The functions of the Bishop's Council are set out specifically in Standing Order 47 of the Diocesan Synod Standing Orders as follows:
- to advise the President (the Bishop) on any matters which he may refer to it;
- to plan the business of the Synod, prepare the agenda for its sessions, and to circulate to members information about matters for discussion;
- to initiate proposals for action by the Synod and to advise it on matters of policy which are placed before it;
- subject to the directions of the Synod, to transact the business of the Synod between sessions;
- to appoint members of committees or nominate members for election to committees subject to the directions of the Synod;
- to carry out such other functions as the Synod may delegate to it;
- to act as the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee;
- to act as directors of Ely Diocesan Board of Finance.
Members of the Bishop's Council act as the Company Directors and Charity Trustees of Ely Diocesan Board of Finance. Its members have legal duties to comply with company and charity law in terms of the running of the Diocese as a charitable business.
Membership of Bishop's Council is set out in Standing Order 44 of the Diocesan Synod Standing Orders, and comprises ex officio members, lay and clergy members elected from each archdeaconry, Bishop's appointees and co-opted members. The term of office three years, starting on 1 January following the reconstitution of Diocesan Synod.
The Bishop's Council meets up to six times each year, usually on a Thursday evening from 7 - 9pm, with supper served beforehand at Bishop Woodford House. A residential meeting also takes place once a year for which overnight accommodation and meals are provided. The dates for 2019 have been set as follows:
- Friday 25 Saturday 26 January 2019 (the 'residential')
- Wednesday 8 May 2019
- Thursday 18 July 2019
- Thursday 28 November 2019
All members of the Bishop's Council are expected to attend and participate fully in all meetings. It is also expected that each member will also be an active member of at least one of the sub-committees or other statutory committees of the Diocese, including: Council for Ministry, Council for Mission, Diocesan Board of Education, Finance Committee, Houses Committee and the Assets Committee.
If you wish to learn more about the role of the Bishop's Council, and its members, please contact the Diocesan Secretary, Canon Paul Evans, who will be pleased to give you more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.