Chapter IV A: The Diocesan Conference
Part I: General
In each Diocese there shall be a Diocesan Conference (“the Conference”).
The Conference shall be subject to any regulations made by the Governing Body.
The Conference shall conform to and carry out any order or direction of the Governing Body.
Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed as giving to the Conference any right to pass any resolution or to come to any decision upon any matter concerning discipline, faith, or ceremonial.
Part II: Membership
The Bishop, or in his absence his Commissary specially authorised by him in writing, shall be a member of the Conference.
The Conference shall consist of:
(a) clerical members;
(b) ex-officio members;
(c) nominated members;
(d) co-opted members; and
(e) elected members.
All members of the Conference shall be Communicants and over the age of sixteen years.
- Subject to subsection (2), the Clerical members of the Conference shall be all the stipendiary Clerics and all other Clerics in the diocese holding a licence from the Bishop.
- Clerical membership of the Conference shall cease in the case of any such stipendiary Cleric upon retirement from the stipendiary ministry and in the case of all such other Clerics holding a licence from the Bishop upon ceasing to hold any appointment as a cleric in the diocese, the surrender or revocation of the licence or the attainment of the age of seventy, whichever shall first occur.
Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, each Conference shall determine for itself:
(a) the number and nature of the ex-officio, co-opted, and nominated members respectively, provided that the number of such ex-officio, co-opted, and nominated members shall together not exceed one-sixth of the total number of members;
(b) the number of lay members to be elected, provided that the clerical members shall not exceed the lay members in number and that there shall be no fewer than three lay members elected for each Deanery; and
(c) the necessary qualification for lay membership, the time when and the manner in which such members shall be elected and whether by the Deanery Conference or by the Vestry Meetings.
Every lay member of the Conference, before acting as such, shall sign a declaration in the following form in a book to be kept for that purpose by the Secretary:
I, J…S…of…do hereby solemnly declare that I am a Communicant over eighteen years of age, and qualified to be a member of the…Diocesan Conference, and I do not belong to any religious body which is not in communion with the Church in Wales.
Part III: Proceedings
Subject to the provisions of the Welsh Church Act 1914, the Constitution and any regulations made by the Governing Body, the Conference shall have the power to make regulations for:
(a) its convening;
(b) its business and proceedings;
(c) the composition, powers and procedures of any of its committees; and
(d) the duration of membership.
- The Bishop shall be President of the Conference.
- In the case of the death, resignation, or incapacity of the Bishop, or of his absence without having appointed a Commissary for the purpose, the President of the Governing Body, or, in the event of his death, resignation, incapacity, or absence, the Diocesan Bishop next in order of precedence shall be President, or shall appoint in writing a Commissary who shall be President; such President shall without prejudice to the rights of the Archbishop, exercise all the powers ordinarily exercised by the Bishop in the Conference.
Every act of the Conference assented to by its President and by a majority of the clerics and laity present and voting conjointly, or, if so demanded by thirty members rising in their places, by a majority of the clerical members and of the lay members present and voting by orders, shall bind the Conference and all other members of the Church in Wales in the diocese.
In the event of the President withholding his assent to a resolution, it shall be competent for any member to bring the resolution forward again at the next annual meeting of the Conference, when, if it is passed by a two-thirds majority of the clerical members and of the lay members present and voting by orders, the resolution shall be referred to the Synod of the Province of the Church in Wales, whose decision shall bind the Conference and all other members of the Church in Wales in the Diocese.
Part IV: Powers and Duties
Subject to the direction and control of the Governing Body, the Conference shall manage its own affairs and its own property, if any, and such sums of money as may be entrusted to it for distribution by the Representative Body, subject to any regulations made by or conditions imposed by the Representative Body or to any special trusts affecting the same.
The Conference shall from time to time duly elect the diocesan representatives to serve on the Governing Body and on the Representative Body and elect supplemental members of each.
The Conference shall appoint Episcopal Electors in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
The Conference shall elect clerical and lay members of the Diocesan Nomination Board, and supplemental members, in the manner provided in the Governing Body Regulations relating to Appointments and Nominations and, subject to the Constitution, the Conference shall settle for itself the manner of electing the members of the Board.
