Created as a meeting place for the Dean and Chapter of York Minster, it is still used for the same purpose. Although the Minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, its day to day running and most of its daily worship services are governed and organized by the Dean - a senior Anglican priest - and a six member Chapter, today composed of three Clergy Canons and three Lay Canons appointed by the Archbishop.
The statutes that govern the Minster have changed very little since the the first Norman minster was begun, in 1080 by Archbishop Thomas of Bayeux.
Each of the seven walls of the octagonal room known as the Chapter House has six seats to emphasize the equality of the Chapter members. No one can sit in the center. The eighth side of the octagonal room is the archway of a passage leading to the nave. There are also seven windows - among the oldest in York Minster, with Medieval stained glass dating from 1270. Above the archway on the eighth wall, the stonework of the seven windows is repeated.