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WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL IS THE MOTHER CHURCH FOR THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON.
The diocese includes 88 congregations across the District of Columbia and four Maryland counties. Officially the Cathedral is known as the “Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington.”
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SINCE THE 1940S, THE CATHEDRAL IS THE HOME CHURCH FOR THE PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
The current Presiding Bishop is the Most Rev. Michael Curry (elected in 2015 to a nine-year term) and he visits the Cathedral several times a year..
3
THE CATHEDRAL AND THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH ARE THE U.S. BRANCH OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION.
The Anglican Communion is a global body of 85 million Christians spread across 38 autonomous national and regional churches that trace their roots to the Church of England. Based in New York, the Episcopal Church includes dioceses in all 50 states and more than a dozen countries, from Colombia to Haiti to France.
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A CATHEDRAL IS A CATHEDRAL NOT BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE OR ARCHITECTURAL STYLE, BUT BECAUSE IT HOUSES A CATHEDRA, OR BISHOP’S THRONE.
Washington National Cathedral contains the cathedra for the bishop of Washington. The bishop's official throne, the Glastonbury Cathedra, is built from stones from England's Glastonbury Abbey, which tradition holds was founded by St. Joseph of Arimathea soon after Jesus' death and resurrection.
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THE WORD EPISCOPAL MEANS “GOVERNED BY BISHOPS.”
Each bishop traces his or her authority through a historical succession of bishops back to the earliest days of the Christian Church. There is no pope in the Anglican tradition; decisions are made by bishops and representative bodies such as General Convention, composed of bishops and elected laity and clergy delegates.
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