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Virtual meeting of the General Synod to take place on 11th July

by Premier Journalist

The Church of England has announced that it will convene the General Synod for an "informal" virtual meeting on 11th July, with a published timetable of the event now available on the CofE website. 

In a statement, the Church said:

"The timetable for an informal virtual meeting of members of General Synod on Saturday July 11 has been published. This has the support of the Business Committee of the General Synod after it was confirmed that the residential meeting due to take place in York in July had been cancelled in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"The term of the current General Synod has been extended for a year with planned elections to the General Synod postponed until next autumn. Synod officers continue to explore options to enable the Synod to transact its business remotely if it is not possible to meet in person in November." 

Currently, the constitution of the Synod does not make allowances for official virtual meetings, stipulating that any church legislation must be discussed and approved at an in-person meeting. The C of E has however expressed the need for this to be further reviewed in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

In a letter to all members of the Synod last month, the body's officers – the Archbishops, Prolocutors of Canterbury and York of the House of Clergy, and the Chair and Vice-Chair of the House of Laity – said they "wish to explore with the Government the possibility of Parliament passing legislation to enable the Synod to transact its business remotely if it is not possible to meet in person." 

The timetable for July's informal meeting reveals that a session will be held in order to discuss the C of E's coronavirus policies; it is titled "Response to Covid-19: Presentation" and slated for 1.30 pm on 11th July. The meeting will also include a Presidential Address, along with a time of worship and a series of scriptural reflections.

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