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1. In each diocese there shall be a diocesan synod: Provided that each diocese shall have the right of uniting in synod with any other diocese or dioceses under the same bishop, if the union shall seem to the dioceses desirable. Any diocese now or hereafter constituted may, if the diocesan synod so think fit, be divided into two districts for the purpose of holding the diocesan synod in two parts.
2. Each diocesan synod shall consist of the bishop, of the beneficed and licensed clergy of the diocese, and of the synod members hereinafter mentioned.
3. The Provost and Fellows of Trinity College and professors in the University of Dublin, being in priest's orders and in communion with the Church of Ireland, shall be members of the Dublin diocesan synod.
4. In the year 2005 and triennially thereafter diocesan synod members shall be elected of the number and in the manner hereinafter provided.
5. In the year 2004 and triennially thereafter each diocesan synod shall determine the number of synod members to be elected in respect of each cure for which there shall be a register or registers of vestry members duly qualified as in Chapter III provided, the number in every case to be in the proportion of not less than two, and not more than five, synod members for each member of the clergy normally officiating in such cure. The diocesan synod shall in like manner determine the number of synod members to be elected in respect of each cathedral church to which a parish is not attached, but without prejudice to the provisions of any Statute of the General Synod concerning any of the cathedrals referred to in section 18 of Chapter VII.
6. Where in any cure there shall be more than one church or chapel with a separate register of vestry members, the diocesan council may in its discretion make special arrangements for the return of separate synod members in respect of any such church or chapel: Provided that the total number of synod members to be returned in respect of such cure shall be the number determined in accordance with section 5 of this Chapter.
7. The synod members referred to in section 5 of this Chapter shall be elected by the registered vestry members of the cure or cathedral church concerned in the year 2005 and triennially thereafter at the Easter general vestry or at such other time as the diocesan council shall determine, and an equal number of supplemental synod members shall be elected at the same time.
8. The diocesan synod shall make regulations for the mode of voting at elections of synod members, for determining the validity of disputed returns and for ensuring the proper conduct of such elections.
9. The return of the election of synod members and supplemental synod members shall be signed by the person chairing the general vestry at which the election took place, and shall be made to the secretaries of the diocesan synod, and shall show on the face of the same that the persons returned have been duly elected.
10. The lay members of the diocesan council shall elect not more than two synod members for each member of the clergy who shall be qualified to sit as a member of the diocesan synod by virtue of a licence from the bishop to officiate or preach in the diocese at large, and for whom no parish, church or chapel in the diocese shall be entitled to return synod members, and may fill any vacancies which may occur among such synod members.
11. If the diocesan council shall so resolve, it may elect additional synod members not exceeding eight in number, and may fill any vacancies which may occur among such synod members.
12. Every layperson who has attained the age of eighteen years, being a member of the Church of Ireland and a communicant member of the said Church, shall be qualified to be elected as a synod member or supplemental synod member: Provided that a member of the clergy who is neither beneficed nor licensed in the diocese shall be considered as a layperson qualified to be elected as a synod member for a parish provided such person either resides therein or is an accustomed member of the congregation of a church within that parish.
13. (1) All synod members and supplemental synod members shall be notified forthwith of their election and shall each be furnished with a copy of the form prescribed by sub-section (2) of this section
(a) in the case of election by the general vestry, by the person chairing such vestry; and
(b) in the case of election in accordance with the provisions of sections 10 and 11 of this Chapter, by the secretary of the diocesan council.
(2) Every synod member and supplemental synod member shall within one month of the date of the notification aforesaid sign and transmit to the secretaries of the diocesan synod a declaration in the following form:
I, A.B., of , do hereby solemnly declare that I have attained the age of eighteen years, and am a member of the Church of Ireland and a communicant of the said Church.
And such declaration shall be prima facie evidence of such qualifications; and failure to do so within the time prescribed will result in the place becoming vacant: Provided that the secretaries of the diocesan synod shall have power to extend by not more than twenty-one days the time for signing the above declaration if they are satisfied that unavoidable circumstances have delayed the signing of such declaration.
14. If any person be elected a synod member for two or more parishes in the same diocese, the secretaries of the diocesan synod shall transmit to such person a notice of such multiple election, whereupon such person shall choose for which parish to serve, and shall, within one fortnight after having had notice of being so elected, signify such choice in writing to the secretaries of the diocesan synod, and thereupon any seat for any other parish for which such person shall have been elected shall become vacant. If any such synod member shall fail to signify such choice as aforesaid, the bishop shall decide for which parish such member shall serve, and shall notify the same to that member, and thereupon any seat to which that member had been elected for any other parish shall become vacant.
