Diocesan Constitution

Download a PDF version of the Diocesan Constitution 2021.



Scottish Charity no. SC013925

2021 Constitution, as passed at Diocesan Synod, 31.07.2021 (based on 2005 Constitution, amended 2011 and 2012)



The Synod of the United Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Synod’) shall have the functions, powers and duties given to it expressly or by implication, from time to time, by the Code of Canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Code of Canons’). It shall have the power to establish and alter its own rules of procedure or order insofar as these are not inconsistent with any relevant and applicable canonical provision.

1.1 Membership of the Synod

The membership of the Synod shall comprise those specified, from time to time, by Canon 50. If not already members of the Synod, Lay Members elected to the Diocesan Council shall be non-voting ex-officio members of the Synod.

1.2 Meetings of the Synod

The Synod shall meet as prescribed by Canon Meetings of the Synod may be held electronically or physically, according to necessity.

1.3 Diocesan Officials

As prescribed by Canon 61, there shall be a Chancellor and a Registrar appointed by the Bishop; a Synod Clerk elected by the voting Presbyters of the Synod; an Auditor, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, appointed by the Synod (the latter two offices may be combined).The Dean shall also be an Official of the Diocese.

1.4 Diocesan Heritable Trustees

The Diocesan Heritable Trustees shall be the Bishop, the Dean, the Synod Clerk and the Registrar, all ex officiis as prescribed by Resolution 1.3. of the Digest of Resolutions.

1.5 Diocesan Property Committee

The requirement for and remit of a Diocesan Buildings Advisory Committee under Canon 9 shall be fulfilled by the Diocesan Property Committee.

1.6 Quorum

The quorum shall be two-thirds of the membership of the House of Clergy and two-thirds of the membership of the House of Laity.



The Diocesan Council (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Council’) shall constitute the Standing Committee of the Synod.

2.1 Charity Trustees

For the purposes of The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, the governing body of the diocese shall be the Council and the charity trustees shall be the members thereof. For the avoidance of doubt the Bishop as Convener of the Council or any member acting as such on the Bishop’s appointment from time to time shall be a voting member and charity trustee.

2.2 Composition

2.2.1 The Convener shall be the Bishop, or such other member of the Council as the Bishop at his/her sole discretion may appoint from time to time.

2.2.2 Voting Members shall be the Bishop, the Dean, the Provost, the Synod Clerk as well as ten members elected by, and acting under powers delegated by, the Synod.

2.2.3 The ten elected members shall comprise six Lay and four Clergy Members, voting to be carried out in respective Elected members shall stand down after a term of four consecutive years, but may be re-elected on the expiry of at least one year after standing down. For the first election only following the affirmation of this Constitution the first term of office shall be two years for the three Lay Members elected in positions 4th to 6th, and two years for the Clergy Members elected in positions 3rd and 4th under the Single Transferable Vote system.

2.2.4 Mid-Term Vacancies: when a vacancy occurs in mid-term, the vacancy will be filled for the remaining period of the term by election at the next Synod, and the person elected will take up office on the 1st April following that Synod. The person elected will continue to be eligible to serve a first full term following the end of the remaining period of the term for which he or she has been elected.

2.2.5 The Chancellor, the Diocesan Secretary, the Diocesan Treasurer and the Canon Missioner shall be non-voting members of the Council. The Council shall have the power to co-opt additional members up to a maximum of three from the Synod, and shall specify the period of appointment, which shall not exceed one year.

2.3 Meetings

The Council shall meet no fewer than four times annually, either electronically or physically as it shall determine. Normally, one month’s notice shall be given for meetings. In exceptional circumstances to deal with urgent business, meetings may be called with at least 48 hours’ notice.

2.4 Minutes

The minutes of all meetings of the Council shall be kept by the Diocesan Secretary and circulated to members of the Council. Declarations of interest on any matter discussed should be minuted. The Convener shall determine which business  of the Council is confidential, and apart from such confidential matters, the Minutes and any notes taken at the time shall be published.

2.5 Functions

2.5.1 To implement matters determined by the Synod.

2.5.2 To receive and approve the externally audited annual report and accounts.

2.5.3 To make Regulations for the control of Diocesan Funds, to monitor expenditure, the stewardship of resources and investments and to approve for submission to the Synod the annual budget prepared by the Diocesan Treasurer.

