Bishop's Chair

Scripture   |   Tradition  |   Reason

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"This special seat is a sign and symbol of the unity and authority that comes from the particular way Episcopalians have of organizing themselves: it's the bishops chair.

The Episcopal Church believes in bishops, those experienced and talented among us who are called to lead the church. In fact, the word "Episcopal" means "bishop". Bishops are the head of a geographic area known as a diocese.  In these diocese are many parishes that a bishop oversees.  He or she does this mainly through other clergy members, such as priests and deacons, who serve smaller geographic areas called parishes.

A bishop has one main seat; its Latin name is cathedra. This is where we get the word cathedral; literally, the place where the bishop is seated. However, bishops get out a lot, regularly visiting parishes, which is why we keep a seat for them. This is a reminder not only of the authority of the bishop, but of the bishop's prayers and presence with us.  This chair then, serves as a reminder for us to pray for our bishop as well."

The Episcopal Handbook
Morehouse Publishing

Note: Holy Cross is a mission, not a parish, and is therefore under the direct supervision of the diocese, through our Vicar.


This chair was procured in 1961 by Miss Marty (Mrs. Charles Britt) from a Roman Catholic Convent in Memphis, Tennessee that was closing. The Mother Superior of the Convent made the Bishop's Chair and the Altar available to Holy Cross so that both could continue to contribute to the mission of the Church, which they have done for more than 50 years.