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Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts: Wikis


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Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
Arms of Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
Province Province I
Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE
Cathedral Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston
Subdivisions 12 deaneries 
Suffragan Bishop(s) Roy F. "Bud" Cederholm
Gayle Elizabeth Harris
Congregations 194
Membership 77,000
Location of the Diocese of Massachusetts

The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts is one of the nine original Dioceses of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Massachusetts was founded by Puritans who did not accept such aspects of the Church of England as bishops and the Book of Common Prayer. The first Anglican parish in the Massachusetts Bay Colony was King's Chapel in Boston, founded in 1688, 58 years after the city. After the American Revolution, King's Chapel became the first Unitarian congregation in North America. The oldest remaining parishs in the diocese are Christ Church in Quincy, founded in 1704, Christ Church in Boston (Old North Church), founded in 1723, and St. Andrew's Church in Hanover in South Scituate(now in Hanover), founded in 1727.

The diocese was organised in 1784, five years before the Episcopal Church itself. The first bishop (for New England and New York) was Samuel Seabury who was consecrated by the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1784.

Today, it is one of the largest dioceses in the ECUSA in terms of membership. It encompasses the eastern part of Massachusetts, specifically, east of Worcester County.

The diocese was the first in the Anglican Communion to consecrate a woman bishop. Barbara Harris became bishop suffragan of the diocese in 1989.

The current diocesan bishop is the Right Reverend M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE. He was consecrated bishop coadjutor in 1994 and succeeded David Johnson upon the latter's death in January 1995.

Historically, the diocese has been considered Low Church; however, there are a number of Anglo-Catholic parishes, the most famous of which is Church of the Advent in Boston. Its best-known Low Church parish is Trinity Church in Boston's Copley Square.

Diocesan offices are located at 138 Tremont Street, adjacent to the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.

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