More About the Episcopal Church

St. Paul’s is an active parish within the Diocese of Massachusetts (www.diomass.org). Established in 1974, the Diocese of Massachusetts is the largest in the Episcopal Church in terms of membership, with almost 90,000 communicants in 195 parishes and missions. The Diocese covers the eastern two-thirds of Massachusetts, from the New Hampshire border to the north to the Cape and islands to the south. The Right Reverend M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, is the bishop of the Diocese. The Right Reverend Gayle Harris is the Diocese’s suffragan (assistant) bishop, and the recently retired Right Reverend Roy (Bud) Cederholm also continues to serve the diocese in a limited capacity. There are 580 licensed or canonically resident priests in the Diocese.

The Episcopal Church, having its roots in the Church of England, is also an Anglican Church. Like all Anglican churches, the Episcopal Church is distinguished by its standing in both Protestant and Catholic traditions, its insistence that people be able to worship in their first language, their use of the Book of Common Prayer, and their reliance on scripture, tradition, and reason in interpreting God’s Word. The Episcopal Church is made up of between two and three million worshippers in 7500 congregations across the United States and a few related dioceses outside the U.S. “Episcopal” means “bishop” in Greek, and the Episcopal Church is governed in part by its bishops.

[From the website of the Episcopal Church USA: http://www.episcopalchurch.org]