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ENGLAND: General Synod holds first virtual question time

11/15/2006
[Church of England]  The Church of England's General Synod has held its first virtual question time. Twenty-five questions from Members, asked by email, are answered on the Church's website here.

Members of the General Synod, the Church's elected governing body, ask questions of the House of Bishops, the Archbishops' Council and other Church bodies or agencies under the General Synod's governance when the Synod meets. These are like Parliamentary Questions, oral with supplementary questions, or written. The Synod meets twice a year, with a third meeting in reserve. It holds a question and answer session each time it meets, but this is the first time that questions have been asked and answered without the Synod meeting. The questions are treated as written, without an opportunity for supplementary questions.

The Synod had to change its standing orders to make this possible in principle. The Synod's Business Committee decided to hold the first such question time now, to gauge the interest of the Synod in the opportunity to ask questions between meetings. The Business Committee will consider in the light of experience whether to repeat the experiment or not.