RepositoryChurch of England Record Centre
Alt Ref NoHB
Extent152 files, 2 vols.
TitleHouse of Bishops
DescriptionAdministrative records of the House of Bishops and its sub-committees. The archive comprises series of minutes, official documents and correspondence. The House of Bishops met to discuss issues of episcopal ministry, mission and national issues affecting the Church of England, and focused in particular on matters involving doctrine, liturgy or the sacraments. These subjects are covered particularly in the series of documents and minutes, whereas much of the correspondence relates to arrangements for discussing the topics at meetings of the House, rather than to the subjects themselves.
AccrualsFurther accruals are expected to be transferred to the archive. The papers of the House of Bishops Standing Committee and the House of Bishops Marriage Education Panel have not yet been included in the archive catalogue.
AccessConditionsPlease note that although information in the date field represents the dates covered by the material in any given document, all archive material under thirty years will remain closed to public access, unless the document in question has been published.
AdminHistoryThe legislative assemblies of the provinces of Canterbury and York, the convocations of Canterbury and York, have met since the fifteenth century. Each contained two houses: the upper house comprised bishops, the lower house clergy. In 1919, the creation of the National Assembly of the Church of England (otherwise Church Assembly) brought together the two upper houses (the House of Bishops) and the two lower houses (the House of Clergy), which, together with the House of Laity, made up the three houses of the Assembly.
When, in 1970, the Church Assembly was replaced by the General Synod, the House of Bishops, Clergy and Laity continued as the three houses of the Synod. Although the upper and lower houses of the two convocations started meeting jointly in the early twentieth century, they also continued to meet separately within their separate convocations.

Further information on the role of the House of Bishops in relation to the General Synod (1971), see the draft paper on the subject in HB/C/1.
CustodialHistoryIt is possible that the catalogue references (OrderNo) may change in the light of cataloguing the papers of the House of Clergy, House of Laity or other bodies of the Church Assembly or General Synod. In which case a prefix may be added, but searching for the current reference will still be possible as these will be retained in the CustodialHistory field.
AcquisitionHB/INSP/1/1-7 were transferred from Lambeth Palace Library.
RelatedMaterialFor records of Convocation pre-1919, see 'Conv' (housed at Lambeth Palace Library). Some series within the Library's convocation records run later than 1919.
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