The Diocese of East Carolina
The Episcopal Church is organized into dioceses, but what is a diocese? A diocese is the territorial jurisdiction of a diocesan bishop. The term also refers to the congregations and church members of the diocese. As the Church expanded out from the great cities of the Roman empire, it adopted the use of the word “diocese,” and ecclesiastical dioceses tended to correspond to civil units. For example, at first the Diocese of Georgia corresponded with the US State of Georgia. Later, many statewide dioceses were divided into smaller dioceses for pastoral and practical reasons. For example, our state, North Carolina, is divided into three dioceses- The Diocese of Western North Carolina, The Diocese of North Carolina, and the Diocese of East Carolina.
St. Paul's is a parish within the Diocese of East Carolina, and our Bishop is the Very Rev'd Rob Skirving. The Diocese of East Carolina is comprised of 67 member congregations, with roughly 15,000 members. Our diocese meets annually in a diocesan convention, which sets forth the business of the church and approves the annual budget. Diocesan convention has representatives that have a voice and a vote from both clergy and lay people. Each diocese is entitled to representation in the House of Deputies (part of the national Church) by ordained persons, presbyters or deacons, canonically resident in the diocese, and also by lay persons, who are confirmed adult communicants of the Episcopal Church and in good standing in the diocese. Dioceses also elect clerical and lay deputies to the Provincial Synod. The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church provide guidelines for the division of a diocese.