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Diocese of Chicago
|Ecclesiastical province||Province V|
|Established||March 9, 1835 (As Diocese of Illinois)|
May 28, 1884 (As Diocese of Chicago)
|Cathedral||St. James Cathedral|
Location of the Diocese of Chicago
The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is the official organization of the Episcopal Church in Chicago and Northern Illinois, US. The diocese is served by Jeffrey Lee, who serves as bishop of the diocese, and Christopher Epting, who served as assistant bishop in the diocese until his planned retirement in December 2015. The mother church of the diocese is St. James Cathedral, which is the oldest Episcopal congregation in the city of Chicago.
The Diocese of Chicago covers 22 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 as the Episcopal Diocese of Illinois. Philander Chase, the retired bishop of Ohio, was the first bishop. He was succeeded in 1852 by Henry John Whitehouse, a priest previously from New York. Edward McLaren, elected bishop in 1875, saw the Diocese of Illinois divided into three parts in 1877. The newly formed dioceses of Quincy and Springfield elected their own bishops, while McClaren's diocese was renamed the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
The Diocese of Chicago ranks among the 12 largest Episcopal dioceses in the United States, with 137 congregations, of which 36 are missions. However, in parallel with declining national memberships, the diocese has seen a decline in membership: 47,171 baptized members in 1994, but only 42,667 in 1996. As of 2011 the diocese website said it had 40,000 members.
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.
In 2008, a majority of laity and clergy in the neighboring Episcopal Diocese of Quincy left to form a diocese in the more conservative Anglican Church in North America. The remaining Episcopalians in Quincy reformed their diocese, electing John Buchanan, retired Bishop of West Missouri as their provisional bishop. In 2012 Quincy officials approached Lee and the leadership of the Chicago diocese about the possibility of reunification with Chicago.
In November 2012 the Chicago diocese's convention agreed that reunification with the Quincy diocese should be pursued. On June 8, 2013, both diocesan conventions voted unanimously to reunify. The reunification was ratified by a majority of bishops and the standing committees of the Episcopal Church, and on September 1, 2013, the Diocese of Quincy merged into the Diocese of Chicago as the Peoria Deanery.
Diocesan Bishops of Illinois and of Chicago
|Bishops of Illinois|
|1835||1852||Philander Chase||Translated from Ohio.|
|1852||1874||Henry John Whitehouse||Coadjutor since 1851.|
|1875||1877||William Edward McLaren||Called Edward (December 15, 1831, Geneva, NY – February 19, 1905, New York, NY); diocese split; became Bishop of Chicago.|
|Bishops of Chicago|
|1877||1905||William Edward McLaren||Hitherto Bishop of Illinois.|
|1905||1930||Charles P. Anderson||Coadjutor since 1900.|
|1930||1930||Sheldon Munson Griswold||(January 8, 1861, Delhi, NY – November 28, 1930, Evanston, IL); previously missionary bishop of Salina.|
|1930||1940||George Craig Stewart||(August 18, 1879, Saginaw, MI – May 2, 1940, Chicago, IL); coadjutor since 1930.|
|1941||1953||Wallace E. Conkling|
|1971||1987||James W. Montgomery||James Winchester Montgomery (born May 29, 1921); coadjutor since 1965.|
|1987||1998||Frank T. Griswold||Coadjutor since 1985.|
|1998||1999||Herbert A. Donovan, Jr.||Herbert Alcorn "Herb" Donovan, Junior (born July 14, 1931); provisional bishop; retired Bishop of Arkansas.|
|1999||2008||William D. Persell|
|2008||present||Jeffrey D. Lee||Jeffrey Dean Lee|
Other bishops of the diocese
|1911||1915||William Edward Toll, suffragan bishop||(died June 28, 1915)|
|1917||1917||Sheldon Munson Griswold, suffragan bishop|
|1939||1947||Edwin J. Randall, suffragan bishop||Edwin Jarvis Randall (October 24, 1869, Oconomowoc, WI – June 13, 1962, Evanston, IL)|
|1949||1963||Charles L. Street, suffragan bishop||Charles Larrabee Street|
|1962||1965||James W. Montgomery, suffragan bishop|
|1972||1984||Quintin E. Primo, Jr., suffragan bishop||Quintin Ebenezer Primo, Junior (July 1, 1913, Freedom Grove, GA – January 14, 1998, Hockessin, DE); later interim bishop of Delaware.|
|1990||1997||William W. Wiedrich, suffragan bishop||Called Bill (born August 19, 1931)|
|2000||2011||Victor A. Scantlebury, assistant bishop||Victor Alfonso Scantlebury (born March 31, 1945, Colón, Panama); previously suffragan in Panama.|
|2012||2015||C. Christopher Epting, assistant bishop||(born November 26, 1946); previously bishop of Iowa, Deputy for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations|
List of deaneries
- Aurora Deanery
- Chicago-North Deanery
- Chicago-South Deanery
- Chicago-West Deanery
- Elgin Deanery
- Evanston Deanery
- Joliet Deanery
- Kankakee Deanery
- Oak Park Deanery
- Peoria Deanery
- Rockford Deanery
- Waukegan Deanery
- "Bishop Epting to Retire; Study on Diocesan Culture Launched", Telling Our Stories, Chicago: Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, October 28, 2015, retrieved November 1, 2015
- Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
- Lee. The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. (February 14, 2019), A Letter from Bishop Lee/Una Carta del Obispo Lee: Call for the Election of the Thirteenth Bishop of Chicago (in English and Spanish), Chicago, Illinois: Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, retrieved February 14, 2019
- "Episcopalians in Illinois Vote to Reunify". Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
- "Bishops Celebrate Reunion". The Living Church. August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- Official website
- Journal of the Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Illinois at the Online Books Page.
- Journal of the Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Chicago at the Online Books Page.