HOME

TheInfoList




Anglicanism is a
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...
Christian tradition Christian tradition is a collection of tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use th ...
that has developed from the practices,
liturgy Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance ...
, and identity of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
following the
English Reformation The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England when the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider European Protestant Reformati ...
. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; they are also called ''Episcopalians'' in some countries. The majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, re ...
, which forms the third-largest Christian
communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, reenacting the Last Supper **Communion (chant), the Gregorian chant that acc ...
in the world, after the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Roman Catholic Church
and the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
. These provinces are in
full communion Full communion is a communion or relationship of full understanding among different Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church cong ...
with the
See of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cath ...
and thus with the
British Monarch The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established ...
’s personal choice of the
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
, whom the communion refers to as its ''
primus inter pares ''Primus inter pares'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power ...
'' (Latin, 'first among equals'). The Archbishop calls the decennial
Lambeth Conference The Lambeth Conference is a decennial assembly of bishops of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion after the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthod ...
, chairs the meeting of
primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first from small Terrestrial animal, ...
s, and is the president of the
Anglican Consultative Council The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is one of the four "Instruments of Communion" of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also calle ...
.The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church by F. L. Cross (Editor), E. A. Livingstone (editor) Oxford University Press, US; 3rd edition, p. 65 (13 March 1997) Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion or recognised by it also call themselves Anglican, including those that are within the
Continuing Anglican movement The Continuing Anglican movement, also known as the Anglican Continuum, encompasses a number of Christian churches, principally based in North America, which have an Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition ...
and
Anglican realignment The Anglican realignment is a movement among some Anglicans to align themselves under new or alternative oversight within or outside the Anglican Communion. This movement is primarily active in parts of the Episcopal Church (United States), Episc ...
. Anglicans base their Christian faith on the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
, traditions of the apostolic Church,
apostolic succession Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followe ...
("historic episcopate"), and the writings of the
Church Fathers The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, di ...
. Anglicanism forms one of the branches of
Western Christianity Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings ...
, having definitively declared its independence from the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
at the time of the
Elizabethan Religious Settlement The Elizabethan Religious Settlement is the name given to the religious and political arrangements made for England during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558–1603) that brought the English Reformation to a conclusion. The Settlement shaped the An ...
. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century corresponded closely to those of contemporary
Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the population in , and believe that is the , whose comin ...
. These reforms in the Church of England were understood by one of those most responsible for them,
Thomas Cranmer Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in History of England, England and Wales ...

Thomas Cranmer
, the
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
, and others as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely
Lutheranism Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a major ...
and
Calvinism Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Refor ...
. In the first half of the 17th century, the Church of England and its associated
Church of Ireland The Church of Ireland ( ga, Eaglais na hÉireann, ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ul ...
were presented by some Anglican divines as comprising a distinct Christian tradition, with theologies, structures, and forms of worship representing a different kind of middle way, or ''
via media ''Via media'' is a phrase meaning "the middle road" and is a philosophical for life which advocates moderation in all thoughts and actions. Originating from the ''nothing to excess'' and subsequent where (384–322 BCE) taught , urging his st ...
'', between Protestantism and Catholicism – a perspective that came to be highly influential in later theories of Anglican identity and expressed in the description of Anglicanism as "Catholic and Reformed". The degree of distinction between Protestant and Catholic tendencies within the Anglican tradition is routinely a matter of debate both within specific Anglican churches and throughout the Anglican Communion. Unique to Anglicanism is the
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
, the collection of services in one Book used for centuries. The Book is acknowledged as a principal tie that binds the Anglican Communion together as a liturgical rather than a confessional tradition or one possessing a magisterium as in the Roman Catholic Church. After the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, Anglican congregations in the United States and
British North America British North America comprised the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or admini ...
(which would later form the basis for the modern country of
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
) were each reconstituted into autonomous churches with their own bishops and self-governing structures; these were known as the American Episcopal Church and the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada. Through the expansion of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
and the activity of
Christian mission A Christian mission is an organized effort to spread Christianity to new converts. Missions involve sending individuals and groups across boundaries, most commonly geographical boundaries, to carry on evangelism or other activities, such as edu ...
s, this model was adopted as the model for many newly formed churches, especially in Africa,
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth ...

Australasia
, and Asia-Pacific. In the 19th century, the term ''Anglicanism'' was coined to describe the common religious tradition of these churches; as also that of the
Scottish Episcopal Church The Scottish Episcopal Church ( gd, Eaglais Easbaigeach na h-Alba; sco, Scots Episcopal Kirk) is the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer ...
, which, though originating earlier within the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...

Church of Scotland
, had come to be recognised as sharing this common identity.


Terminology

The word ''Anglican'' originates in , a phrase from the
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
dated 15 June 1215, meaning "the Anglican Church shall be free". Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''. As an adjective, "Anglican" is used to describe the people, institutions, and churches, as well as the liturgical traditions and theological concepts developed by the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
. As a noun, an Anglican is a member of a church in the Anglican Communion. The word is also used by followers of separated groups which have left the communion or have been founded separately from it, although this is considered as a misuse by the Anglican Communion. The word ''Anglicanism'' came into being in the 19th century. The word originally referred only to the teachings and rites of Christians throughout the world in communion with the see of
Canterbury Canterbury (, ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour, Kent, River Stour ...
, but has come to sometimes be extended to any church following those traditions rather than actual membership in the modern
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, re ...
. Although the term ''Anglican'' is found referring to the Church of England as far back as the 16th century, its use did not become general until the latter half of the 19th century. In British parliamentary legislation referring to the English
Established Church A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whethe ...
, there is no need for a description; it is simply the Church of England, though the word "Protestant" is used in many legal acts specifying the succession to the Crown and qualifications for office. When the Union with Ireland Act created the United Church of England and Ireland, it is specified that it shall be one "Protestant Episcopal Church", thereby distinguishing its form of church government from the Presbyterian polity that prevails in the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...

Church of Scotland
. The word ''Episcopal'' is preferred in the title of the Episcopal Church (the province of the Anglican Communion covering the United States) and the
Scottish Episcopal Church The Scottish Episcopal Church ( gd, Eaglais Easbaigeach na h-Alba; sco, Scots Episcopal Kirk) is the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer ...
, though the full name of the former is ''The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America''. Elsewhere, however, the term "Anglican Church" came to be preferred as it distinguished these churches from others that maintain an
episcopal polity An episcopal polity is a hierarchical A hierarchy (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) that are represented as being "above", "below", or "a ...
.


