Before the advent of the General Synod, the clergy were provided with the means of influencing church policy through the Convocations of Canterbury and York.   The members of these bodies were the bishops (all the diocesan bishops together with representative suffragans elected by their colleagues) and clergy elected by their colleagues in the deaneries.   The convocations still exist but meet only rarely.   Technically, the General Synod consists of the two convocations with the House of Laity.

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