The Synod is the ruling body of the Diocese, chaired by the Bishop and made up of all clergy in the Diocese, Diocesan officials and lay members. The Synod normally meets on a Saturday in March in Dundee. Should there be extraordinary business to be addressed, such as matters from General Synod, then a Special Synod is held in the autumn. This is usually a short evening meeting and rotates around the congregations. During the year its business is carried out by the Diocesan Council.
Diocesan Council was newly formed in March 2015. It conducts the business of the diocese between Diocesan Synod meetings and is responsible for the strategic direction and administrative effectiveness of diocesan mission and ministry, financial and property resources. It has eleven members appointed by Synod: The Bishop chairing, the Dean of the Diocese, the Mission Officer and the Ministry Officer, the Diocesan Treasurer and the Convenor of the Diocesan Buildings Committee, two clergy members, two lay members and the Diocesan Secretary who is the executive officer for the Council. The Diocesan Council meets six times during the year.
Diocesan Buildings Committee
This is set up in accordance with Canon 35 (Of the Structure, Furniture and Monuments of Churches, and the Due Care Thereof) and Canon 50.9 (to consider and determine proposals relating to all changes to the fabric of Church Buildings). It also has a remit concerning property inspections.
Its membership consists of Convener, Dean, Diocesan Secretary and ten other persons with expert knowledge of architecture, ecclesiastical artefacts and liturgy.
The Committee has two main, and clearly defined, areas of responsibility. The transaction and conduct of business for each area of responsibility is kept and managed quite separately.
Under Canon 35 its responsibility is to
- Receive and process applications for any proposed changes (by introduction, alteration or removal) to the structure, ecclesiastical furniture or ornaments, monuments, mural tablets or painted windows within any Church used for public worship or any scheme of redecoration or alteration of lighting or heating.
- Provide advice to charges on all matters relating to compliance with Canon 35.
The committee normally conducts its Canon 35 business through formal meetings and reports to Diocesan Council and to Diocesan Synod.
Each charge has the responsibility to ensure that properties under its remit are inspected by a qualified architect every 5 years by way of a Quinquennial Architect's inspection.
Concerning property inspections it is the responsibility of each charge to ensure that properties under its remit are inspected by a qualified architect every 5 years, the Quinquennial architect's inspection. No separate inspections will be carried out by the Diocesan Buildings Committee unless they are requested to do so by the vestry, rector or Bishop.
The DBC does not carry out separate inspections of properties unless requested to do so by the Vestry, the rector or the Bishop.
The charge can contact the Diocesan Buildings Committee to provide advice and guidance on property maintenance. It does not however, replace the need to obtain at their own expense professional advice when judged necessary by the Diocesan Buildings Committee.
Maintenance of diocesan owned buildings is the responsibility of the Diocesan Council.
Guidance on Canon 35 Applications
This Committee is responsible for acting in an emergency on behalf of the Diocesan Synod or the Diocesan Council when they are not sitting. In the case of the election of a Bishop it is responsible, under Canon 4 during an Episcopal Vacancy for compiling a Description of the Diocese together with future plans and intentions for the work of the Diocese.
Its membership consists of Bishop (Chair), Dean (alternative Chair), the Diocesan Secretary and two members of the Diocesan Council, one Clerical and one Lay member elected annually by the Diocesan Council.
The Chapter is recognised as the Council of the Bishop in all matters connected with the exercise of his office in the Diocese. It offers pastoral and policy advice. The Bishop shall summon and hold Meetings of the Chapter at his discretion or on a written request from the Provost or Rector, or from two of the Canons.
The Chapter consists of the Rector of Saint Paul's and four other Canons who shall be:
- The Dean of the Diocese ex officio
- The Synod Clerk ex officio
- Two instituted or licensed Presbyters in the Diocese, appointed by the Bishop.
In the absence of the Bishop, the Dean of the Diocese shall preside, and failing him, the Provost, or if the Bishop be Provost, the Rector.