The Episcopal Church is rooted in the Church of England and to this day Episcopalians are members of the world-wide Anglican Communion, inheriting 2000 years of catholic and apostolic tradition dating from Christ himself. The Anglican Communion is headed spiritually by the Archbishop of Canterbury and has over 80 million members, making it the second largest Christian body in the Western world.
The Episcopal Church in the United States came into existence as an independent denomination after the American Revolution. Today it has about 7,500 congregations and between two and three million members in the United States, and 17 other countries world-wide.
In the Episcopal Church, bishops are elected by individual dioceses and are consecrated in the apostolic succession (an unbroken line of Church leadership beginning with the apostles themselves).
Episcopalians subscribe to the historic Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed; we consider the Bible to be divinely inspired; and we hold the Eucharist (Communion) to be the central act of Christian worship. The Book of Common Prayer guides our liturgy in public worship and serves as a major source of unity for Anglicans around the world.