The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Joseph Warren Hutchens

Tenth Diocesan Bishop of Connecticut: Suffragan, 1961-1971; Diocesan 1971-1979

Biographical/Historical Note: 

J. Warren Hutchens was the son of a pastor who served for 49 years as a member of the Indiana Congress of the Methodist Church. Born in Elnora, Indiana in 1910 to the Rev. Dr. Lewis Hutchens and Hallie Wyeth Hutchens, he entered Indiana University in 1927 and later received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Evansville College, and his Masters at Northwestern University and the Garrett Biblical Institute. When he then entered the Episcopal Church, he was accepted as a Postulant for Holy Orders by the Bishop of Chicago. In 1937, he received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree at General Theological Seminary, and was ordained the same year. After serving as Curate and Director of Christian Education at St. Luke’s Pro-Cathedral in Evanston, Illinois, he migrated to Connecticut in September of 1939 as an assistant priest (and then Rector, in 1940) of St. John’s Church in Bridgeport, where he was instrumental in encouraging Ecumenical approaches and cooperation to address the city’s problems. He served at St. John’s for twenty one years until his election as Bishop Suffragan in September of 1961.


Consecrated a suffragan bishop in 1961, Joseph Warren Hutchens served under Bishops Walter Gray and John Esquirol before his election as Diocesan Bishop in 1971. He retired in 1977, and was succeeded by the Rt. Rev. Morgan Porteus. At the time of his retirement, the diocese established the J. Warren Hutchens Clergy Children Scholarship Fund.  Hutchens was designated Bishop Emeritus by the 1978 convention of' the Diocese of Connecticut.

He was awarded honorary doctorates by General, Trinity College in Hartford, and Berkeley Divinity School in New Haven in 1961, and by Evansville College in 1965.

Achievements of his episcopate were a reorganization of diocesan structure designed to foster greater local participation by lay people and the fostering of interest in historical research for the writing of parish histories. He and his wife, Carolyn, also a historian, promoted interest in The Seabury Society for the Preservation of the Glebe House, where Samuel Seabury was elected first Bishop in North America. Bishop Hutchens died in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1979.

 Biographical Note by: Margaret Smith

Please refer to the Archives of the Episcopal Church, Episcopal News Service Archive for more information

Collection Summary:

Creator:  Hutchens, Joseph Warren, 1910-1979
Title and Citation: Hutchens, Joseph Warren , Rt. Rev., 1910-1979, Tenth Bishop of Connecticut, Courtesy of the archives of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. This collection is part of Record Group 1: Diocesan Bishops (RG1-A10)
Dates:    1961-1977
Extent:   21.0 Cubic feet
Language:  English
Formats:  Manuscripts, Episcopal acts, correspondence, ephemera.
Processed: Margaret Smith
Scope and Content Note: This record group details the personal and professional life of the Joseph Warren Hutchens, Tenth Bishop of Connecticut, his election and consecration, and Episcopal acts. The record group includes his early career, personal and professional correspondence, and involvement in civic activities.
Archival Note: Permission to publish: materials must be obtained in writing from the archivist or director of communications


Collection Inventory:

  • Rt. Rev. Hutchens, 'Drop Files'

  • Box 1: Rt. Rev. Hutchens Parish Files, Ansonia, Christ Church - Darien, St. Luke's

  • Box 2: Rt. Rev. Hutchens Parish Files, Derby, St. James' - Hartford, Trinity

  • Box 3: Rt. Rev. Hutchens Parish Files, Harwinton, Christ Church - New Haven, Trinity

  • Box 4: Rt. Rev. Hutchens Parish Files, New London, Pequot Chapel - Ridgefield, St. Stephen

  • Box 5: Rt. Rev. Hutchens Parish Files, Riverside, St. Paul's - Waterbury, St. Mark's

  • Box 6: Rt. Rev. Hutchens Parish Files, Watertown, Christ Church - Yantic, Grace Church and Topic Files (First Series), "A - DIO"

  • Box 7: Rt. Rev. Hutchens, Topic Files (First Series), "DIO - M"

  • Box 8: Rt. Rev. Hutchens, Topic Files (First Series), "N - Z", (Second Series) "A - B"

  • Box 9: Rt. Rev. Hutchens, Topic Files (Second Series) "C - ECW"

  • Box 10: Rt. Rev. Hutchens, Topic Files (Second Series) "EPI - N"

  • Box 11: Rt. Rev. Hutchens, Topic Files (Second Series) "O - Z"

  • Box 12: Rt. Rev. Hutchens, Personal Files, Clergy, Ordinations

  • Box 13: Rt. Rev. Hutchens, Personal Files, Clergy, Ordinations, Misc.

  • Box 14: Rt. Rev. Hutchens, Conventions, Appointment Books and Misc.

  • Collection Inventory (.pdf)