Church of England

Church of England

The Church of England is the officially established Christian Church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The British monarch still has the constitutional title of ‘Supreme Governor of the Church of England’. The Church of England is episcopally led and synodically governed. 

The Church of England comprises two provinces: the Southern Province, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Northern Province, led by the Archbishop of York. Each province is broken down into dioceses. Each English diocese is a territorial unit of administration – with boards and councils who have responsibility for different aspects of the Church’s work – under the pastoral care of one or more bishops, typically a diocesan bishop assisted by one or more suffragan bishops. Dioceses are divided into archdeaconries, deaneries (a group of parishes forming a district within an archdeaconry) and parishes (overseen by a parish priest, often called a vicar or rector).

The General Synod is the legislative body of the Church of England. Elected from the laity and clergy of each diocese, it meets in London or York at least twice annually. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are the joint presidents. The General Synod consists of the House of Bishops and the House of Clergy (these two houses join together the Convocations of Canterbury and York), and the House of Laity.

Full details of the structure of the Church of England can be found in Debrett's Handbook

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