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Location of the Diocese of Chicago

The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is the official organization of the Episcopal Church in Chicago and Northern Illinois, USA. The diocese is served by The Right Reverend Jeffrey D. Lee, who serves as Bishop of the diocese, and The Right Reverend Victor A. Scantlebury, who serves as Assistant Bishop of the diocese. The motherchurch of the diocese is St. James Cathedral, which is the oldest Episcopal congregation in the city of Chicago.

The Diocese of Chicago covers twenty-two counties located in the northern third of the state of Illinois, stretching from the shores of Lake Michigan on the east, to the banks of the Mississippi River on the west. Its northern boundary is the state of Wisconsin; the southernmost city is Watseka, Illinois.



The diocese was founded in 1835 and named the Episcopal Diocese of Illinois. Philander Chase, the retired bishop of Ohio, was the first bishop. He was succeeded in 1852 by Henry Whitehouse, previously a priest from New York. Edward McClaren, elected bishop in 1875, saw the Diocese of Illinois divided into three parts. The newly formed dioceses of Quincy and Springfield, elected their own bishops, while McClaren's diocese was renamed the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.

St. James Cathedral is the motherchurch of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.

Present day

The Diocese of Chicago ranks among the twelve largest Episcopal dioceses in the United States, with 137 congregations, of which 36 are missions. However, in parallel with declining national memberships, the Diocese of Chicago has seen a decline in membership: 47,171 baptized members in 1994, but only 42,667 in 1996.

The diocese is far more ethnically diverse than the Episcopal Church at-large. There are four Hispanic congregations, one of which is located in the near western suburbs of Chicago. In addition, four congregations outside Chicago provide Spanish language services, and two others share their facilities with congregations of the Philippine Independent Church. There is one Korean American congregation, and the diocese also serves eight African-American congregations. Minority outreach, like the kind found at the Cathedral Shelter of Chicago continues to this day.

The 25th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Right Reverend Frank Tracy Griswold, was bishop of Chicago when he was elected in 1997.

List of deaneries

See also

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