The General Synod is the governing body of the Church of England, a church within the Anglican Communion. It was instituted in 1970 and is the culmination of a process of rediscovering self-government for the Church of England that had started in the 1850s.
It is divided into the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity. All diocesan bishops are members of the House of Bishops ex-officio; in addition, nine suffragan bishops are elected by all suffragan bishops. Membership of the House of Clergy is by election through the House of Clergy in each Diocesan Synod. Membership of the House of Laity is by election through the House of Laity in each Deanery Synod. There are 574 General Synod members in total.
General Synod deals with three main areas:
- Central church business
- Relations with other churches
- Public issues
- New Zealand
- United States of America