HOME

TheInfoList




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 Criticism of the Catholic Church, errors in the Catholic Church. ...
which is the
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 whether ...
of
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
. 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 ...
is the most senior
cleric Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sa ...
, although the
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of state He or HE may refer to: Language * He (pronoun) In Mod ...
is the
supreme governor The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is the titular headA titular ruler, or titular head, is a person in an official position of leadership who possesses few, if any, actual powers. Sometimes a person may inhabit a position of titular lea ...
. The Church of England is also the
mother church Mother church or matrice is a term depicting 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 followers perceived to b ...
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, ree ...
. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the 3rd century, and to the 6th-century
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 sent by Pope Pope Gregory I, Gregory the Great in ...
to
Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived ...

Kent
led by
Augustine of Canterbury Augustine of Canterbury (early 6th century – probably 26 May 604) was a monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" and a founder of the Christianity in Anglo-Saxon E ...

Augustine of Canterbury
. The English church renounced
papal The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Chr ...

papal
authority when Henry VIII failed to secure a papal
annulment Annulment is a legal procedure Procedural law, adjective law, in some jurisdictions referred to as remedial law, or rules of court comprises the rules by which a court hears and determines what happens in civil procedure, civil, lawsuit, criminal ...
of his marriage to
Catherine of Aragon Catherine of Aragon (; 16 December 1485 – 7 January 1536) was Queen of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom o ...

Catherine of Aragon
in 1534. 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 and includes the Elizabethan period during the reign of Elizabeth I until 1603. The Tudor pe ...
accelerated under Edward VI's regents, before a brief restoration of papal authority under
Queen Mary I Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its fol ...

Queen Mary I
and . The
Act of Supremacy 1558 The Act of Supremacy 1558 (1 Eliz 1 c 1), sometimes referred to as the Act of Supremacy 1559, is an Act of Parliament, act of the Parliament of England, passed under the auspices of Elizabeth I. It replaced the original Act of Supremacy 1534 issued ...
renewed the breach, and 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 ...
charted a course enabling the English church to describe itself as both Reformed and Catholic: * The Evangelical tradition has emphasized the significance of the Protestant aspects of the Church of England's identity, stressing the importance of the authority of Scripture, preaching, justification by faith and personal conversion. * The Catholic tradition, strengthened and reshaped from the 1830s by the Oxford movement, has emphasized the significance of the continuity between the Church of England and the Church of the Early and Medieval periods. It has stressed the importance of the visible Church and its sacraments and the belief that the ministry of bishops, priests and deacons is a sign and instrument of the Church of England's Catholic and apostolic identity. * The Liberal tradition has emphasized the importance of the use of reason in theological exploration. It has stressed the need to develop Christian belief and practice in order to respond creatively to wider advances in human knowledge and understanding and the importance of social and political action in forwarding God's kingdom. In the earlier phase 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 and includes the Elizabethan period during the reign of Elizabeth I until 1603. The Tudor pe ...
there were both
Catholic martyrs The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's old ...
and radical Protestant martyrs. The later phases saw the
Penal Laws In the history of Ireland The first evidence of human presence in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to ...
punish
Catholics 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 ri ...

Catholics
and nonconforming Protestants. In the 17th century, the
Puritan 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 Je ...

Puritan
and
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tr ...
factions continued to challenge the leadership of the church which under the Stuarts veered towards a more catholic interpretation of the Elizabethan Settlement especially under Archbishop Laud and the rise of the concept of Anglicanism as the ''
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 ...
''. After the victory of the Parliamentarians, the Prayer Book was abolished and the Presbyterian and Independent factions dominated. The
episcopacy An episcopal polity is a hierarchical form of church governance ("ecclesiastical polity") in which the chief local authorities are called bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christi ...
(bishops) was abolished in 1646. The
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a film by D.W. Griffith starr ...
restored the Church of England, episcopacy and the Prayer Book. Papal recognition of
George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the ...

