Peter James Lee (born 11 May 1938) is an American bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Peter James Lee
Bishop of Virginia
Rt.Rev. Peter Lee.jpg
ChurchEpiscopal Church
In office1985–2009
PredecessorRobert Bruce Hall
SuccessorShannon Sherwood Johnston
Personal details
Born (1938-05-11) May 11, 1938 (age 81)
Greenville, Mississippi, United States
SpouseKristina Knapp Lee


Lee, a former newspaper reporter, was ordained priest in 1968. He served as Rector at the Chapel of the Cross (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) from 1971 to 1984.

Elected Coadjutor Bishop in the Diocese of Virginia, the largest Episcopal diocese in the country, Lee was consecrated and served from 1984 to 1985, until the retirement of Bishop Robert Bruce Hall.[1] Lee then served as Bishop from 1985 until his own retirement in 2009, having Shannon Sherwood Johnston as Coadjuter Bishop in his final years.

Beginning early in Lee's episcopate, several conservative congregations stopped paying diocesan dues, citing objections to the ordination of women priests, as authorized by the General Convention. The controversy metamorphosed, with the stated primary objections changing to matters of sexuality with the consecration of bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003, and the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop in 2006. Two large Virginia parishes attracted national attention by attempting to leave the Diocese and associate with an African diocese while keeping their Virginia churches and other property. Lee sued to have the facilities declared the property of the Diocese,[1] and was ultimately successful, although that resolution only happened under his successor.[2]

From 2009 to 2010, Lee officiated as Interim Dean at the Grace Cathedral (San Francisco). He served the General Theological Seminary of New-York in the same position from 2010 to 2011. Then he moved to France and became Interim Dean and Rector at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Paris in 2011 and 2012. From 2013 to 2014, he was Provisional Bishop in the Diocese of East Carolina.[3] In November 2015, he was announced as the Assisting Bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.

Honors and awardsEdit

Lee was made a Commander (Brother) of the Order of Saint John in 2015.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Lee is married to Kristina Knapp (Kristy) Lee. They have two children and five grandchildren.


  1. ^ a b Boorstein, Michelle (16 February 2007). "Moderate Bishop Takes Unexpected Turn". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  2. ^ Harmon, Kendall (2 April 2012). "TitusOneNine — Bishop Shannon Johnston—Virginia Episcopalians ready for a 'new dawn' after prolonged Battle". Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Peter Lee nominated as bishop provisional for East Carolina". Episcopal News Service. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  4. ^ "No. 61305". The London Gazette. 24 July 2015. pp. 13771–13773.
Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
Robert Bruce Hall
Bishop of Virginia
Succeeded by
Shannon Johnston