chairperson of the House of Bishops, and the president of General Synod; with the title Archbishop.

Prolocutor: An officer of the General Synod, elected at each session by the members of the General Synod from the Orders of Clergy and Laity. The Prolocutor is, next to the Primate, the senior officer of the General Synod.

Prolocutor, Deputy: An officer of the Synod, elected by the members of General Synod from the Orders of Clergy and Laity at each session, but not of the same order as the Prolocutor.

Question, putting the/calling the: Placing a formally moved and seconded motion before the Synod for a vote.

Resolution: A formal written proposal for action to be considered by the General Synod.

Session: The term used for the period of several days during which the Synod meets.

Sessional Committee: Committee struck for the duration of a session of General Synod to facilitate the work of the session.

Solemn Declaration: The statement made at the General Synod of 1893, declaring the fundamental faith and doctrine of the Church as constituting the foundation of the Synod structure. As a historic statement, the Solemn Declaration cannot be amended.

Standing Committee:A committee whose work extends through several sessions of General Synod and deals with ongoing needs. The Standing Committees of the General Synod are listed in Article VIII of the constitution, page 29 of the Handbook of General Synod.

Table (a motion):To postpone temporarily.


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