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Three-day virtual conference for Synod

Three-day virtual conference for Synod

In November 2020 Church House Westminster hosted a three-day virtual conference on behalf of the Church of England as the General Synod took place online for the first time in its history.

General #Synod is an assembly of bishops, clergy and laity, which meets at least twice a year to debate and decide the Church’s laws and discuss matters of public interest.

Church House was of course designed to be a physical home for the General Synod of the Church of England. The General Synod meets in-person up to two times a year in London at Church House and once in York.

Earlier this year, after the first lockdown, the first General Synod of 2020 was held as a hybrid event at Church House, with some attending in-person and the majority joining the event online.

Both the hybrid meeting in September and all virtual conference in November were expertly arranged by the in-house audio-visual and production team of Church House Westminster from the largest event space, the Assembly Hall. Opposite the stage in the Assembly Hall a selection of HD screens, cameras and lights recorded officials who presided over sessions, from socially distant desks.

A number of administrative members of the Church of England gathered in the nearby Bishop Partridge Hall which functioned as an organisers’ office. The Convocation Hall was utilised as a breakout room for speakers and other officials before and after their sessions and presentations in the Assembly Hall.

The Synod was live-streamed on YouTube to a daily audience of almost 500 virtual attendees. Several sessions featured interactive voting options and offered a number of breakout sessions to facilitate smaller group discussions. The three-day timetable also offered dedicated screen break timings.

Dr Jamie Harrison, Chair, House of Laity, General Synod, expressed his gratitude to the Westminster venue for the faultless running of the virtual conference: “Please convey our thanks to all the staff for making the first virtual Synod such a success. You have proved that it can be done and with significant numbers of members tuning in!”

Bradley Hill, Head of Audio-Visual and Production at Church House Westminster, commented: “As a Covid-secure venue we approached the Synod events this year with innovation top of mind. Having the technology in-situ is, of course, a massive advantage. Reassurance for the organiser for the event to be successful is down to our professional in-house audio-visual technicians. Subsequently, the positive feedback after the Synod is testimony to the great team we have in place”. 

For more information about virtual conferences please do get in touch via our contact form or give us a call on 020 7390 1590 to discuss your event.