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Convocation



The name given to each of the two provincial gatherings of clergy in the Church of England: those of Canterbury and York. The origins of these two provincial convocations are lost in the mists of medieval antiquity, but they certainly antedate Parliament. Until 1665 they taxed the clergy instead of Parliament, but in 1717 the two convocations were suspended until 1852 (Canterbury) and 1861 (York). The suspension largely arose out of clashes between Whig Upper Houses (bishops) and Tory Lower Houses (other clergy). It is sometimes alleged that the Church of England was paralyzed by this suspension, but being a church established by the law of the land, church government took place through Parliament, which in England was a Christian body. More recently, powers over the Church of England's doctrine and liturgy were claimed by the convocations, but this was largely a myth since changes in basic church law had to come through Parliament. In 1920 the national assembly of the Church of England (usually called the Church Assembly) began to function alongside the convocations. In 1969 the Synodical Government Measure more or less coalesced Church Assembly and convocations into a new General Synod,* though formally the convocations still remain.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

kon-vo-ka’-shun: A rendering for miqra’ chiefly in the frequent "Holy Convocation"; but the word is sometimes used alone, e.g. Nu 10:2; Isa 1:13; 4:5. On a holy convocation no work could be done. The phrase differs from "solemn assembly," which in the Pentateuch is only applied to the concluding festivals at the end of Passover and Tabernacles, while "Holy Convocation" is used of the Sabbath and all the great holy days of the Mosaic legislation.