Ecclesiastical Committee Two-Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Report

The Ecclesiastical Committee

The Ecclesiastical Committee is a statutory Committee appointed under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919.

It comprises thirty members, fifteen of whom are Members of the House of Commons, appointed by the Speaker, and fifteen of whom are members of the House of Lords, appointed by the Lord Speaker. The quorum is twelve.

Appointments to the Committee are generally made early in a Parliament. Unless the Speaker or the Lord Speaker decide otherwise, members appointed by them remain on the Committee for the life of the Parliament.

While its powers are those laid down by the Act, the procedures it has adopted are those of a Joint Select Committee.

Current Membership
Lord Davies of CoitySir Stuart Bell
Lord EltonPeter Bottomley
Lord JuddBen Chapman
Lord LamingSir Patrick Cormack
Lord Lloyd of Berwick (Chairman)Mr David Drew
Baroness Massey of DarwenMr Frank Field
Lord NewbyMr John Gummer
Baroness Perry of SouthwarkMrs Sharon Hodgson
Lord Pilkington of OxenfordSimon Hughes
Baroness Rendell of BaberghRobert Key
Lord Shaw of NorthsteadMr Gordon Marsden
Lord Wallace of SaltaireMr Desmond Swayne
Lord WalpoleDavid Taylor
Baroness WilcoxSteve Webb
Lord Williams of Elvel


The Ecclesiastical Committee examines draft Measures presented to it by the Legislative Committee of the General Synod of the Church of England. It reports to Parliament on whether or not it considers the measures to be expedient.

It generally asks members of the General Synod to assist it in its deliberations. In some circumstances a conference of the Ecclesiastical Committee and the Legislative Committee may be convened.

The Church of England Measure on which the Committee has reported is presented to both Houses in its final form at the same time as the Committee makes its report.

Before the Measure becomes law, both Houses must approve motions that the Measure should be presented to the Sovereign for Royal Assent in the form that it was laid before Parliament.

Once both Houses have passed the necessary approval motions, the Measure is presented for Royal Assent and becomes law.


The reports and proceedings of the Committee are published by The Stationery Office by Order of both Houses. All publications of the Committee are on the internet at


All correspondence should be addressed to the Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Committee, House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW. The telephone number for general enquiries is 020 7219 3152.

1   There is currently a vacancy in the Commons membership of the Committee, following the death of Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody on 17 April 2008. Back

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