The General Synod comprises the Convocations of Canterbury and York, joined together in a House of Bishops and a House of Clergy, to which is added a House of Laity. It meets in February in London and in July in York, and occasionally in November in London.
The General Synod considers and approves legislation affecting the whole of the Church of England, formulates new forms of worship, debates matters of national and international importance, and approves the annual budget for the work of the Church at national level.
The Diocesan Synod considers matters sent to it from General Synod, deanery synods, PCCs and from individual Diocesan Synod members. It formulates diocesan policy on a wide range of issues, advises the bishop as appropriate, and votes on the funding of stipends, central administration costs, and contributions to the National Church, to be raised from the deaneries. Its role is primarily advisory and consultative. In some ways it is comparable with the House of Commons, as elected representatives engage in public debate. Diocesan Synod members are Members of the Diocesan Board of Finance.