2.5.4 To be a vehicle of consultation for the Bishop concerning persons best suited to and roles of responsibility in the diocese prior to the Bishop making such appointments.

2.6 Powers

The Council shall act in the name of and for the Synod, to which it must account for its actions, between the Annual Meetings of the Synod.

The Council shall have the power to appoint, reorganise and dissolve such committees and networks as it judges necessary to assist it in carrying out the foregoing duties, always excepting bodies whose appointment is otherwise specified by the Code of Canons.

2.7 Quorum

A quorum shall comprise a majority of the voting members of the Council.

2.8 Membership of the Synod

Elected lay members of the Council who are not members of the Synod are ex-officio non- voting members of the Synod. Any clergy member who ceases to be a member of the Synod automatically demits office from the Council.



3.1 Regions

The charges in the diocese shall be grouped by geographical region as determined by the Synod, each Region having its own Regional Council.

3.2 Membership

Clerical: All instituted, collated and licensed clergy within the Region, together with all clergy within the Region who hold a Commission, Warrant or Permission to Officiate.

Lay: The Lay Representative and the Alternate Lay Representative of each congregation within the Region. All Licensed Lay Readers within the Region. Other lay members of General Synod from Charges within the Region.

3.3 Office Bearers

The Members of each Regional Council shall elect from amongst its members a Convener and a Secretary. The Office Bearers shall retire annually but shall be eligible for re- election. Each Regional Council may make its own rules regarding other Office Bearers and the maximum number of terms in succession that each Office Bearer may serve.

3.4 Meetings

Each Regional Council shall hold an annual meeting at which the Office Bearers are elected and shall commence with the celebration of a Eucharist. The dates, times and places of other meetings are such as the Regional Council shall decide, subject to guidance from the Council on diocesan requirements. Meetings shall be open to all members of the charges within each region.

3.5 Special Meetings

The Convener may call special meetings and shall do so when requested by the Bishop. There shall be ten clear days’ notice to members.

3.6 Quorum

Each Regional Council may decide its quorum. The Convener’s ruling as to whether a quorum is present or not shall be final.

3.7 Functions and Duties

3.7.1 To facilitate discussion and the sharing of good practice amongst charges of the region.

3.7.2 To encourage and facilitate nominations of representatives and other persons required to be elected by the Synod at its annual meeting.

3.7.3 To consider any matter referred to the Regional Council by the Bishop, the Synod or the Council.



4.1 Function and Accountability

4.1.1 The Bishop’s Core Group reports to the Council on the day-to-day management of the diocese and its resources, subject to the Regulations drawn up under section 5.2 above as approved by the Auditor.

4.1.2 To supervise the appointment of diocesan staff.

4.1.3 To approve the agenda and prepare papers for the Synod.

4.1.4 To approve grants for mission and support to Charges.

4.2 Meetings

The Bishop’s Core Group shall meet as determined by the Bishop. Meetings may be conducted electronically or physically. The Diocesan Secretary shall prepare papers for and notes of decisions made at each meeting. In addition, decisions may be made and recorded electronically by members of the Bishop’s Core Group separately from meetings, but such decisions should be recorded in the minutes of the succeeding meeting.

4.3 Membership

The Bishop, the Dean, the Provost, the Synod Clerk, the Canon Missioner, the Diocesan Treasurer and the Diocesan Secretary. The Bishop may invite other individuals to join the group in order to facilitate the core tasks that are needed to enable Episcopal Ministry in the diocese.



This Constitution may be amended by a motion brought to a duly constituted meeting of the Synod in accordance with Canon 50, Resolution 3, and passed by a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote. For the avoidance of doubt, voting is by the whole Synod, and not by separate houses of clergy and laity.


Appendix 1: RULES OF ORDER

The Convener of the Synod is free to run the meeting as he or she sees fit, but the General Synod Rules of Order, provided with the General Synod papers, provide a useful guide.



2.1 Oversight and Voting at the Synod

2.1.1 The Dean (or someone acting for the Dean) will oversee the elections at the Synod to the Council, to the General Synod and to the Provincial Boards.

