Bicameral legislature

Two houses make up the Convention – the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies.  The House of Deputies comprises eight deputies from each of the Episcopal Church’s 110 domestic and overseas dioceses (and the Convocation of Churches in Europe), no matter the size of the diocese. The Diocese of North Dakota, with 21 congregations, has as many deputies representing it as does the Diocese of West Texas with 90 congregations (and as does the Diocese of Texas with 156 congregations). Each diocesan deputation includes four lay persons and four priests and/or deacons. Each diocese also elects eight alternate deputies to General Convention. In West Texas, all 16 deputies and alternate deputies attend General Convention.

In the House of Bishops, all 300 bishops of the Episcopal Church, active and retired, are entitled to seat, voice and vote (except for consent to elections of bishops, for which only diocesan bishops may vote).

The House of Bishops and House of Deputies meet, deliberate, and vote separately except for presentation of the budget. To be enacted, resolutions must pass both houses in the same language. Both houses have the right to amend legislation, but any amendment must be accepted by the other house.

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