If, in the opinion of the Bishop and the Conference, a Deanery for any reason has ceased to be effective, such action (if any) as the circumstances warrant shall be taken under Chapter IV D section 2.
- The Conference, or its Standing Committee if so empowered by the Conference, shall have power to require any Parish, Grouped Parishes, district or area to contribute towards the actual and/or anticipated expenditure of the diocese and in the exercise of such power shall consider any representations made to it.
- The Conference shall have power to provide that, if any district or area fail to fulfil any engagement into which it has entered with the Conference, or to make payment of any sum for which it has been assessed by the Conference, or which it has been called upon by the Conference to pay, the members elected for such district or area shall not be admitted to the Conference, and the qualified electors of such district or area shall not be allowed to return representatives during such default.
- Subject to the provisions of the Governing Body Regulations relating to the Deanery Conference, the Conference may control the management of the affairs of a Deanery Conference.
- The Conference shall have power to control, alter, repeal, or supersede any rule or regulation made by a Deanery Conference, a Vestry Meeting, and a Parochial Church Council, so far as may be necessary (as to which, the decision of the Conference shall be final) to provide against the admission of any principle inexpedient for the common interest of the Church in Wales in the Diocese.
The Conference shall appoint a Secretary for such term as the Conference shall determine.
Part V: Boards and Committees
- The Conference shall appoint a standing committee which shall have such powers as are given to it by the Conference in regulations or by resolution.
- Such standing committee shall co-operate with the Bishop in the creation of conventional districts and it shall report to the Conference and to the Governing Body annually what conventional districts, if any, have been created.
Diocesan Board of Finance
- The Conference shall appoint a Diocesan Board of Finance (“the Board”), the constitution and powers of which shall be in accordance with the Constitution and shall be set out in the relevant documents which create the Board.
- The Board shall make a scheme whereby every church in the Diocese shall be inspected at least once every five years, which scheme shall provide:
(a) for the establishment of a fund by means of contributions from parochial, diocesan or other sources;
(b) for the payment out of such fund or otherwise of the cost of the inspection of the churches in the Diocese;
(c) for the appointment of architects or chartered surveyors competent to inspect the churches in the Diocese;
(d) for the architect or chartered surveyor to make a report to the Board in the case of every church inspected, and copies of the report so made shall be sent to the Archdeacon and to the Parochial Church Council of the parish in which the church is situate; and
(e) for such other detail not inconsistent with this section as the Board deems fit.
The Board with the approval of the Bishop shall have power to place on a defaulters’ list a Parish, Grouped Parishes or area which culpably neglects to meet its financial obligations. Before taking action the Board shall give to the Parochial Church Council or Councils full opportunity of stating the case for the Parish or Grouped Parishes. When a vacancy occurs in the incumbency of such Parish or Grouped Parishes, the incumbency may be suspended or a new Incumbent appointed under the procedure laid down in Chapter VI section 6.
The Diocesan Parsonage Board
The Board shall appoint a Diocesan Parsonage Board (“the Parsonage Board”) whose duty it shall be:
(a) to have the general oversight and management of Parsonages in the Diocese (as defined in Chapter VII); and
(b) to see that any repairs or work duly authorised to be done to or in connection with such Parsonages are properly carried out.
- The Parsonage Board shall not be less than six in number and shall be composed of an equal number of clerical and lay members who must be qualified to be members of the Conference. The Parsonage Board members shall hold office for three years from the date of their appointment but shall be eligible for re-appointment.
- The failure of the Board to appoint the number of members of the Parsonage Board prescribed in subsection (1) shall not prevent the Parsonage Board from proceeding to the despatch of business nor invalidate its decisions.
- The Board shall fill a casual vacancy arising in the membership of the Parsonage Board and a person appointed to fill such a vacancy shall hold office until the expiry of the three year period of appointment of the member whom he or she replaces.
The Parsonage Board shall conform to the directions and be under the control of the Representative Body.
Part VI: Miscellaneous
Any person who may consider himself or herself aggrieved by an act of the Conference may, in the case of property held under or administered by the Conference, appeal to the Provincial Court, whose decision shall be final.