Episcopal Diocese of New York

Diocese of New York

Diœcesis Neo-Eboracensis
Seal of the Diocese of New York
CountryUnited States
TerritoryThe Bronx, Dutchess County, Manhattan, Orange County, Putnam County, Rockland County, Staten Island, Sullivan County, Ulster County, Westchester County
Ecclesiastical provinceProvince II
Congregations191 (2022)
Members42,985 (2022)
DenominationEpiscopal Church
EstablishedJune 22, 1785
CathedralCathedral of Saint John the Divine
LanguageEnglish, American Sign Language, French, Spanish
Current leadership
BishopMatthew Heyd
SuffragansAllen K. Shin
Mary Glasspool
(Assistant Bishop)

The Episcopal Diocese of New York is a diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, encompassing three New York City boroughs and seven New York state counties.[1] Established in 1785, it is one of the Episcopal Church's original dioceses. The current diocesan bishop is the Rt. Rev. Matthew Heyd, whose seat is at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.[2]


The Diocese of New York contains approximately 190 places of worship in the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island and the New York state counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. Beyond New York City, the diocese is divided into two regions (Region II and the Mid-Hudson Region), which are made up of geographical deaneries, each of which is known as a "clericus".[1]

The diocese was established in 1785 after the Anglican Church was disestablished following the American Revolution, and is one of the nine original dioceses of the Episcopal Church. It is one of ten dioceses, plus the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, that make up Province 2.

The diocese is led by the Rt. Rev. Matthew Heyd, 17th Bishop of New York, who is assisted by the Rt. Rev. Allen K. Shin as bishop suffragan and the Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool as assistant bishop.[2] The Bishop's seat is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, where the diocesan offices are also located. The national headquarters of the Episcopal Church are also located in the diocese, at 815 Second Avenue.[3]

The diocese has approximately 50,000 members and 500 canonically resident priests.[1]


Colonial and revolutionary period[edit]

Anglicanism in New York can be traced to the English acquisition of the territory from the Dutch Republic in the latter part of the 17th century. In 1664 the English king, Charles II, awarded the Province of New York to his brother, the Duke of York (later James II),[4] and English rule over New York was firmly established by 1674.[5] Initially, since James II was a Roman Catholic, little was done to promote the Church of England in New York, but in 1683 the New York Charter of Liberties and Privileges was adopted, guaranteeing religious tolerance and liberty,[6] and, after the Glorious Revolution, the English monarchy actively promoted the growth of the Church of England in the province. In 1693 it became the province's established church, although certain accommodations were made for the Dutch Reformed Church.[4]

In 1693, the first Anglican parish in New York, St. Peters Church, was founded in what was the town of Westchester (today Westchester Square in the Bronx) followed a year later by Trinity Church in lower Manhattan.[7] With royal patronage and the assistance of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, other churches were founded in the ensuing decades, such as Grace Church (now Christ's Church) in Rye in 1705.

As Anglicanism grew in New York and throughout the American colonies, the Church of England began to see the need to establish an episcopate in the Americas. This plan caused fear among a number of colonists and may have contributed to the American Revolution.[8] The Church's involvement in the creation of King's College (now Columbia University) and its large endowment, far surpassing all other colonial colleges of the period, added to the fear of creating an episcopacy and of Crown influence in America through the College.

During the Revolution, many thought that the Church harbored loyalties to George III. It has been estimated that as many as 90 percent of Anglican clergymen in the diocese remained loyal to the Crown during the revolution.[9]

Post-revolutionary period[edit]

Samuel Provoost, 1st Bishop of New York and 3rd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

After the Revolution, the Church was disestablished and a number of prominent clergymen were imprisoned, including Samuel Seabury, rector of St. Peter’s in the Bronx, who later became the first Bishop of Connecticut.

After an act was passed in Parliament whereby the English bishops were empowered to confer the episcopate upon men who were not subject to the British Crown, Samuel Provoost was consecrated as the first Bishop of New York in 1787. Two years later, the Episcopal Church formally separated from the Church of England so that its clergy would not be required to take an oath of allegiance to the Crown.

The selection of Provoost served to mollify anti-Anglican sentiments that had arisen during the Revolution. In his Addresses on the History of the United States Senate, Senator Robert Byrd noted that in the years before the Revolution Provoost "was a passionate Whig, and his sympathy for the colonies against English rule did not sit well with his wealthy loyalist congregation. Before long, his patriotism cost him his parish. During the Revolution, Provoost ... narrowly escaped capture and death at the hands of the British".[10] Having thus established his revolutionary credentials, Provoost was chosen as the first chaplain of the United States Senate in 1789, when the government was based in New York. Immediately following his inauguration as the first President of the United States, George Washington, together with members of Congress, proceeded to St. Paul's Chapel, where Provoost led a service of prayer for the new government.

Later history[edit]

The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York City, opened in 1911.

