Our History


Rooted in the Origins of San Diego Anglicanism

Episcopal services were the first non-Roman Catholic Christian services celebrated in the then-embryonic settlement of San Diego, starting in 1853. The small Episcopal community coalesced into the Parish of the Holy Trinity in 1868, and Holy Trinity Church was in fact the first Protestant church building in San Diego. In 1885 the parish took the name of St. Paul’s Church.

St. Paul’s Church stimulated the creation of a number of new church communities, including St. Matthew's in National City and All Saints in Hillcrest and St. Dunstan's in San Diego.

In 1983 Queen Elizabeth II, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and Prince Philip visited St. Paul's as part of their official tour of California.


A Cathedral for the City

St. Paul’s Church became St. Paul's Cathedral in 1985 when the new San Diego diocese with its own bishop was created out of the Diocese of Los Angeles. The diocese encompasses San Diego and Imperial counties, part of Riverside County, and Yuma, Arizona.

As San Diego’s cathedral, St. Paul’s is the seat of the diocese’s bishop, the Right Reverend James Mathes. His chair, or cathedra, is placed behind the main Altar, with the diocesan coat of arms displayed on the wall above and behind.

The Diocese of San Diego counts fifty-one congregations with more than 23,000 members.