General Synod 2007

Structural and procedural matters
Enabling ideas to become actions

Sessional Committees

Sessional Committees are put in place at the beginning of Synod to ensure that Synod accomplishes the goals of the session. For example, the Agenda Committee monitors the daily progress of the agenda and makes necessary adjustments; the Resolutions Committee determines the priority of resolutions and motions; the Nominating Committee receives nominations and produces the ballots; the Expenditures Committee assesses the cost implication of actions proposed to the Synod. The committees are appointed by the Council of General Synod, in consultation with the Prolocutor, prior to General Synod. Details of the membership of these committees will be posted in April.


There are a great number of decisions made on the floor of Synod that are of a structural nature. These range from procedural motions to adopt the minutes of the previous session of General Synod, or extend “courtesies of the house” to guests, to motions that determine the mechanisms by which the Church will operate over the long term, such as changes to the Declaration of Principles, Constitution, Canons and Rules of Order.

Many of the decisions determining structure are made towards the beginning of Synod. Certain structural decisions require more complex procedure than others. Amendments to the Declaration of Principles, for example, require two-thirds majority approval in each Order at two successive sessions of Synod, and in some cases, consent from each Provincial Synod. You should be familiar enough with the Handbook of General Synod (reference copy available in the newsroom or on-line* ) to quickly access the procedural guidelines and stay on top of the flow of proceedings.

The intention of what may often seem tedious and time-consuming is to make sure that the rules and structures reflect the Church’s goals and enable the Church to carry out its mission.

Rules of Order

Considering how many decisions need to be made by such a large and diverse group, it’s not surprising that the Rules of Order and Procedure (in the Handbook) govern virtually everything that takes place-or can take place-on the floor of the Synod. In cases where the answer to a procedural question isn’t clear, the Chairperson decides what procedures will be followed, perhaps after seeking the advice of the assessors.

For a discussion of some specific rules for making, debating, and voting on a motion, see The Decision Process (in this kit), and for information about Elections check the Handbook of General Synod.

*Handbook of General Synod


The Anglican Church of Canada
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 3G2
Main switchboard: 416-924-9192