An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Newton, William Wilberforce

(Nov. 4, 1843-June 25, 1914). Broad church theologian. He was born in Philadelphia. Newton graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1865 and from the Philadelphia Divinity School in 1868. He was ordained deacon on June 19, 1868, and priest on Feb. 19, 1869. He served for a year as assistant to his father at […]

Nicaragua, Diocese of

The House of Bishops in 1967 created the Missionary District of Nicaragua and placed it under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Costa Rica. In 1968 the House of Bishops elected George Edward Haynsworth Missionary Bishop of Nicaragua. It became a diocese on Jan. 1, 1980.

Nicene Creed

It was first issued by the Council of Nicaea in 325, but in the form used today it is frequently thought to have been perfected at the Council of Constantinople in 381. There is no doubt that it was passed on to the church through the Council of Chalcedon in 451. It is commonly held […]

Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

(fourth century). Very little is known about the life of Nicholas. He became Bishop of Myra on the southwest coast of Asia Minor. He may have been imprisoned for his faith in the persecution (303-311) that began under the Emperor Diocletian, and he may have attended the Council of Nicaea in 325. Nicholas is the […]

Nightingale, Florence

(1820-1910). Founder of modern nursing. She was born in Florence, Italy, and baptized in the Church of England on July 4, 1820. In 1849-1850 she studied the nursing system of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent dePaul at Alexandria, Egypt. She also trained for several months with the deaconesses in 1851 in Kaiserswerth in […]


(c. 360-c. 430/432). Missionary to the Britons and the Picts. A Briton, he received his theological education at Rome, where he was consecrated bishop in 394. He went to Scotland as a missionary to convert the Britons and the Picts. Ninian founded a church which he dedicated to St. Martin of Tours and named Candida […]

Niobrara, Missionary District of

The 1871 General Convention established this Missionary District. It had the following boundaries: on the east by the Missouri River; on the south by the State of Nebraska; on the west by the 104th meridian, the territories of Wyoming and Nebraska; on the north by the 46th degree of north latitude, including the several Indian […]

Nippon Sei Ko Kai

The Japanese name for the Holy Catholic Church in Japan. It is sometimes written as Nippon Seikokai. It was organized in 1887 by uniting the work of the Church Missionary Society, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and the Episcopal Church.

Noble, Thomas Tertius

(May 5, 1867-May 4, 1953). Choirmaster, composer and teacher. He was born in Bath, England. In 1886 Noble won a scholarship at the Royal College of Music where he studied under Frank Bridge, Walter Parratt, and Charles Villiers Stanford. He became a Fellow of the College in 1905. In 1890 Noble was appointed assistant to […]


A part of the traditional night office of matins, which was said at midnight or at the end of the night before dawn. The term is from the Latin for “nocturnal” or “happening at night.” The nocturn included sets of antiphons and psalms, a versicle, the Lord’s Prayer, a short prayer known as the “Absolutio,” […]


In a technical sense, the term refers to English Protestants who do not conform to the discipline, doctrines, or practices of the established Church of England. In this sense the word was first used in the penal acts following the Restoration in 1660 and the Act of Uniformity of 1662 to describe the places of […]


See Terce, Sext, None.


Clergy of England and Scotland who refused to take the oath of allegiance to William of Orange and his wife, Mary Stuart, when they succeeded to the English throne in 1688. After the abdication of James II, Archbishop Sancroft and five other bishops, along with several hundred clergy, refused to take the oath of allegiance […]

Noonday, An Order of Service for

This service of noonday prayers includes an opening versicle, a selection from the psalms, a lesson, and prayers (BCP, 103-107). It is based on the “little offices” of terce, sext, and none in Christian monasticism. These “little offices” were said at 9 a.m., 12 noon, and 3 p.m., which were known as the third, sixth, […]

North Carolina, Diocese of

This diocese was organized at New Bern on Apr. 24, 1817. It joined the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America on May 16, 1862, and rejoined the Episcopal Church on Sept. 15, 1865. It was divided by the General Conventions of 1883 and 1895. It includes the following counties: Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, […]

North Central Philippines, Diocese of

The 1901 General Convention established the Missionary District of the Philippines. In 1973 the Missionary District of the Philippines was divided into three missionary districts. One of these was the Central Missionary District. In 1985 it became the Diocese of Central Philippines. On July 7, 1988, the House of Bishops voted to divide the Diocese […]

North Dakota, Diocese of

On Oct. 19, 1859, the House of Bishops created the Missionary District of the Northwest, including North Dakota. The Missionary District of Nebraska and Dakota was established at the 1865 General Convention. On Oct. 28, 1868, the House of Bishops created the Missionary District of Dakota. On Oct. 11, 1883, the House of Bishops divided […]

North Kwanto, Missionary District of

The name of the Missionary District of North Tokyo was changed to the Missionary District of North Kwanto in 1938. In Apr. 1941 the Missionary District of North Kwanto became a diocese in the Holy Catholic Church in Japan.

North Texas, Missionary District of

The Diocese of Northwest Texas was the Missionary District of North Texas from Oct., 1910, until Oct. 31, 1958. See Northwest Texas, Diocese of.

North Tokyo, Missionary District of

The name of the Missionary District of Tokyo was changed to the Missionary District of North Tokyo on Oct. 15, 1925. In 1938 the name was changed again to the Missionary District of North Kwanto.

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Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.