Definition

Anglicanism, in its structures, theology, and forms of worship, is commonly understood as a distinct Christian tradition representing a middle ground between what are perceived to be the extremes of the claims of 16th-century Roman Catholicism and the
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
and
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformat ...
varieties of
Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the population in , and believe that is the , whose comin ...
of that era. As such, it is often referred to as being a ''via media'' (or "middle way") between these traditions. The faith of Anglicans is founded in the
Scriptures Religious texts are texts related to a religious tradition. They differ from literary texts by being a compilation or discussion of beliefs, mythologies, ritual practices, commandments or laws, ethical conduct, spiritual aspirations, and for c ...

Scriptures
and the
Gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words and ...
, the traditions of the Apostolic Church, the
historical episcopate The historic or historical episcopate comprises all episcopates, that is, it is the collective body of all the bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entru ...
, the first four ecumenical councils, and the early
Church Fathers The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, di ...
(among these councils, especially the premier four ones, and among these Fathers, especially those active during the five initial centuries of Christianity, according to the ''quinquasaecularist'' principle proposed by the English bishop
Lancelot Andrewes Lancelot Andrewes (155525 September 1626) was an English bishop and scholar, who held high positions in the Church of England during the reigns of Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland ...

Lancelot Andrewes
and the Lutheran dissident
Georg Calixtus Georg Calixtus, Kallisøn/Kallisön, or Callisen (14 December 1586 – 19 March 1656) was a Germans, German Lutheranism, Lutheran theologian who looked to reconcile all Christendom by removing all unimportant differences. Biography Calixtus was bor ...
). Anglicans understand the
Old Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire Old (previously Wold and befor ...
and
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
s as "containing all things necessary for salvation" and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith. Reason and tradition are seen as valuable means to interpret scripture (a position first formulated in detail by
Richard Hooker Richard Hooker (25 March, 1554 – 2 November 1600) was an English priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more ...

Richard Hooker
), but there is no full mutual agreement among Anglicans about ''exactly how'' scripture, reason, and tradition interact (or ought to interact) with each other. Anglicans understand the
Apostles' Creed The Apostles' Creed (Ecclesiastical Latin, Latin: ''Symbolum Apostolorum'' or ''Symbolum Apostolicum''), sometimes titled the Apostolic Creed or the Symbol of the Apostles is a Christianity, Christian creed or "symbol of faith". It most likely ...
as the baptismal symbol and the
Nicene Creed The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Ca ...
as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith. Anglicans believe the catholic and apostolic faith is revealed in
Holy Scripture Religious texts are texts related to a religious tradition. They differ from Literature, literary texts by being a compilation or discussion of beliefs, mythologies, ritual practices, commandments or Religious law, laws, ethical conduct, spiritua ...
and the Catholic creeds and interpret these in light of the Christian tradition of the historic church, scholarship, reason, and experience. Anglicans celebrate the traditional sacraments, with special emphasis being given to the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; grc-gre, εὐχαριστία, eucharistía, thanksgiving) also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, among other names, is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monothe ...

Eucharist
, also called Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper or the
Mass Mass is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value ...
. The Eucharist is central to worship for most Anglicans as a communal offering of prayer and praise in which the life, death, and resurrection of
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it i ...

Jesus Christ
are proclaimed through prayer, reading of the Bible, singing, giving God thanks over the bread and wine for the innumerable benefits obtained through the passion of Christ, the breaking of the bread, the blessing of the cup, and the partaking of the body and blood of Christ as instituted at the
Last Supper Image:The Last Supper - Leonardo Da Vinci - High Resolution 32x16.jpg, 500px, alt=''The Last Supper'' by Leonardo da Vinci - Clickable Image, Depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art have been undertaken by artistic masters for centuries, ...

Last Supper
, however one wished to define the Presence. The consecrated bread and wine which are the true body and blood of Christ after a spiritual manner (not in a crude physical way) are outward symbols of an inner grace given by Christ, which to the repentant conveys forgiveness and cleaning from sin. While many Anglicans celebrate the Eucharist in similar ways to the predominant western Catholic tradition, a considerable degree of liturgical freedom is permitted, and worship styles range from the simple to elaborate. Unique to Anglicanism is the ''
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
'' (BCP), the collection of services that worshippers in most Anglican churches have used for centuries. It was called ''common prayer'' originally because it was intended for use in all Church of England churches, which had previously followed differing local liturgies. The term was kept when the church became international, because all Anglicans used to share in its use around the world. In 1549, the first ''Book of Common Prayer'' was compiled by
Thomas Cranmer Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in History of England, England and Wales ...

Thomas Cranmer
, who was then
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
. While it has since undergone many revisions and Anglican churches in different countries have developed other service books, the Prayer Book is still acknowledged as one of the ties that bind Anglicans together.


Anglican identity


Early history

The founding of Christianity in Britain is commonly attributed to
Joseph of Arimathea#REDIRECT Joseph of Arimathea Joseph of Arimathea was, according to all four canonical gospels Gospel originally meant the Christianity, Christian message, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set ...
, according to Anglican legend, and is commemorated in
Glastonbury Abbey Glastonbury Abbey was a monastery in Glastonbury, Somerset, England. Its ruins, a grade I listed building and scheduled ancient monument, are open as a visitor attraction. The abbey was founded in the 8th century and enlarged in the 10th. It wa ...

Glastonbury Abbey
. Many of the early
Church Fathers The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, di ...
wrote of the presence of Christianity in
Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in classical antiquity when large parts of the island of Great Britain were under Roman conquest of Britain, occupation by the Roman Empire. The occupation lasted from AD 43 to AD 410. During that time, the ...

Roman Britain
, with
Tertullian Tertullian (; la, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus; 155 AD – 220 AD) was a prolific early Christian The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religio ...

