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About the Diocese of Newark

Seal of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark

The Diocese of Newark is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion represented in the United States (as well as some other parts of the world) by The Episcopal Church. It was established in 1874 as the Diocese of Northern New Jersey by the third Bishop of New Jersey, William Henry Odenheimer, who then became its first Bishop. In 1886 the diocese changed its name to the Diocese of Newark.

The diocese comprises the northern third of New Jersey, with congregations in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Warren, and Union counties. More than 3.5 million people live within its bounds. It is a largely urban diocese, and includes the two largest cities in the state, Newark and Jersey City. The western and northern portions of the diocese are far less densely populated, some areas being rural in character, wooded and mountainous. Of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities, 206 are located in the diocese.

There are 92 congregations and 4 affiliated worshipping communities located in the Diocese of Newark. There are more than 20,000 worshipping Episcopalians and we have over 200 active ordained clergy, both men and women. Our worship and liturgical expression is vibrant and varied, ranging from Anglo-Catholic to liberation to conservative to liberal Protestant to Evangelical.

At the heart of Episcopal worship is the Book of Common Prayer (the BCP), and within it, the principal weekly worship service is the Holy Eucharist—also known as Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or Mass. It is called “common prayer” because Anglicans pray it together, around the world. Since its introduction in the 16th century, the purpose of the BCP has been to provide in one place a core of instructions and rites for Anglican Christians to worship together. Within its pages you will find the main beliefs of our church as well as the order of service for various forms of sacramental worship, such as Holy Communion, Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Burial, and Confession/Reconciliation.

We believe we are called by Jesus Christ, whose power transforms us into a new community. Together, we strive to express that transformation in the world around us. The Diocese of Newark collaborates with God in the mission of Jesus in the 21st century, providing opportunities to grow spiritually, to serve and advocate for those who are marginalized, and to receive expressions of healing and care. See our Vision Statement.

We are proud to have been among the first dioceses to ordain women to the priesthood and to ordain openly gay clergy. Our passion for diversity and inclusion has called us to be among the leading advocates for equality and justice for people of all races, cultures, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds.

We enjoy a strong mutually supportive ministry with the Diocese of Panama and our congregations are engaged in mission throughout the world, in places like the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cameroon.

For more information about any of our congregations, visit our Church Directory. A map of our diocese is available here.

To reach a member of staff at Episcopal House, see our Staff Directory.

To learn about the governance of the Diocese of Newark, see Diocesan Governance.

Bishops of Newark

Definition of terms:

  • Bishop Diocesan - A bishop elected by the diocese to lead them..
  • Bishop Coadjutor - A bishop elected by the diocese to succeed a Bishop Diocesan upon their resignation. Until that date, the Bishop Coadjutor assists the Bishop Diocesan.
  • Bishop Suffragan – A bishop elected by the diocese to assist the Bishop Diocesan, but does not automatically succeed them upon their resignation.

Carlye J. Hughes 11th Diocesan 2018-

Mark M. Beckwith 10th Diocesan 2007-18

John P. Croneberger 9th Diocesan 2000-07, Coadjutor 1998

Jack. M. McKelvey Suffragan 1991-99

John S. Spong 8th Diocesan 1979-2000, Coadjutor 1976

George E. Rath 7th Diocesan 1974-78, Coadjutor 1970, Suffragan 1964

Leland Stark 6th Diocesan 1958-73, Coadjutor 1953

Donald MacAdie Suffragan 1958-63

Theodore R. Ludlow Suffragan 1936-53

Benjamin M. Washburn 5th Diocesan 1935-58, Coadjutor 1932

Wilson R. Stearly 4th Diocesan 1927-35, Coadjutor 1917, Suffragan 1915

Edwin S. Lines 3rd Diocesan 1903-27

Thomas A. Starkey 2nd Diocesan 1880-1903

William H. Odenheimer 1st Diocesan 1874-79