In the 1830s and 1840s the Oxford Movement caused controversies and divisions within the diocese, as it did elsewhere within the Episcopal Church and the broader Anglican communion. In New York, the divisions crystallized in a dispute over the ordination of Arthur Carey. A graduate of the General Theological Seminary, Carey had been greatly influenced by the Tracts for the Times, and as his ordination approached, he was opposed by a number of clergy and laity.[11][12] Benjamin Onderdonk and other presbyters conducted an examination of Carey, which ultimately found him fit for ordination, and he was thus ordained in 1843. The dispute did not end, however, and a number of letters were published accusing Carey and ultimately Onderdonk of being overly sympathetic to Roman Catholicism.[13] The controversy spread beyond the diocese, and at least one other diocese adopted a resolution condemning Onderdonk.[14]

As the controversy continued, charges were presented to the House of Bishops alleging that Onderdonk had committed an "immoral act" with a Mrs. Butler and other women (charges of intoxication were also mentioned, but downplayed).[15] After a trial, the House of Bishops suspended Onderdonk in 1845.[16] Whether or not this was the result of the dispute over the issues raised by the Carey affair was hotly debated at the time, in a series of tracts and published letters of the parties involved.[15]

After Onderdonk's suspension, the episcopacy was vacant for seven years until Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright I was called as Provisional Bishop in 1852. The healing work that he began in the diocese was continued by his successor, Horatio Potter, under whose leadership the Episcopal Church continued to grow. As a result of this growth, it was decided to split the diocese into four separate areas in 1868, with the creation of the dioceses of Long Island, Albany and Western New York.

Under Potter's nephew and successor, Henry Codman Potter, plans were developed and, after much deliberation, a site was chosen for the construction of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in the Morningside Heights area of Manhattan. The cornerstone was laid in 1892 and the Cathedral was consecrated and opened for worship in 1911.

Since the late 19th century, and especially in the mid-to-late 20th century, the diocese has been noted for its social activism, with Bishops Horace Donegan and Paul Moore, for example, prominent advocates of the civil rights movement. It was under Donegan that the diocese permitted women to serve on vestries and ordained its first women deacons and priests.[17] The late 20th and early 21st centuries have been marked by increased diversity. During Bishop Mark Sisk's tenure, Japanese- and Spanish-speaking congregations were established, and, as of 2022, worship services were offered in the diocese in at least 10 languages, including Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Igbo.[1] In 1996 Episcopal Charities was founded to fund local programs and, as of 2022, has provided some $17 million in support.[18]

Bishops of New York[edit]

The following have served as diocesan bishops, provisional bishops, bishops coadjutor, bishops suffragan or assistant bishops in the Diocese of New York:[19][20]

Diocesan bishops[edit]

Bishops of New York
From Until Incumbent Notes
1787 1815 Samuel Provoost Also chaplain of the United States Senate 1789−1790 and presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church 1792−1795. Resigned as diocesan bishop in 1801 due to poor health but remained in office until his death.
1815 1816 Benjamin Moore Bishop coadjutor 1801−1815 after Provoost's resignation. Father of Clement Clarke Moore.
1816 1830 John Henry Hobart Assistant bishop in 1811 while Moore was incapacitated.
1830 1861 Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk Suspended in 1845 but remained in office until his death.
1852 1854 Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright I Provisional bishop during Onderdonk's suspension.
1854 1887 Horatio Potter Provisional bishop until 1861 during Onderdonk's suspension; then diocesan bishop.
1887 1908 Henry Codman Potter Nephew of Horatio Potter. Assisting bishop 1883−1887.
1908 1919 David Hummell Greer Bishop coadjutor 1904−1908.
1919 1920 Charles Sumner Burch Bishop coadjutor 1911−1919.
1921 1946 William Thomas Manning
1947 1950 Charles Kendall Gilbert Bishop suffragan 1930−1946.
1950 1972 Horace William Baden Donegan Bishop suffragan 1947−1950; bishop coadjutor 1950.
1972 1989 Paul Moore Jr. Bishop coadjutor 1969−1972.
1989 2001 Richard Frank Grein Bishop coadjutor 1989. Previously Bishop of Kansas 1981−1988.
2001 2013 Mark Sean Sisk Bishop coadjutor 1998−2001.
2013 2024 Andrew Marion Lenow Dietsche Bishop coadjutor 2012−2013.
2024 present Matthew Foster Heyd Bishop coadjutor 2023−2024.

Bishops suffragan[edit]

Bishops suffragan of New York
From Until Incumbent Notes
1911 1919 Charles Sumner Burch Diocesan bishop 1919−1920.
1921 1936 Arthur Selden Lloyd Previously bishop coadjutor of Virginia 1911−1919.
1921 1930 Herbert Shipman Sister of Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews.
1930 1946 Charles Kendall Gilbert Diocesan bishop 1947−1950.
1947 1950 Horace William Baden Donegan Diocesan bishop 1950−1972.
1951 1969 Charles Francis Boynton Previously Bishop of Puerto Rico 1947−1951.
1960 1987 James Stuart Wetmore
1969 1972 Paul Moore Jr. Diocesan bishop 1972−1989.
1974 1978 Harold Louis Wright
1979 1998 Walter Decoster Dennis Jr.
1996 2012 Catherine Anna Scimeca Roskam
2014 present Allen Kunho Shin