Tertullian
stating "those parts of Britain into which the Roman arms had never penetrated were become subject to Christ".
Saint Alban Saint Alban (; la, Albanus) is venerated as the first-recorded British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ...
, who was executed in AD 209, is the first
Christian martyr In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social ...
in the British Isles. For this reason he is
venerated Veneration in Noto St Conrad of Piacenza (San Corrado) Veneration ( la, veneratio; el, τιμάω ), or veneration of saints, is the act of honoring a saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional d ...
as the British
protomartyr A protomartyr (Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek languag ...

protomartyr
. The historian
Heinrich Zimmer Heinrich Robert Zimmer (6 December 1890 – 20 March 1943) was a German Indologist and linguist, as well as a historian of South Asian art, most known for his works, ''Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization'' and ''Philosophies of India'' ...
writes that "Just as Britain was a part of the Roman Empire, so the British Church formed (during the fourth century) a branch of the Catholic Church of the West; and during the whole of that century, from the
Council of Arles Arles (ancient Arelate) in the south of Roman Gaul (modern France) hosted several councils or synods referred to as ''Concilium Arelatense'' in the History of early Christianity, history of the early Christian church. Council of Arles in 314 The fi ...
(316) onward, took part in all proceedings concerning the Church." After Roman troops withdrew from Britain, the "absence of Roman military and governmental influence and overall decline of Roman imperial political power enabled Britain and the surrounding isles to develop distinctively from the rest of the West. A new culture emerged around the Irish Sea among the Celtic peoples with Celtic Christianity at its core. What resulted was a form of Christianity distinct from Rome in many traditions and practices." The historian Charles Thomas, in addition to the
Celticist Celtic studies or Celtology is the academic discipline occupied with the study of any sort of cultural output relating to the Celts, Celtic-speaking peoples (i.e. speakers of Celtic languages). This ranges from linguistics, literature and art his ...
Heinrich Zimmer, writes that the distinction between sub-Roman and post-Roman Insular Christianity, also known as Celtic Christianity, began to become apparent around AD 475, with the Celtic churches allowing married clergy, observing
Lent Lent (Latin: ''Quadragesima'', 'Fortieth') is a Solemnity, solemn religious moveable feast#Lent, observance in the Christian liturgical calendar commemorating the Temptation of Jesus, 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the ...

Lent
and Easter according to their own calendar, and having a different
tonsure Tonsure () is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Bioch ...

tonsure
; moreover, like the
Eastern Orthodox Churches The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a Communion (Christ ...
and the
Oriental Orthodox Churches The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian traditions and church families that originally developed during classical and late antiquity in Western Asia Western Asia, also We ...
, the Celtic churches operated independently of the Pope's authority, as a result of their isolated development in the British Isles. In what is known as the
Gregorian mission The Gregorian missionJones "Gregorian Mission" ''Speculum'' p. 335 or Augustinian missionMcGowan "Introduction to the Corpus" ''Companion to Anglo-Saxon Literature'' p. 17 was a Christian mission A Christian mission is an organized effort ...
,
Pope Gregory I Pope Gregory I ( la, Gregorius I; – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was the from 3 September 590 to his death. He is known for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the , to convert the then- ...

Pope Gregory I
sent
Augustine of Canterbury Augustine of Canterbury (early 6th century – probably 26 May 604) was a monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language i ...

Augustine of Canterbury
to the British Isles in AD 596, with the purpose of evangelising the pagans there (who were largely
Anglo-Saxons The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group affiliation in psychology and sociology Group expression ...
), as well as to reconcile the Celtic churches in the British Isles to the
See of Rome The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is gene ...
. In
Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert ...
, Augustine persuaded the Anglo-Saxon king " Æthelberht and his people to accept Christianity". Augustine, on two occasions, "met in conference with members of the Celtic episcopacy, but no understanding was reached between them." Eventually, the "Christian Church of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria convened the
Synod of Whitby In the Synod of Whitby in 664, King Oswiu of Northumbria Oswiu, also known as Oswy or Oswig ( ang, Ōswīg) (c. 612 – 15 February 670), was King of Bernicia from 642 and of Kingdom of Northumbria, Northumbria from 654 until his death. He is no ...
in 663/664 to decide whether to follow Celtic or Roman usages." This meeting, with King Oswiu as the final decision maker, "led to the acceptance of Roman usage elsewhere in England and brought the English Church into close contact with the Continent". As a result of assuming Roman usages, the Celtic Church surrendered its independence, and, from this point on, the Church in England "was no longer purely Celtic, but became Anglo-Roman-Celtic". The theologian Christopher L. Webber writes that, although "the Roman form of Christianity became the dominant influence in Britain as in all of western Europe, Anglican Christianity has continued to have a distinctive quality because of its Celtic heritage." The Church in England remained united with Rome until the English Parliament, through the
Act of Supremacy The Acts of Supremacy are two acts passed by the Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the c ...
(1534), declared
King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Kingdom of Wessex, Wessex, one of the heptarchy, seven Anglo-Saxon k ...
to be the
Supreme Head of the Church of England The title of Supreme Head of the Church of England was created in 1531 for King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of Eng ...
to fulfill the "English desire to be independent from continental Europe religiously and politically." As the change is mostly political for the annulment of Henry VIII's marriage,: "The Reformation must not be confused with the changes introduced into the Church of England during the 'Reformation Parliament' of 1529–36, which were of a political rather than a religious nature, designed to unite the secular and religious sources of authority within a single sovereign power: the Anglican Church did not until later make any substantial change in doctrine." the English Church under Henry VIII continued to maintain Roman Catholic doctrines and the
sacraments A sacrament is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites of passage, generally changing an individual's social status, such as marria ...
despite the separation from Rome. With little exception, Henry VIII allowed no changes during his lifetime. Under
King Edward VI Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) was and from 28 January 1547 until his death in 1553. He was crowned on 20 February 1547 at the age of nine. Edward was the son of and and England's first monarch to be raised as a . During his r ...

King Edward VI
(1547–1553), however, the church in England underwent what is known as the
English Reformation The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England when the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider European Protestant Reformati ...
, in the course of which it acquired a number of characteristics that would subsequently become recognised as constituting its distinctive "Anglican" identity.


