Who We Are
Our Piece of Heaven on Earth
Our diocese is in a special part of Florida.
With a temperate climate and typically mild (and short) winters, we enjoy numerous opportunities for outdoor activities like world-class freshwater and saltwater fishing, boating, kayaking, and other water sports, hunting, birding, camping, hiking, and golfing on championship courses crafted by internationally renowned designers.
We’re home to major universities with all the sports, educational and cultural opportunities they provide. These include the University of Florida (Gainesville), Florida State University and Florida A&M University, an HBCU institution (both Tallahassee), the University of North Florida (Jacksonville), and private schools, including Jacksonville University, Flagler College (St. Augustine) and Florida’s oldest HBCU, Edward Waters University (Jacksonville).
We’re blessed with exposure to both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, with hundreds of miles of pristine beaches and salt marshes. We are also home to the world’s most extensive freshwater spring system, part of one of the world’s largest underground aquifers, the Floridan, that stretches through the state and regions of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina.
Professional sports abound in our region with the NFL Jaguars in Jacksonville, minor league baseball (Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Miami Marlins’ AAA affiliate), arena league football and professional minor league hockey, soccer, basketball and rugby teams in Jacksonville.
The PGA Tour is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, as is TPC Sawgrass with its world-famous 17th island hole, which hosts The Players Championship each year, and the World Golf Hall of Fame is near St. Augustine. The Association of Tennis Professionals Tour (ATP Tour) is also headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach.
More than 100 museums, cultural centers, state and national parks, preserves and monuments are found in our diocese, including the Florida Museum of Natural History (Gainesville), the LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts (Tallahassee), Cummer Museum of Art (Jacksonville), Museum of Science and History (MOSH) (Jacksonville), Lightner Museum (St. Augustine), and the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum.
Our diocese is also home to two major medical schools, one at Florida State University and the other at the University of Florida, with campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville. One of the three main campuses for the Mayo Clinic is also located in Jacksonville, which – along with UF Health, the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, Baptist M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Brooks Rehabilitation – has made the area a major medical hub attracting patients from around the world.
From idyllic small towns to large metropolitan areas, our 25-county diocese blends traditional with modern, simple living with cosmopolitan excitement, and deeply rooted history with an eye to the possibilities of tomorrow.
It is a place we call home. And maybe you will, too.
The Episcopal Diocese of Florida incorporates 25 counties in the Northeast and North Central portion of the state. Officially formed in 1838, the Diocese of Florida has been an integral part of the rich history of this region. It serves a wide range of congregations – from small and rural to large metropolitan parishes – and is anchored by St. John’s Cathedral in Jacksonville.
Total population of the diocese exceeds 2.8 million people.
At a Glance
• Worshiping communities – 63 parishes and missions
• Communicants in good standing – 23,732
• Priests (Canonical and non-canonical with cure or non-parochial) – 191
- Full time – 49
- Part time – 39
- Retired – 74
• Deacons (most are part-time) – 32
• Worshiping communities without regular clergy leadership – 4
To see more detailed information about each region, please see our Diocesan Profile.
The Diocese of Florida has a rich tradition of ministries that nurture the Children of God,
both spiritually and physically.
Each year, thousands are moved to new understanding of Christ’s love in us, our responsibilities to support each other in spiritual development, and our accountabilities to serve others less fortunate than ourselves.
Many ministries are supported by the Diocese of Florida, including Cursillo, Daughters of the King, Episcopal Church Women, Older Adult Ministry, Happening and Vocare. Other ministries have their homes in parishes throughout the diocese. And we have two active chapters of the Union of Black Episcopalians: the Father Sidney B. Parker Chapter in Jacksonville and the Father Davis Henry Brooks Chapter in Tallahassee.
A signature ministry of our diocese is Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center located on 520 acres near the town of Live Oak. Central to the diocese, the conference center is home to numerous retreats, meetings and educational opportunities each year. It offers conference rooms, complete meal service, motel-style lodging and nine cabins. Camping sites are also available.
Each summer, Camp Weed welcomes some 500 campers ranging in age from 6 to 14, as they learn important life skills, try new things and deepen their faith. Programming includes activities that promote the spiritual, physical and mental growth of campers such as kayaking, archery, wall climbing, swimming and arts and crafts. Spiritual development comes from group devotions, singing and worship experiences.
At the heart of Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center is Mandi’s Chapel, an incredibly beautiful wood and glass structure that is a cherished place of worship, beauty and tranquility. Given in memory of Mandi Petway by her parents, Betty and Tom Petway, Mandi’s Chapel was named the top religious building, and ranked second overall building, in the Florida Chapter of The American Institute of Architects’ “Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places” competition in 2012.
To find out more about our many ministries, please see the full profile.