The Episcopal Diocese
of New York

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House of Bishops

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church meets every three years. It consists of two houses: the House of Bishops, and the House of Deputies. All bishops in the Episcopal Church, whether active or retired, are entitled to a seat in the House of Bishops, which is chaired by the Presiding Bishop. Each diocese sends 4 lay and 4 ordained deputies (chosen by electors who are themselves first elected by the parishes), to the House of Deputies,which is chaired by the President of the House (Bonnie Anderson).

Each house meets and votes separately. To be enacted, resolutions must pass both houses in the same language. In the House of Deputies, each diocese has two votes – one lay and one clerical. The vote of each group is determined by polling its members: a tied deputation vote is technically “divided,” and effectively counts as a “no.” It is possible, therefore, for resolutions supported by a numerical majority of deputies to fail in the voting.

Activities in the two houses of the convention are only the tip of the iceberg. Much of the work of convention is done in legislative committees, to which resolutions proposed for discussion are referred. Legislative committees consider, amalgamate and perfect these resolutions before presenting them on the floor. They hold hearings on legislation at which deputies, registered alternates and registered visitors may speak.

The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church will take place in Salt Lake City from June 25 to July 3, 2015.

Click here to visit the General Convention website
which includes all currently available materials for the 2015 Convention, and links to resolutions passed at previous conventions.