Development

With the
Elizabethan Settlement The Elizabethan Religious Settlement is the name given to the religious and political arrangements made for England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wal ...
of 1559, the Protestant identity of the English and Irish churches was affirmed by means of parliamentary legislation which mandated allegiance and loyalty to the English Crown in all their members. The Elizabethan church began to develop distinct religious traditions, assimilating some of the theology of
Reformed churches Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, A ...
with the services in the ''
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
'' (which drew extensively on the
Sarum Rite The Use of Sarum (or Use of Salisbury, also known as the Sarum Rite) is the Latin liturgical rite developed at Salisbury Cathedral Salisbury Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Church of England, Anglic ...
native to England), under the leadership and organisation of a continuing episcopate. Over the years, these traditions themselves came to command adherence and loyalty. The Elizabethan Settlement stopped the radical Protestant tendencies under Edward VI by combining the more radical elements of the Second Prayer Book of 1552 with the conservative "Catholic" First Prayer Book of 1549. From then on, Protestantism was in a "state of arrested development", regardless of the attempts to detach the Church of England from its "idiosyncratic anchorage in the medieval past" by various groups which tried to push it towards a more Reformed theology and governance in the years 1560–1660. Although two important constitutive elements of what later would emerge as Anglicanism were present in 1559 – scripture, the
historic episcopate The historic or historical episcopate comprises all episcopates, that is, it is the collective body of all the bishops of a church who are in valid apostolic succession. This succession is transmitted from each bishop to their successors by the ri ...
, the Book of Common Prayer, the teachings of the First Four Ecumenical Councils as the yardstick of catholicity, the teaching of the Church Fathers and Catholic bishops, and informed reason – neither the laypeople nor the clergy perceived themselves as Anglicans at the beginning of Elizabeth I's reign, as there was no such identity. Neither does the term ''via media'' appear until the 1627 to describe a church which refused to identify itself definitely as Catholic or Protestant, or as both, "and had decided in the end that this is virtue rather than a handicap". Historical studies on the period 1560–1660 written before the late 1960s tended to project the predominant conformist spirituality and doctrine of the 1660s on the ecclesiastical situation one hundred years before, and there was also a tendency to take polemically binary partitions of reality claimed by contestants studied (such as the dichotomies Protestant-"Popish" or "
Laudian Laudianism was an early seventeenth-century reform movement within the Church of England, promulgated by Archbishop William Laud and his supporters. It rejected the predestination Predestination, in Christian theology Christian theology is t ...
"-"Puritan") at face value. Since the late 1960s, these interpretations have been criticised. Studies on the subject written during the last forty-five years have, however, not reached any consensus on how to interpret this period in English church history. The extent to which one or several positions concerning doctrine and spirituality existed alongside the more well-known and articulate Puritan movement and the Durham House Party, and the exact extent of continental Calvinism among the English elite and among the ordinary churchgoers from the 1560s to the 1620s are subjects of current and ongoing debate. In 1662, under , a revised ''
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
'' was produced, which was acceptable to high churchmen as well as some
Puritans The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of J ...
, and is still considered authoritative to this day. In so far as Anglicans derived their identity from both parliamentary legislation and ecclesiastical tradition, a crisis of identity could result wherever secular and religious loyalties came into conflict – and such a crisis indeed occurred in 1776 with the
American Declaration of Independence The United States Declaration of Independence is the pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress The Second Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known a ...
, most of whose signatories were, at least nominally, Anglican. For these American patriots, even the forms of Anglican services were in doubt, since the Prayer Book rites of
Matins Matins (also Mattins) is a canonical hour In the practice of Christianity, canonical hours mark the divisions of the day in terms of Fixed prayer times#Christianity, fixed times of prayer at regular intervals. A book of hours, chiefly a bre ...
,
Evensong Evensong is a church service traditionally held near sunset focused on singing psalms and other biblical canticles. In origin, it is identical to the canonical hour of vespers. Old English speakers translated the Latin word as , which became ' ...
, and Holy Communion all included specific prayers for the British Royal Family. Consequently, the conclusion of the
War of Independence Conflicts called war of independence or independence war include: * Algerian War of Independence The Algerian War, also known as the Algerian Revolution or the Algerian War of Independence,( ar, الثورة الجزائرية '; '' ber, Tagra ...
eventually resulted in the creation of two new Anglican churches, the
Episcopal Church in the United States The Episcopal Church (TEC), based in the United States with additional diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the late ...
in those states that had achieved independence; and in the 1830s The Church of England in Canada became independent from the Church of England in those North American colonies which had remained under British control and to which many Loyalist churchmen had migrated. Reluctantly, legislation was passed in the British Parliament (the Consecration of Bishops Abroad Act 1786) to allow bishops to be consecrated for an American church outside of allegiance to the British Crown (since no dioceses had ever been established in the former American colonies). Both in the United States and in Canada, the new Anglican churches developed novel models of self-government, collective decision-making, and self-supported financing; that would be consistent with separation of religious and secular identities. In the following century, two further factors acted to accelerate the development of a distinct Anglican identity. From 1828 and 1829,
Dissenters A dissenter (from the Latin ''dissentire'', "to disagree") is one who dissents (disagrees) in matters of opinion, belief, etc. Usage in Christianity Dissent from the Anglican church In the social and religious history of England and Wales, and, b ...
and Catholics could be elected to the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
, which consequently ceased to be a body drawn purely from the established churches of Scotland, England, and Ireland; but which nevertheless, over the following ten years, engaged in extensive reforming legislation affecting the interests of the English and Irish churches; which, by the Acts of Union of 1800, had been reconstituted as the United Church of England and Ireland. The propriety of this legislation was bitterly contested by the
Oxford Movement The Oxford Movement was a movement of High Church The term ''high church'' refers to beliefs and practices of Christian ecclesiology In Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practi ...
(Tractarians), who in response developed a vision of Anglicanism as religious tradition deriving ultimately from the
ecumenical councils An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical {{Short pages monitor In the late medieval period, many English cathedrals and monasteries had established small choirs of trained lay clerks and boy choir, choristers to perform polyphony, polyphonic settings of the Mass (music), Mass in their Lady chapels. Although these "Lady Masses" were discontinued at the Reformation, the associated musical tradition was maintained in the
Elizabethan Settlement The Elizabethan Religious Settlement is the name given to the religious and political arrangements made for England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wal ...
through the establishment of choral foundations for daily singing of the Divine Office by expanded choirs of men and boys. This resulted from an explicit addition by Elizabeth herself to the injunctions accompanying the 1559 ''
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
'' (that had itself made no mention of choral worship) by which existing choral foundations and choir schools were instructed to be continued, and their endowments secured. Consequently, some thirty-four cathedrals, collegiate churches, and royal chapels maintained paid establishments of lay singing men and choristers in the late 16th century. All save four of these have – with interruptions during the English Interregnum, Commonwealth and the COVID-19 pandemic – continued daily choral prayer and praise to this day. In the Offices of
Matins Matins (also Mattins) is a canonical hour In the practice of Christianity, canonical hours mark the divisions of the day in terms of Fixed prayer times#Christianity, fixed times of prayer at regular intervals. A book of hours, chiefly a bre ...
and
Evensong Evensong is a church service traditionally held near sunset focused on singing psalms and other biblical canticles. In origin, it is identical to the canonical hour of vespers. Old English speakers translated the Latin word as , which became ' ...
in the 1662 ''Book of Common Prayer'', these choral establishments are specified as "Quires and Places where they sing". For nearly three centuries, this round of daily professional choral worship represented a tradition entirely distinct from that embodied in the intoning of Parish Clerks, and the singing of "West gallery music, west gallery choirs" which commonly accompanied weekly worship in English parish churches. In 1841, the rebuilt Leeds Parish Church established a surpliced choir to accompany parish services, drawing explicitly on the musical traditions of the ancient choral foundations. Over the next century, the Leeds example proved immensely popular and influential for choirs in cathedrals, parish churches, and schools throughout the Anglican communion. More or less extensively adapted, this choral tradition also became the direct inspiration for robed choirs leading congregational worship in a wide range of Christian denominations. In 1719, the cathedral choirs of Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester, Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, and Worcester Cathedral, Worcester combined to establish the annual Three Choirs Festival, the precursor for the multitude of summer music festivals since. By the 20th century, the choral tradition had become for many the most accessible face of worldwide Anglicanism – especially as promoted through the regular broadcasting of choral evensong by the BBC; and also in the annual televising of the festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge. Composers closely concerned with this tradition include Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Charles Villiers Stanford, and Benjamin Britten. A number of important 20th-century works by non-Anglican composers were originally commissioned for the Anglican choral tradition – for example, the ''Chichester Psalms'' of Leonard Bernstein and the ''Nunc dimittis'' of Arvo Pärt.


