The first Episcopal churches in the Oregon Territory were Trinity Parish, Portland, established in 1851 and followed one week later by St. Paul’s Parish in Oregon City. The Missionary District was established in 1854 and consisted of territory that is now the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho as well as the western half of Montana. Our first bishop was Thomas Fielding Scott, who was consecrated at Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia and then sent west. He was also responsible for the Anglican churches in British Columbia as they were without a bishop at the time. The Missionary District of Oregon was admitted as a diocese in 1889. Today, the Diocese of Oregon consists of 40 parishes and 30 missions with Latino ministries in ten of our congregations. For more information, visit the history page on the Diocese of Oregon’s website.
The office of the bishop’s staff, referred to as The Bishop’s Close, is located in the former Kerr Mansion south of Portland in the grounds of Elk Rock Garden overlooking the Willamette River. The property was gifted to the bishop in 1959, and the garden is open to the public year round. Having been built originally as a home, the Bishop’s Close has many challenges including room layout, mechanical and structural issues, and the overall age of the building. Committees are currently investigating alternatives for the location of the bishop’s staff and meeting space that more accurately reflects the vision and values of the diocese, while also evaluating the future of the Bishop’s Close at Elk Rock Garden.