| For over two centuries,
the parishes and missions of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in
Europe have ministered to Americans and other English-speaking
people in Europe, and more recently, in other languages as well.
congregation at Emmanuel Church,
Many people come to Europe for business,
military, or academic reasons and stay for a few months
or a few years. Others have found in Europe their second
or permanent home. Recently, immigrants from Latin America,
refugees from troubled parts of the world, and local
nationals have also begun finding a home in our congregations.
The Convocation today is a multinational,
multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural communion
within the European Union a mirror image of the multinational,
multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural Episcopal
Church in the USA. (In an effort to reach all of its
members, the Convocation has undertaken the task of
translating selected Liturgies from the Book of Common
here to order your own Bilingual Prayer Book - now
available in French, German, Italian & Spanish)
How the Convocation came to be
The Episcopal Church was
anxious to provide for the spiritual needs of its members
who moved to Europe in the 19th century.
Revd Allan Sandlin and the Revd Tom Pellaton,
2000 Convention in Nice.
number of congregations were established in the great
cities of Western Europe, while elsewhere Episcopalians
were welcomed and became committed members of many Church of
At first, visiting bishops from the States
provided Episcopal oversight to the American congregations
in Europe. Late in the nineteenth century, recently retired
"Bishops-in-charge" were appointed for two or three years, living
in Europe for several months at a time. In 1993 that
pattern changed, and a full-time, non-retired resident
Bishop in Charge of the Convocation was appointed, the Right Reverend Jeffery Rowthorn. And
then, in 2001, the Convocation elected its own bishop, the Right Reverend Pierre W.Whalon.
How we work today
Strictly speaking, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal
Church has jurisdiction over the Convocation, but this responsibility is entirely delegated to the Bishop
in Charge. A number of critical institutions and bodies
work with the Bishop, including:
This meeting brings together representatives of all
our parishes, missions, and indigenous ministries. At
the Convention the budget for the coming year is presented;
four clerical and four lay deputies to the General Convention
are chosen; and four clerical and four lay members of the Council
of Advice are elected (see Episcopal Church canon I.15).
of Advice This group advises the bishop on all
important matters of policy, is charged with preparing
the annual budget, raises funds, and gives final approval
to all candidates for ordination.
Commission on the Ministry of the Baptized With
the Bishop and the Council of Advice this group oversees
the training of those preparing for ordained ministry.
Its committees are responsible for critical aspects
of the Convocations life: Youth
and Young Adults, Clergy Continuing Education; and Clergy Mntoring.
European Institute of Christian Studies The education department of the Convocation that develops resourves for lay and ordinand formation.
of Foreign Parishes Three boards, legally incorporated
in the State of New York, administer the endowments
of the Convocation and of our parishes in Florence and
Rome. A representative of the Boards of Foreign Parishes
serves on the Commission and its Mission Development
Pierre Whalon and young people in Belgum
at the 2002 Youth Across Europe conference.
All of these bodies undergird and strengthen
the mission of the Episcopal Church and its congregations
here in Europe. Increasingly, this mission is being
shared with our Anglican brothers and sisters as we
address together challenges common to all four jurisdictions
on the European mainland. Similarly, our relationships
are growing ever closer with Christians from other parts
of the Body of Christ.
To give and to receive
The Episcopal Church and the Convocation
have much to learn from our Anglican and ecumenical
partners. From them and from the local members
of our own congregations we discover what it means to
be a European raised in a particular country and shaped
by a particular language, culture, and denomination.
At the same time, we have a special and timely experience
to share with other Christians as the European scene
changes and an increasingly unified Europe comes into
We believe that our experience over the
past two centuries as a part of The Episcopal Church
in the USA a joyful, painful, bittersweet experience
within one and the same Church can be of great
value to the Church back in the United States, keeping in mind that eleven dioceses of the Church are outside that nation. And we think that we are of use to our Anglican brothers and sisters on the European
mainland, as well. To give and to receive, in common commitment
to a common mission, is what we look forward to on this
journey in faith together.
web page was adapted from original material written
by the Right Reverend Jeffery Rowthorn, Bishop in Charge
of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe from
1994 to 2001. The name of the
Convocation was officially changed in 2009 to the
Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. »