Organisation of the Anglican Communion


Principles of governance

Contrary to popular misconception, the British monarch is not the constitutional "head" but in law the "Supreme Governor" of the Church of England, nor does he or she have any role in provinces outside England. The role of the crown in the Church of England is practically limited to the appointment of bishops, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, and even this role is limited, as the Church presents the government with a short list of candidates from which to choose. This process is accomplished through collaboration with and consent of ecclesial representatives ''(see Ecclesiastical Commissioners)''. The monarch has no constitutional role in Anglican churches in other parts of the world, although the prayer books of several countries where she is head of state maintain prayers for her as sovereign. A characteristic of Anglicanism is that it has no international juridical authority. All 39 provinces of the Anglican Communion are autonomous, each with their own
primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first from small Terrestrial animal, ...
and governing structure. These provinces may take the form of national churches (such as in Canada, Uganda or Japan) or a collection of nations (such as the West Indies, Central Africa or South Asia), or geographical regions (such as Vanuatu and Solomon Islands) etc. Within these provinces there may exist subdivisions, called ecclesiastical provinces, under the jurisdiction of a metropolitan archbishop. All provinces of the Anglican Communion consist of dioceses, each under the jurisdiction of a bishop. In the Anglican tradition, bishops must be consecrated according to the strictures of
apostolic succession Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followe ...
, which Anglicans consider one of the marks of Catholicity. Apart from bishops, there are two other orders of ordained ministry: deacon and priest. No requirement is made for clerical celibacy, though many Anglo-Catholic priests have traditionally been bachelors. Because of innovations that occurred at various points after the latter half of the 20th century, women may be ordained as deacons in almost all provinces, as priests in most and as bishops in many. Anglican religious orders and communities, suppressed in England during the Reformation, have re-emerged, especially since the mid-19th century, and now have an international presence and influence. Government in the Anglican Communion is synodical, consisting of three houses of laity (usually elected parish representatives), clergy and bishops. National, provincial and diocesan synods maintain different scopes of authority, depending on their canon law, canons and constitutions. Anglicanism is not Congregationalist polity, congregational in its polity: it is the diocese, not the parish church, which is the smallest unit of authority in the church. ''(See Episcopal polity)''.


Archbishop of Canterbury

The
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
has a precedence of honour over the other primates of the Anglican Communion, and for a province to be considered a part of the communion means specifically to be in full communion with the episcopal see, see of Province of Canterbury, Canterbury – though this principle is currently subject to considerable debate, especially among those in the so-called Global South, including American Anglicans. The archbishop is, therefore, recognised as ''primus inter pares'' ("first amongst equals"), even though he does not exercise any direct authority in any province (Anglican), province outside England, of which he is chief primate. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002 to 2012, was the first archbishop appointed from outside the Church of England since the Reformation: he was formerly the Archbishop of Wales. As "spiritual head" of the Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury maintains a certain moral authority, and has the right to determine which churches will be in communion with his Episcopal See, see. He hosts and chairs the
Lambeth Conference The Lambeth Conference is a decennial assembly of bishops of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion after the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthod ...
s of Anglican Communion bishops, and decides who will be invited to them. He also hosts and chairs the Anglican Communion Primates' Meeting and is responsible for the invitations to it. He acts as president of the secretariat of the Anglican Communion Office and its deliberative body, the
Anglican Consultative Council The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is one of the four "Instruments of Communion" of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also calle ...
.


Conferences

The Anglican Communion has no international juridical organisation. All international bodies are consultative and collaborative, and their resolutions are not legally binding on the autonomous provinces of the Communion. There are three international bodies of note. * The
Lambeth Conference The Lambeth Conference is a decennial assembly of bishops of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion after the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthod ...
is the oldest international consultation. It was first convened by Archbishop Charles Longley in 1867 as a vehicle for bishops of the Communion to "discuss matters of practical interest, and pronounce what we deem expedient in resolutions which may serve as safe guides to future action". Since then, it has been held roughly every ten years. Invitation is by the Archbishop of Canterbury. * The
Anglican Consultative Council The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is one of the four "Instruments of Communion" of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also calle ...
was created by a 1968 Lambeth Conference resolution, and meets wikt:biennial, biennially. The council consists of representative bishops, clergy, and laity chosen by the thirty-eight provinces. The body has a permanent secretariat, the Anglican Communion Office, of which the Archbishop of Canterbury is president. * The Anglican Communion Primates' Meeting is the most recent manifestation of international consultation and deliberation, having been first convened by Archbishop Donald Coggan in 1978 as a forum for "leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation".


Ordained ministry

Like the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox churches, the Anglican Communion maintains the threefold ministry of deacons, presbyters (usually called "priests"), and bishops.


Episcopate

Bishops, who possess the fullness of Christian priesthood, are the successors of the Apostles in Christianity, apostles. Primate (bishop), Primates, archbishops, and metropolitan bishop, metropolitans are all bishops and members of the
historical episcopate The historic or historical episcopate comprises all episcopates, that is, it is the collective body of all the bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entru ...
who derive their authority through
apostolic succession Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followe ...
– an unbroken line of bishops that can be traced back to the 12 apostles of Jesus.