15. Synod members shall remain in office until the next general diocesan election.
16. Any synod member may, in writing addressed to the bishop, resign from the diocesan synod; and upon the receipt of such resignation by the bishop the seat of such synod member shall become vacant.
17. Whenever the seat of any synod member shall become vacant for any cause before the expiration of the period for which such member shall have been elected, such vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired period by the person whose name stands highest on the relevant list of supplemental synod members; if such list shall have been exhausted, the bishop shall direct the election of a new synod member and supplemental synod members.
18. The failure of one or more parishes to return synod members, or the return by any parish of an incomplete number of synod members, shall not prevent the diocesan synod from proceeding to the despatch of business.
19. The diocesan council shall, seven days at least before the first meeting of each session of the diocesan synod, prepare and publish a list of the members thereof, and the said list when signed by the bishop shall be conclusive evidence that those named therein, and none others, are the members of the said synod; but the same shall be subject to appeal or amendment as the diocesan synod may direct.
20. If a parish fails to obey or comply with any resolution of the diocesan synod which has become effective, the synod may by resolution order that the synod members from that parish shall not be admitted to meetings of the synod during such default.
21. (1) There shall be an ordinary meeting of the diocesan synod each year at such time and place as shall be prescribed by the bishop.
(2) A special meeting of the diocesan synod may be convened at any time or place by the bishop, or the bishop's commissary specially authorised, or, in the event of the bishop's incapacity, death, or resignation, by the archbishop, or the bishop of the province next in order of precedence, or that bishop's commissary specially authorised; and a special meeting thereof shall be convened at any time by the like authority within one month of the receipt of a written requisition signed by not less than half the members of the diocesan council or by not less than one-third of the members of either order of the diocesan synod, which requisition shall state the business to be transacted.
(3) No meeting of a diocesan synod shall be held during a session of the General Synod.
22. Notice of all meetings of the diocesan synod shall be given to every member thereof, at such time and in such manner as the diocesan synod shall determine.
23. (1) When a meeting of a diocesan synod is convened, if the bishop or other person convening the meeting is satisfied that any synod member is unable to attend that meeting by reason of illness or other reasonable cause, the convener may direct that the supplemental synod member whose name stands highest on the relevant list of supplemental synod members and who is available shall be summoned instead, and such supplemental synod member may, subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2) and (3) of this section, exercise all the rights and duties of the absent synod member at that meeting and at any adjournment hereof.
(2) A supplemental synod member summoned under the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section shall not be eligible for election to any office or to membership of any council or other body for which membership of the diocesan synod is a necessary qualification.
(3) In any diocese in which elections are conducted by voting papers issued before or after the meeting of the synod, the diocesan synod may by regulation determine the circumstances in which such voting papers may be completed by a supplemental synod member summoned under the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section.
24. The bishop, or the bishop's commissary specially authorised, shall preside at all meetings of the synod; and in case of the death, resignation, or incapacity of the bishop, or of the bishop's absence without having appointed a commissary for the purpose, then the archbishop, or in the event of the archbishop's absence or incapacity the bishop of the province next in order of precedence, shall preside or shall appoint a commissary who shall preside accordingly; and every such presiding archbishop, bishop or commissary shall exercise all the powers ordinarily exercised by the bishop of the diocese in the diocesan synod.
25. The presence of the president as provided in the foregoing section, of one-fourth of the clergy qualified to be members of the synod, and of one-fourth of the lay synod members, shall be necessary to constitute a meeting of the synod: Provided always that any diocesan synod may by its standing orders provide that it shall be necessary for a greater number of the members of each order, clerical and lay, to be present in order to constitute a meeting of the synod.
26. The bishop, clergy and laity shall sit together in the diocesan synod for the transaction of all business, and shall debate all questions together.
27. If a vote be called for upon any question, all the members, except the bishop or other president, shall vote together, unless six members at least of either order present shall require the vote to be taken by orders; in which case it shall be so taken.
28. Subject to the provisions of sections 32 and 33 of this Chapter, every act of the diocesan synod assented to by the presiding bishop or commissary, and by a majority of the clergy and lay synod members present and voting conjointly, or by a majority of the members of each order present and voting by orders, shall bind the synod and other members of the Church in the diocese.
29. If a majority of the clergy and of the lay synod members present shall be in favour of any resolution or motion, the bishop or other president may take reasonable time, not exceeding one month, to consider whether to assent to or dissent from the same.
30. In case the president dissent from the other two orders with respect to any proposed act of the synod, all action thereupon shall be suspended until the next annual meeting of the synod; and should such act be then re-affirmed by two-thirds of each of the other orders, present and voting, and the president still dissent, it shall be submitted to the General Synod, whose decision shall be final: Provided always that, where any proposed act has been affirmed by a majority of each order, it shall be competent for the president to refer the question to the next session of the General Synod for decision.