2.1.2 The Single Transferable Vote system, through which candidates are ranked by preference shall normally be used for Tellers shall be appointed at the start of the Synod meeting.

2.1.3 All vacancies for membership of the General Synod Elections shall normally be held at the Synod.

2.1.4 Elections Held at Meetings of the Synod Nomination forms shall be sent out 3 weeks prior to the meeting of the Synod and Nominations shall close 7 days before the Synod. The Bishop’s Core Group may bring nominations for which there are no nominees before the Synod. Posts that remain unfilled after Synod shall be remitted to the Bishop’s Core Group to be filled, to be homologated at the subsequent Synod. The Dean shall announce the outcomes of all elections to the Synod, and details of the numbers of votes cast shall be made available to members of the Synod upon request.

2.1.5  Elections Held by post

If the Dean (or someone acting for The Dean) deems it necessary to hold an election by post, the same conditions apply as for elections held at the Synod, and the Dean shall announce the outcomes of all elections by post or electronically to all members of the Synod. Details of the numbers of votes cast shall be made available to members of the Synod upon request. Posts that remain unfilled after the Synod shall be remitted to the Bishop’s Core Group to be filled, to be homologated at the subsequent Synod.



The following list indicates how business it to be brought to the agenda of the Synod. It is always at the discretion of the Bishop to allow or remove items from the agenda.

  1. By request from the Bishop
  2. By Request from the Council
  3. By individual Synod members as follows:

A motion shall normally be submitted electronically or in writing to the Diocesan Secretary no later than 7 days before the Synod. Such motions shall require a proposer and seconder and be supported by six members of the Synod (excluding the proposer and seconder of the motion).

The Bishop (or the Convener of the Synod) may agree to the motion being placed on the Synod agenda or may choose to defer to the will of the Synod. In this latter case, the proposer shall have 2 minutes to address the Synod on why the Synod should consider the motion at that time before a vote is taken on whether the motion should be considered, the Synod voting as one house by simple majority.

Motions may not be submitted on the day of the Synod except by agreement with the Convener of the Synod.


Appendix 4: REGIONS

As of 4 March 2023, the charges are allocated to Regions as follows:


St Andrew’s, Ardrossan; Holy Trinity, Ayr; St Peter’s, Dalry; Holy Trinity, Kilmarnock; St Oswald’s, Maybole; St Columba’s, Largs; St Ninian’s, Prestwick; St Ninian’s, Troon.


St John’s, Annan; St Ninian’s, Castle Douglas; All Saints, Challoch; Christ Church, Dalbeattie; St John’s, Dumfries; St John’s, Eastriggs; St Mary’s, Gatehouse of Fleet; All Saints, Gretna; Greyfriars, Kirkcudbright; All Saints, Lockerbie; St John’s, Moffat; St Margaret’s, New Galloway, St Ninian’s, Portpatrick; St John’s, Stranraer.

Glasgow South

St Aidan’s, Clarkston; St Oswald’s, Kings Park; St Margaret’s, Newlands; St Ninian’s, Pollokshields.

Glasgow North-East

The Cathedral; St Matthew’s, Possilpark; St James the Less, Bishopbriggs; St Cyprian’s, Lenzie; Holy Name, Cumbernauld; East End Episcopal Churches.

Glasgow North-West

St Michael and All Angels, Helensburgh; St Augustine’s, Dumbarton; All Saints, Jordanhill; St Bride’s, Hyndland; All Saints, Bearsden; St Andrew’s, Milngavie.


St Cuthbert’s, Cambuslang; St Mark’s, East Kilbride; St Mary’s, Hamilton; Christ Church, Lanark; St Paul & St John’s, Airdrie/Monklands; Holy Trinity, Motherwell; St Andrew’s, Uddingston; St Andrew’s, Wishaw.


St Mary’s, Bridge of Weir; St John’s, Greenock; St John’s, Johnstone; Good Shepherd, Hillington; St Fillan’s, Kilmacolm; Holy Trinity & St Barnabas, Paisley; St Mary’s, Port Glasgow; St Margaret’s, Renfrew.

Any charge may petition the Bishop for the transfer of their allocation to an alternative Region, should geography or other circumstances suggest.