Priesthood

Bishops are assisted by Episcopal priest, priests and deacons. Most ordained ministers in the Anglican Communion are priests, who usually work in parishes within a diocese. Priests are in charge of the spiritual life of parishes and are usually called the Rector (ecclesiastical), rector or vicar. A curate (or, more correctly, an "assistant curate") is a priest or deacon who assists the parish priest. Non-parochial priests may earn their living by any vocation, although employment by educational institutions or charitable organisations is most common. Priests also serve as chaplains of hospitals, schools, prisons, and in the armed forces. An archdeacon is a priest or deacon responsible for administration of an archdeaconry, which is often the name given to the principal subdivisions of a diocese. An archdeacon represents the diocesan bishop in his or her archdeaconry. In the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
, the position of archdeacon can only be held by someone in priestly orders who has been ordained for at least six years. In some other parts of the Anglican Communion, the position can also be held by deacons. In parts of the Anglican Communion where women cannot be ordained as priests or bishops but can be ordained as deacons, the position of archdeacon is effectively the most senior office to which an ordained woman can be appointed. A Dean (Christianity), dean is a priest who is the principal cleric of a cathedral or other collegiate church and the head of the chapter of canons. If the cathedral or collegiate church has its own parish, the dean is usually also rector of the parish. However, in the Church of Ireland, the roles are often separated, and most cathedrals in the Church of England do not have associated parishes. In the Church in Wales, however, most cathedrals are parish churches and their deans are now also vicars of their parishes. The Anglican Communion recognises Catholic Church, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox ordinations as valid. Outside the Anglican Communion, Anglican ordinations (at least of male priests) are recognised by the Old Catholic Church, Porvoo Communion Lutherans, and various Independent Catholic churches.


Diaconate

In Anglican churches, deacons often work directly in ministry to the marginalised inside and outside the church: the poor, the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned. Unlike Orthodox and most Roman Catholic deacons who may be married only before ordination, deacons are permitted to marry freely both before and after ordination, as are priests. Most deacons are preparing for priesthood and usually only remain as deacons for about a year before being ordained priests. However, there are some deacons who remain so. Many provinces of the
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, re ...
ordain both men and women as deacons. Many of those provinces that ordain women to the priesthood previously allowed them to be ordained only to the diaconate. The effect of this was the creation of a large and overwhelmingly female diaconate for a time, as most men proceeded to be ordained priest after a short time as a deacon. Deacons, in some dioceses, can be granted licences to wedding, solemnise matrimony, usually under the instruction of their parish priest and bishop. They sometimes officiate at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in churches which have this service. Deacons are not permitted to preside at the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; grc-gre, εὐχαριστία, eucharistía, thanksgiving) also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, among other names, is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monothe ...

Eucharist
(but can lead worship with the distribution of already consecrated communion where this is permitted), absolution (religious), absolve sins, or blessing, pronounce a blessing. It is the prohibition against deacons pronouncing blessings that leads some to believe that deacons cannot solemnise matrimony.


Laity

All baptised members of the church are called Christian Faithful (baptized Catholic), faithful, truly equal in dignity and in the work to build the church. Some non-ordained people also have a formal public ministry, often on a full-time and long-term basis – such as lay readers (also known as readers), churchwardens, vergers, and sexton (office), sextons. Other lay positions include acolytes (male or female, often children), lay eucharistic ministers (also known as chalice bearers), and lay eucharistic visitors (who deliver consecrated bread and wine to "shut-ins" or members of the parish who are unable to leave home or hospital to attend the Eucharist). Lay people also serve on the parish altar guild (preparing the altar and caring for its candles, linens, flowers, etc.), in the choir and as cantors, as ushers and greeters, and on the church council (called the "vestry" in some countries), which is the governing body of a parish.


Religious orders

A small yet influential aspect of Anglicanism is its Anglican religious order, religious orders and communities. Shortly after the beginning of the Catholic Revival in the Church of England, there was a renewal of interest in re-establishing religious and monastic orders and communities. One of Henry VIII's earliest acts was their Dissolution of the Monasteries, dissolution and seizure of their assets. In 1841, Marian Rebecca Hughes became the first woman to take the vows of religion in communion with the Province of Canterbury since the Reformation. In 1848, Priscilla Lydia Sellon became the superior of the Society of the Most Holy Trinity at Devonport, Plymouth, the first organised religious order. Sellon is called "the restorer, after three centuries, of the religious life in the Church of England". For the next one hundred years, religious orders for both men and women proliferated throughout the world, becoming a numerically small but disproportionately influential feature of global Anglicanism. Anglican religious life at one time boasted hundreds of orders and communities, and thousands of religious order, religious. An important aspect of Anglican religious life is that most communities of both men and women lived their lives consecrated to God under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience (or, in Benedictine communities, Stability, Conversion of Life, and Obedience) by practising a mixed life of reciting the full eight services of the Breviary in choir, along with a daily
Eucharist The Eucharist (; grc-gre, εὐχαριστία, eucharistía, thanksgiving) also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, among other names, is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monothe ...

Eucharist
, plus service to the poor. The mixed life, combining aspects of the contemplative orders and the active orders, remains to this day a hallmark of Anglican religious life. Another distinctive feature of Anglican religious life is the existence of some mixed-gender communities. Since the 1960s, there has been a sharp decline in the number of professed religious in most parts of the Anglican Communion, especially in North America, Europe, and Australia. Many once large and international communities have been reduced to a single convent or monastery with memberships of elderly men or women. In the last few decades of the 20th century, novices have for most communities been few and far between. Some orders and communities have already become extinct. There are, however, still thousands of Anglican religious working today in approximately 200 communities around the world, and religious life in many parts of the Communion – especially in developing nations – flourishes. The most significant growth has been in the Melanesian countries of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea. The Melanesian Brotherhood, founded at Tabalia, Guadalcanal (Pacific Ocean island), Guadalcanal, in 1925 by Ini Kopuria, is now the largest Anglican Community in the world, with over 450 monk, brothers in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom. The Sisters of the Church, started by Mother Emily Ayckbowm in England in 1870, has more nun, sisters in the Solomons than all their other communities. The Community of the Sisters of Melanesia, started in 1980 by Sister Nesta Tiboe, is a growing community of women throughout the Solomon Islands. The Society of Saint Francis, founded as a union of various Franciscan orders in the 1920s, has experienced great growth in the Solomon Islands. Other communities of religious have been started by Anglicans in Papua New Guinea and in Vanuatu. Most Melanesian Anglican religious are in their early to mid-20s – vows may be temporary and it is generally assumed that brothers, at least, will leave and marry in due course – making the average age 40 to 50 years younger than their brothers and sisters in other countries. Growth of religious orders, especially for women, is marked in certain parts of Africa.


