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 Issues | Establishment | Ecclesiastical Committee


The Ecclesiastical Committee is a statutory Committee appointed under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 (called the Enabling Act).

The Committee has thirty members, half being Members of Parliament appointed by the Speaker of the House and the other half being members of the House of Lords, appointed by the Lord Chancellor. Generally members are appointed early in the life of a new Parliament and remain members for the full-term.

The Committee functions like a Joint Select Committee.

The Committee examines draft Measures presented to it by the Legislative Committee of the General Synod. It prepares a report for Parliament declaring whether it considers the measure to be ‘expedient’ or not. Usually the Committee receives direct input from members of Synod and may well ask for others to assist. Where particular issues arise the Ecclesiastical Committee and the Legislative Committee of Synod meet together to discuss how matters can be resolved. If the Committee considers a measure inexpedient they will not simply reject it (although Parliament itself is perfectly entitled entitled to do so) but rather a conference will be called in order that the Synod might be asked to look afresh at the proposed legislation, as happened with Churchwardens’ Measure.

Ecclesiastical Committee web pages


Since the General Election in 2005 the members of the Ecclesiastical Committee have been:

  1. Lord Davies of Coity
  2. Lord Elton
  3. Lord Judd
  4. Lord Laming
  5. Lord Lloyd of Berwick
  6. Lord Newby
  7. Lord Pilkington of Oxenford
  8. Lord Shaw of Northstead
  9. Lord Wallace of Saltaire
  10. Lord Walpole
  11. Lord Williams of Elvel
  12. Baroness Massey of Darwen
  13. Baroness Perry of Southwark
  14. Baroness Rendell of Babergh
  15. Baroness Wilcox
  16. Sir Stuart Bell M.P.
  17. Mr Peter Bottomley MP
  18. Mr Ben Chapman M.P.
  19. Sir Patrick Cormack, M.P.
  20. Mr David Drew M.P.
  21. Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody M.P.
  22. The Rt. Hon. F. Field
  23. The Rt. Hon. G. Gummer
  24. Mrs Sharon Hodgson M.P.
  25. Mr Simon Hughes MP
  26. Mr Robert Key M.P.
  27. Mr Gordon Marsden
  28. Mr Desmond Swayne M.P.
  29. Mr David Taylor M.P.
  30. Mr Steve Webb


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