Assistant bishops[edit]

Assistant bishops of New York
From Until Incumbent Notes
1811 1811 John Henry Hobart Assistant bishop 1811; diocesan bishop 1816−1830.
1883 1887 Henry Codman Potter Diocesan bishop 1887−1908.
1994 2009 Egbert Don Taylor Previously Bishop of the Virgin Islands 1987−1994. Also Vicar for New York City.
1994 1998 Herbert Alcorn Donovan Jr. Previously Bishop of Arkansas 1981−1993.
2010 2013 Andrew Donnan Smith Previously Bishop of Connecticut 1999−2010.
2012 2012 Bruce Edward Caldwell Previously Bishop of Wyoming 1997−2010.
2013 2014 Chilton Knudsen Previously Bishop of Maine 1997−2008.
2016 present Mary Douglas Glasspool Previously bishop suffragan of Los Angeles 2010−2016.


As of 2022, there were approximately 190 Episcopal places of worship in the diocese, located in the New York boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island and in the New York state counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster and Westchester.[1] They include the following, some of which may no longer be active:[21][22]

New York City[edit]


Staten Island[edit]

The Bronx[edit]

Dutchess County[edit]

Orange County[edit]

Putnam County[edit]

  • Christ Church, Patterson (defunct)
  • Church of the Holy Communion, Mahopac
  • St. Andrew's Church, Brewster (defunct)
  • St. Mary's Church, Cold Spring
  • St. Philip's Church, Garrison

Rockland County[edit]

  • All Saints' Church, Valley Cottage
  • Christ Church, Sparkhill
  • Christ Church, Suffern
  • Church of St. John the Divine, Tompkins Cove
  • Grace Church, Nyack
  • St. John's Church, New City
  • St. John's Church, Stony Point
  • St. Paul's Church, Spring Valley
  • St. Stephen's Church, Pearl River
  • Trinity Church, Garnerville

Sullivan County[edit]

Ulster County[edit]

  • Ascension Church, West Park
  • Christ Church, Marlboro
  • Christ the King Church, Stone Ridge
  • Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Church, Kingston
  • Holy Trinity Church, Highland
  • St. Andrew's Church, New Paltz
  • St. Gregory's Church, Woodstock
  • St. John's Church, Ellenville
  • St. John's Church, Kingston
  • Stone Church, Cragsmoor (defunct)
  • Trinity Church, Saugerties

Westchester County[edit]

Educational and other institutions[edit]


The following schools are located within the Diocese of New York and affiliated with the Episcopal Church:

Spiritual communities[edit]

Anglican spiritual communities and religious orders active within the Diocese of New York include:


  1. ^ a b c d e The Episcopal Diocese of New York, The Diocese. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  2. ^ a b The Episcopal Diocese of New York, Our Bishops. Retrieved 8 December 2022
  3. ^ The Episcopal Church. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  4. ^ a b New York to Pennsylvania 1664-1744 by Sanderson Beck
  5. ^ History of the U.S.A.: New York
  6. ^ "Charter of Liberty and Privileges, 1683". Archived from the original on 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2006-06-14.
  7. ^ Trinity Church history
  8. ^ Patricia Bonomi, Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America (1988).
  9. ^ Michael McConnell, "Establishment and Disestablishment at the Founding, Part I: Establishment of Religion", William and Mary Law Review (2003).
  10. ^ Senate history: Senate chaplain
  11. ^ "Episcopal Church Office of Liturgy and Music: Arthur Carey". Archived from the original on 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2006-06-17.
  12. ^ The Ordination of Mr. Arthur Carey, Project Canterbury.
  13. ^ "A letter to a Parishioner relative to the Recent Ordination of Mr. Arthur Carey"
  14. ^ The Novelties which Disturb Our Peace, Project Canterbury:
  15. ^ a b Project Canterbury: Statement of Bishop Meade
  16. ^ Episcopal Church Office of Liturgy and Music: Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk Archived June 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ James Elliott Lindsley, This Planted Vine: A Narrative History of the Episcopal Diocese of New York (Harper & Row, New York, 1984, p. 325.
  18. ^ Episcopal Charities, Mission and History. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  19. ^ The Episcopal Church Annual. Morehouse Publishing: New York, NY (2005)
  20. ^ "Diocese of New York list of bishops". Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2006-06-14.
  21. ^ The Episcopal Diocese of New York, Find a Church. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  22. ^ The Episcopal Diocese of New York, Maps of the Diocese. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  23. ^ Saint Thomas Choir School. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  24. ^ St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  25. ^ The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  26. ^ The Episcopal School in the City of New York. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  27. ^ Trinity-Pawling School. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  28. ^ The Brotherhood of Saint Gregory. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  29. ^ Community of the Holy Spirit. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  30. ^ Holy Cross Monastery. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  31. ^ House of the Redeemer. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  32. ^ Incarnation Center. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  33. ^ Society of St. Margaret. Retrieved 22 March 2023.

40°48′N 73°58′W / 40.8°N 73.96°W / 40.8; -73.96