Worldwide distribution

Anglicanism represents the third largest Christian communion in the world, after the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Roman Catholic Church
and the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
es. The number of Anglicans in the world is over 85 million . The 11 provinces in Africa saw growth in the last two decades. They now include 36.7 million members, more Anglicans than there are in England. England remains the largest single Anglican province, with 26 million members. In most industrialised countries, church attendance has decreased since the 19th century. Anglicanism's presence in the rest of the world is due to large-scale emigration, the establishment of expatriate communities, or the work of missionaries. The
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
has been a church of missionary, missionaries since the 17th century, when the Church first left English shores with colonists who founded what would become the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa, and established Anglican churches. For example, an Anglican chaplain, Robert Wolfall, with Martin Frobisher's Arctic expedition, celebrated the Eucharist in 1578 in Frobisher Bay. The first Anglican church in the Americas was built at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. By the 18th century, missionaries worked to establish Anglican churches in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The great Church of England missionary societies were founded; for example, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) in 1698, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) in 1701, and the Church Mission Society (CMS) in 1799. The 19th century saw the founding and expansion of social-oriented evangelism with societies such as the Church Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS) in 1836, Mission to Seafarers in 1856, Girls' Friendly Society (GFS) in 1875, Mothers' Union in 1876, and Church Army in 1882, all carrying out a personal form of evangelism. The 20th century saw the Church of England developing new forms of evangelism such as the Alpha course in 1990, which was developed and propagated from Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London. In the 21st century, there has been renewed effort to reach children and youth. Fresh expressions is a Church of England missionary initiative to youth begun in 2005, and has ministries at a skate park through the efforts of St George's Church, Benfleet Urban District, Benfleet, Essex – Diocese of Chelmsford – or youth groups with evocative names, like the C.L.A.W (Christ Little Angels – Whatever!) youth group at Coventry Cathedral. And for the unchurched who do not actually wish to visit a brick and mortar church, there are Internet ministries such as the Diocese of Oxford's online Anglican i-Church, which appeared on the web in 2005.


Ecumenism

Anglican interest in ecumenism, ecumenical dialogue can be traced back to the time of the Reformation and dialogues with both Orthodox and Lutheran churches in the 16th century. In the 19th century, with the rise of the Oxford Movement, there arose greater concern for reunion of the churches of "Catholic confession". This desire to work towards full
communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, reenacting the Last Supper **Communion (chant), the Gregorian chant that acc ...
with other denominations led to the development of the
Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, frequently referred to as the Lambeth Quadrilateral or the Lambeth-Chicago Quadrilateral, is a four-point articulation of Anglican identity, often cited as encapsulating the fundamentals of the Anglican Commun ...
, approved by the third
Lambeth Conference The Lambeth Conference is a decennial assembly of bishops of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion after the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthod ...
of 1888. The four points (the sufficiency of scripture, the historic creeds, the two dominical sacraments, and the historic episcopate) were proposed as a basis for discussion, although they have frequently been taken as a non-negotiable bottom-line for any form of reunion.


Theological diversity

Anglicanism in general has always sought a balance between the emphases of Catholicism and
Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the population in , and believe that is the , whose comin ...
, while tolerating a range of expressions of evangelicalism and ceremony. Clergy and laity from all Anglican churchmanship traditions have been active in the formation of the Continuing movement. While there are
high-church The term ''high church'' refers to beliefs and practices of Christian ecclesiology, liturgy, and Christian theology, theology that emphasize formality and resistance to modernisation. Although used in connection with various Christian denomination ...
, broad church, broad-church and low church, low-church Continuing Anglicans, many Continuing churches are
Anglo-Catholic Anglo-Catholicism, Anglican Catholicism, or Catholic Anglicanism comprises people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, Ne ...
with highly ceremonial liturgical practices. Others belong to a more evangelical or low church, low-church tradition and tend to support the Thirty-nine Articles and simpler worship services. Morning Prayer (Anglican), Morning Prayer, for instance, is often used instead of the Holy Eucharist for Sunday worship services, although this is not necessarily true of all low-church parishes. Most Continuing churches in the United States reject the 1979 revision of the ''
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
'' by the Episcopal Church and use the 1928 version for their services instead. In addition, Anglo-Catholic bodies may use the Anglican Missal, Anglican Service Book or English Missal when celebrating Mass.


Conflicts within Anglicanism

A changing focus on social issues after the Second World War led to Lambeth Conference resolutions countenancing contraception and the remarriage of divorced persons. Eventually, most provinces approved the ordination of women. In more recent years, some jurisdictions have permitted the ordination of people in same-sex relationships and authorised rites for the blessing of same-sex unions (see Homosexuality and Anglicanism). "The more liberal provinces that are open to changing Church doctrine on marriage in order to allow for same-sex unions include Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, South India, South Africa, the US and Wales." The lack of social consensus among and within provinces of diverse cultural traditions has resulted in considerable conflict and even schism concerning some or all of these developments (see
Anglican realignment The Anglican realignment is a movement among some Anglicans to align themselves under new or alternative oversight within or outside the Anglican Communion. This movement is primarily active in parts of the Episcopal Church (United States), Episc ...
). More conservative elements within and outside of Anglicanism (primarily African churches and factions within North American Anglicanism) have opposed these changes, while some liberal and moderate Anglicans see this opposition as representing a new fundamentalism within Anglicanism and "believe a split is inevitable and preferable to continued infighting and paralysis." Some Anglicans opposed to various liberalising changes, in particular the ordination of women, have become Roman Catholics or Orthodox. Others have, at various times, joined the
Continuing Anglican movement The Continuing Anglican movement, also known as the Anglican Continuum, encompasses a number of Christian churches, principally based in North America, which have an Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition ...
.


