What is an Episcopalian

The Episcopal Church embraces a diverse people united by a faith in God expressed in our common prayer life. We utilize Scripture, reason and tradition to help us to determine what has authority in our lives. We are a diverse a church that encourages dialogue, discussion, ongoing study and active participation in the liturgy and sacraments.

The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the titular leader of the Anglican Communion. In the United States, the Presiding Bishop is the “Chief Pastor and Primate” of the Episcopal Church. The current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is Michael Curry.

Emmanuel is part of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, which stretches from the beaches of the Eastern Shore to the mountains of Danville and includes the Tidewater and South-Richmond metropolitan areas. Our diocese is rich in history and includes the first permanent English speaking settlement at Jamestown, the oldest congregation in the United States (St. John’s in Hampton 1609), the oldest church building in America (St. Luke’s, Smithfield 1635) as well as the colonial towns of Williamsburg and Yorktown. Our area is blessed with great art, maritime, historical and nautical museums, as well great fun activities for children of all ages at Busch Gardens, Water Country, the Virginia Zoo, and the nearby hands-on Southampton Historical Museum.

The Diocese of Southern Virginia is comprised of 120 parishes and more than 35,000 members who are served by 170 clergy. The Diocese was formed in 1892 when the Diocese of Virginia (one of the original nine dioceses in the Episcopal Church) was divided. Our current Bishop is the Most Reverend Michael Curry. For the diocesan website click here.

Interview with The Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:

The Former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori explains why you might be interested in The Episcopal Church: