About the GCO - The General Convention of The Episcopal Church

About the GCO

The Executive Office of the General Convention, or the “GCO” as it is often called, is one of the three offices of The Episcopal Church (the others are the Office of the Presiding Bishop and the Office of the President of the House of Deputies). The GCO administers the governance of the Church, and does so in a variety of ways:

  • Management of the General Convention triennial meeting of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, together with the meeting of the Episcopal Church Women and other concurrent meetings of Episcopal Church groups.
  • Management of the meetings and support of the work of the Executive Council of the General Convention.
  • Support of the activities of the various interim bodies of the General Convention and the hundreds of volunteers who make up those bodies.
  • Administration of the official meetings of the House of Bishops and any interim meetings of the House of Deputies.
  • Support of the ministry of various ecumenical, inter-religious, and inter-Anglican bodies of the Church.
  • Management of the church’s annual Parochial Report and associated research.
  • Registrar duties of the bishop consent process and of bishop consecrations.
  • Production of the Canonical Publications of the General Convention.
  • Other duties arising out of the mandates of the General Convention or Executive Council.

The GCO also supports the Executive Officer in his various roles:

As corporate secretary of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (“DFMS”: the New York-based religious not-for-profit corporation through which much of the church’s ministry operates).

  • As Secretary of the Executive Council.
  • As Registrar of the General Convention (with duties of certification and authentication for the consecration of bishops).
  • Within the Anglican Communion, as Provincial Secretary of the Episcopal Church.
  • As a principal officer of The Episcopal Church.

The Executive Officer supervises the work of the Secretary and Treasurer of the General Convention, and is the Whistleblower Compliance Officer for the DFMS. The Archives of the Episcopal Church, through its Board, reports through the Executive Officer.

The Executive Officer of the General Convention is the Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Barlowe, who may be reached at mbarlowe@episcopalchurch.org, or at (212) 922-5184.