Continuing Anglican movement

The term "Continuing Anglicanism" refers to a number of church bodies which have formed outside of the
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, re ...
in the belief that traditional forms of Anglican faith, worship, and order have been unacceptably revised or abandoned within some Anglican Communion churches in recent decades. They therefore claim that they are "continuing" traditional Anglicanism. The modern Continuing Anglican movement principally dates to the Congress of St. Louis, held in the United States in 1977, where participants rejected changes that had been made in the Episcopal Church's ''
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
'' and also the Episcopal Church's approval of the ordination of women to the priesthood. More recent changes in the North American churches of the Anglican Communion, such as the introduction of same-sex marriage rites and the ordination of gay and lesbian people to the priesthood and Bishop, episcopate, have created further separations. Continuing churches have generally been formed by people who have left the Anglican Communion. The original Anglican churches are charged by the Continuing Anglicans with being greatly compromised by secular cultural standards and liberal theology. Many Continuing Anglicans believe that the faith of some churches in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury has become heterodox, unorthodox and therefore have not sought to also be in communion with him. The original continuing parishes in the United States were found mainly in metropolitan areas. Since the late 1990s, a number have appeared in smaller communities, often as a result of a division in the town's existing Episcopal churches. The 2007–08 ''Directory of Traditional Anglican and Episcopal Parishes'', published by the Fellowship of Concerned Churchmen, contained information on over 900 parishes affiliated with either the Continuing Anglican churches or the Anglican realignment movement, a more recent wave of Anglicans withdrawing from the Anglican Communion's North American provinces.


Social activism

A concern for social justice can be traced to very early Anglican beliefs, relating to an intertwined theology of God, nature, and humanity. The Anglican theologian Richard Hooker wrote in his book ''The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine'' that "God hath created nothing simply for itself, but each thing in all things, and of every thing each part in other have such interest, that in the whole world nothing is found whereunto any thing created can say, 'I need thee not.'" Such statements demonstrate a theological Anglican interest in social activism, which has historically appeared in movements such as evangelical Anglican William Wilberforce's campaign against slavery in the 18th century, or 19th century issues concerning industrialisation.


Working conditions and Christian socialism

Lord Shaftesbury, a devout evangelical, campaigned to improve the conditions in factories, in mines, for chimney sweeps, and for the education of the very poor. For years, he was chairman of the Ragged school, Ragged School Board.
Frederick Denison Maurice John Frederick Denison Maurice (29 August 1805 – 1 April 1872), known as F. D. Maurice, was an English Anglican theologian, a prolific author, and one of the founders of Christian socialism. Since World War II, interest in Maurice has exp ...
was a leading figure advocating reform, founding so-called "producer's co-operatives" and the Working Men's College. His work was instrumental in the establishment of the Christian socialism, Christian socialist movement, although he himself was not in any real sense a socialist but "a Tory paternalist with the unusual desire to theories his acceptance of the traditional obligation to help the poor", influenced Anglo-Catholics such as Charles Gore, who wrote that "the principle of the incarnation is denied unless the Christian spirit can be allowed to concern itself with everything that interests and touches human life." Anglican focus on labour issues culminated in the work of William Temple (archbishop), William Temple in the 1930s and 1940s."


Pacifism

A question of whether or not Christianity is a pacifist religion has remained a matter of debate for Anglicans. The leading Anglican spokesman for pacifist ideas, from 1914 to 1945, was Ernest Barnes, bishop of Birmingham from 1924 to 1953. He opposed both world wars. In 1937, the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship emerged as a distinct reform organisation, seeking to make pacifism a clearly defined part of Anglican theology. The group rapidly gained popularity amongst Anglican intellectuals, including Vera Brittain, Evelyn Underhill, and the former British political leader George Lansbury. Furthermore, Dick Sheppard (priest), Dick Sheppard, who during the 1930s was one of Britain's most famous Anglican priests due to his landmark sermon broadcasts for BBC Radio, founded the Peace Pledge Union, a secular pacifist organisation for the non-religious that gained considerable support throughout the 1930s. Whilst never actively endorsed by Anglican churches, many Anglicans unofficially have adopted the Augustinian "Just War" doctrine. The Anglican Pacifist Fellowship remains highly active throughout the Anglican world. It rejects this doctrine of "just war" and seeks to reform the Church by reintroducing the pacifism inherent in the beliefs of many of the earliest Christians and present in their interpretation of Christ's Sermon on the Mount. The principles of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship are often formulated as a statement of belief that "Jesus' teaching is incompatible with the waging of war ... that a Christian church should never support or justify war ... [and] that our Christian witness should include opposing the waging or justifying of war." Confusing the matter was the fact that the 37th Article of Religion in the ''Book of Common Prayer'' states that "it is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars." Therefore, the Lambeth Council in the modern era has sought to provide a clearer position by repudiating modern war and developed a statement that has been affirmed at each subsequent meeting of the council. This statement was strongly reasserted when "the 67th General Convention of the Episcopal Church reaffirms the statement made by the Anglican Bishops assembled at Lambeth in 1978 and adopted by the 66th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 1979, calling "Christian people everywhere ... to engage themselves in non-violent action for justice and peace and to support others so engaged, recognising that such action will be controversial and may be personally very costly... this General Convention, in obedience to this call, urges all members of this Church to support by prayer and by such other means as they deem appropriate, those who engaged in such non-violent action, and particularly those who suffer for conscience' sake as a result; and be it further Resolved, that this General Convention calls upon all members of this Church seriously to consider the implications for their own lives of this call to resist war and work for peace for their own lives."


After World War II

The focus on other social issues became increasingly diffuse after the Second World War. On the one hand, the growing independence and strength of Anglican churches in the Global South brought new emphasis to issues of global poverty, the inequitable distribution of resources, and the lingering effects of colonialism. In this regard, figures such as Desmond Tutu and Ted Scott were instrumental in mobilising Anglicans worldwide against the apartheid policies of South Africa. Rapid social change in the industrialised world during the 20th century compelled the church to examine issues of gender, sexuality, and marriage.


Ordinariates within the Roman Catholic Church

On 4 November 2009, Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic constitution, ''Anglicanorum Coetibus'', to allow groups of former Anglicans to enter into
full communion Full communion is a communion or relationship of full understanding among different Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church cong ...
with the Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church as members of personal ordinariates. 20 October 2009 announcement of the imminent constitution mentioned: For each personal ordinariate, the Ordinary (officer), ordinary may be a former Anglican bishop or priest. It was expected that provision would be made to allow the retention of aspects of Anglican liturgy; cf. Anglican Use.


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * * Buchanan, Colin. ''Historical Dictionary of Anglicanism'' (2nd ed. 2015
excerpt
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


Anglican Communion website
*
What it means to be an Anglican article

Anglican History website

Anglicans Online website

Online Anglican resources
{{authority control Anglicanism, Protestant denominations established in the 16th century Christian denominations founded in Great Britain