The Colonial Church Reality
In colonial Virginia, the Church of England was the
established church and every colonist was a member.
There were no resident bishops; the Bishop of London
oversaw the colony through a clerical representative
known as a Commissary (1684 onward).
The House of Burgesses set many of the laws governing
church matters.
The church was organized by geographical districts
known as parishes.
Each parish was comprised of 12 elected vestrymen.
These in turn recommended a rector to the Governor
and Bishop.