31. The diocesan synod may make standing orders for the regulation of its procedure not inconsistent with anything herein enacted, and may from time to time rescind or vary the same. Such standing orders shall not lapse or cease to be in force by reason of the adjournment of the synod or of its dissolution at the end of the period of three years for which the synod members in it shall have been elected.
32. Every diocesan synod may exercise all such powers and make all such regulations as to the temporalities of the Church appertaining to the diocese (not being repugnant to any law of the Church or to any regulation of the General Synod, or to any special trusts on which such temporalities may be held) as the synod may deem necessary for the welfare of the Church in such diocese. Any person who may feel aggrieved by an act of the diocesan synod may, in the case of property held under or administered by the diocesan synod, appeal to the Court of the General Synod, and in other cases to the General Synod, and the decision of such Court or of the General Synod, as the case may be, shall be final. When notice of such appeal has been given, no action shall be taken to implement the act of the diocesan synod until the appeal has been determined.
33. If any act of the diocesan synod be varied, repealed, or superseded by the General Synod, and shall be re-enacted by the diocesan synod, wholly or in part, such act shall not come into operation until it shall have received the assent of the General Synod.
34. The diocesan synod shall make provision for the appointment from among its members of a diocesan council which shall consist of the bishop and such number of clergy and laypersons as it shall determine.
35. (1) The diocesan council shall be appointed annually unless the diocesan synod shall resolve that it be appointed triennially at the first ordinary meeting of the synod after each triennial election of synod members.
(2) Not less than four-fifths of the clerical members and not less than four-fifths of the lay members of the diocesan council shall be elected by the members of the diocesan synod, voting by orders. The total number of members of the diocesan council which may be appointed by a method other than by votes of the synod shall not exceed three members of the clergy and three laypersons.
(3) The diocesan synod shall make provision for the filling of casual vacancies in the membership of the diocesan council.
(4) It shall be competent for a diocesan synod to make rules providing for an intermission from time to time in the period during which a person may serve on its diocesan council.
36. The diocesan council shall exercise such of the powers of the diocesan synod as the synod shall assign to it, and shall be subject to such rules as the synod shall prescribe.
37. The bishop, or the bishop's commissary specially authorised, shall ex officio chair the diocesan council.
ARCHDEACONS AND RURAL DEANS
38. In each diocese there shall be an archdeacon: Provided that:
(a) if the diocesan synod, with the consent of the Standing Committee of the General Synod, shall so determine, there may be two or more archdeacons in any diocese;
(b) when two or more dioceses are under the jurisdiction of one bishop, the bishop may appoint the same person to be the archdeacon of more than one diocese or archdeaconry.
39. Where two or more archdeacons are approved for any diocese, the diocesan synod shall determine the boundaries of the archdeaconries and shall have power to alter such boundaries from time to time.
40. The appointment of an archdeacon shall be made by the bishop of the diocese from among the beneficed or licensed clergy thereof; and it may be retained until such person has ceased to be beneficed or licensed in the diocese, or shall have been granted a retiring annuity under Chapter XIV, or shall have attained the age of seventy years, whichever be the earlier.
41. It is the duty and office of an archdeacon, from ancient times, to aid and assist the bishop in the bishop's pastoral care and office. The archdeacon is at all times to watch, inquire, and report whatever may need the consideration and control of the bishop, and more especially when the bishop may direct the archdeacon to make inquiry. The archdeacon is also generally to assist the bishop in such administration as the bishop may require. It belongs also to the office of an archdeacon to examine, or assist in examining, such persons as are to be promoted to holy orders, or to be instituted into ecclesiastical benefices, and to present persons, examined and approved, unto the bishop for imposition of hands and canonical institution.
42. Each diocese or united dioceses under the jurisdiction of one bishop, or any archdeaconry in such diocese or united dioceses, may be divided into such number of rural deaneries as the diocesan synod or diocesan synods of the said diocese or united dioceses, shall from time to time determine, and the parishes to be included in each such rural deanery shall be determined by the said diocesan synod or diocesan synods.
43. Rural deans shall be appointed by the bishop of the diocese from among the beneficed or licensed clergy of the diocese or the united dioceses and shall hold office during the bishop’s will and pleasure.
44. Rural deans shall supervise the care of Church property in their rural deaneries in accordance with the provisions of Part IV of Chapter III, and of Chapter XIII and the rules annexed thereto, and perform such other duties as may be assigned to them by the bishop.