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How Episcopal Church Governance is Organized

From a hierarchical perspective, some might say the organization of The Episcopal Church begins with each individual and culminates with the Anglican Communion.

The Individual. Episcopalians are called to be agents of reconciliation, demonstrating that there is a God who loves us, a God who will not let us go, and that love can set us all free.

The Local Church (Find your local church on our “Locations” page). Each congregation is equipped through worship, study and fellowship, to go into the world of our daily life to live and participate in God’s reconciling mission.

The Diocese (You’re on our website. Welcome!) The Episcopal Church in Vermont consists of 46 congregations who share in the mission to pray the prayer of Christ, to learn the mind of Christ, and to do the deeds of Christ through ministries of Formation, Liberation, Communication, Connection, and Celebration.

Province I. Our Province is one of the nine geographical gatherings of dioceses within the Episcopal Church.The Episcopal Church (Redirect to this website)The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, consisting of 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 17 nations, including the United States of America.

The Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion is a global family of national and regional Churches, all of which are in in a reciprocal relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the Communion’s spiritual head. There is no Anglican central authority such as a pope.

Governing Conventions & Houses

The Episcopal Church is governed by a bicameral General Convention, which meets every three years, and by an Executive Council during interim years. The General Convention consists of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. Episcopal dioceses, such as The Episcopal Church in Vermont, are governed by a Diocesan Convention, which meets every year, and by a Diocesan Council between conventions. The Standing Committee and Board of Trustees also play important roles in the administration of church governance.

Links to Governing Bodies Between Conventions

Diocesan Officers

Diocesan Officers oversee the diocesan governance program.

Diocesan Council

The governing body of the diocese between conventions.


Trustees hold the titles to diocesan, mission, and certain parish properties.

Standing Committee

The Standing Committee serves as a council of advice to the bishop.

Mission Districts

The Diocese is arranged into five Mission Districts.

Links to Governing Conventions & Houses

General Convention

This governing body of The Episcopal Church meets at least annually.

Diocesan Convention

This governing body of the diocese meets at least annually.

House of Bishops

This house is composed of bishops of The Episcopal Church.

House of Deputes

This house is composed of delegates elected by congregations.

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