In this diocese, the principal source of leadership is the Archbishop with the principal source of governance provided by Synod.
The annual Synod, or parliament, provides time for review and reflection of the mission of the church, and offers an opportunity for the Diocese of Perth to take counsel together:
- listening to the Holy Spirit
- awakening to the signs of the times
- obedient to God’s call for apostolic action.
Each Synod term is for three years with annual sessions, and normally meets in October of each year with approximately 400+ people in attendance. The purpose is to:
- implement and/or amend legislation for the diocese
- review the work of the diocese
- discuss matters of concern to both church and community
- conduct elections for various diocesan bodies and committees
- consider general Synod legislation.
Synod Members include:
- all Bishops and licensed clergy of the Diocese
- lay members of The Perth Diocesan Trustees
- designated office holders – eg Chancellor, Registrar, and Secretary of the Diocese
- two lay members from each parish
- representatives of bodies reporting to Synod
- up to ten lay members appointed by Diocesan Council
- up to five lay youth appointed by Diocesan Council.
Every Worshipping Community (ie Parish) elects two lay members of Synod and two Alternates at the Annual Meeting of parishioners. Each Alternate serve as an Alternate for one lay member of Synod, as determined at the time of the Alternate’s election or appointment, if the elected lay member of Synod is unable to attend Synod. Lay members of Synod are elected for a 3-year term.
Synods are linked to the first council of the church in Jerusalem and to the great councils of the church, and to the pattern of conciliar government in the Anglican Communion.
All appointed and elected members of Synod are encouraged to come prayerfully, with an attitude that not only allows for holy listening but is open to the:
- Holy Spirit – active in the midst of us
- “mind of the church” – sentire cum ecclesia
- communion of the faithful – attentive to the treasure handed to us – consensus fidelium
- communion of saints – communio sanctorum.
Nationally, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia is held yearly and exists in order to share how we relate to each other as a national Christian community and how the church might be faithful in this society, for its spiritual, moral and social welfare.