George III
in 1766 led to greater religious tolerance. Since the English Reformation, the Church of England has used English in the
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 ...
. The church contains several doctrinal strands, the main three being known as
Anglo-Catholic Anglo-Catholicism, Anglican Catholicism, or Catholic Anglicanism comprises people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, ...
,
evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salv ...
and broad church. Tensions between theological conservatives and progressives find expression in debates over the
ordination of women File:Izabela Wiłucka.jpg, First woman Mariavite Church, Mariavite bishop Maria Izabela Wiłucka-Kowalska, was consecrated in 1929 in Płock, Plock (Poland) The ordination of women to Minister of religion, ministerial or priestly office is an incre ...
and
homosexuality Homosexuality is Romance (love), romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or Human sexual activity, sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic ...
. The church includes both
liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
and conservative clergy and members. The governing structure of the church is based on
diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, prov ...
s, each presided over by a bishop. Within each diocese are local parishes. The
General Synod of the Church of EnglandThe General Synod is the Tricameralism, tricameral deliberative and legislative organ of the Church of England. The synod was instituted in 1970, replacing the Church Assembly, and is the culmination of a process of rediscovering self-government for ...
is the legislative body for the church and comprises bishops, other clergy and
laity In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not part of the clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presidin ...
. Its measures must be approved by both
Houses of Parliament The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Informally known as the Houses of Parliame ...
.


History


Early Christianity in England

According to tradition, Christianity arrived in Britain in the
1st First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill, ...
or 2nd century, during which time southern Britain became part of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post- period of . As a it included large territorial holdings around the in , , and ruled by . From the t ...

Roman Empire
. The earliest historical evidence of Christianity among the native
Britons The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed ...
is found in the writings of such early Christian Fathers as
Tertullian Tertullian (; la, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus; 155 AD – 220 AD) was a prolific early Christian The history of Christianity concerns the Christianity, Christian religion, Christendom, Christian countries, and the Ch ...

Tertullian
and
Origen Origen of Alexandria, ''Ōrigénēs''; Coptic language, Coptic: Ϩⲱⲣⲓⲕⲉⲛ Origen's Greek name ''Ōrigénēs'' () probably means "child of Horus" (from , "Horus", and , "born"). ( 184 – 253), also known as Origen Adamantius, was an ...

Origen
in the first years of the
3rd century The 3rd century AD was the period from 201 Year 201 ( CCI) was a common year starting on Thursday Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone County Tyrone (; ) is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland ...
. Three Romano-British bishops, including
Restitutus Restitutus () was a Romano-British bishop, probably from Londinium (London), one of the British delegation who attended the church synod or Council of Arles (314), Council held at Arles (Arles, Arelate), in Gaul, in AD 314. The list of those who si ...
, are known to have been present at the Council of Arles in 314. Others attended the
Council of SerdicaThe Council of Serdica, or Synod of Serdica (also Sardica located in modern day Sofia, Bulgaria), was a synod convened in 343 at Serdica in the civil diocese of Dacia, by Roman Emperor (Dominate), Emperors Constans I, Augustus (honorific), augustus i ...
in 347 and that of
Ariminum Rimini ( , ; rgn, Rémin; la, Ariminum) is a city in the Emilia-Romagna egl, Emigliàn (masculine) egl, Emiglièna (feminine) rgn, Rumagnòl (masculine) rgn, Rumagnòla (feminine) it, Emiliano (masculine) it, Emiliana (feminine) or it, Romag ...
in 360, and a number of references to the church in
Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...

Roman Britain
are found in the writings of
4th century The 4th century (per the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in Crisis of the ...
Christian fathers. Britain was the home of
Pelagius Pelagius ( – 418) was a theologian who advocated free will and asceticism. He was accused by Augustine of Hippo and others of denying the need for divine aid in performing good works. They understood him to have said that the only grace ne ...

Pelagius
, who opposed
Augustine of Hippo Augustine of Hippo (; la, Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian and philosopher of Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Im ...

Augustine of Hippo
's theology of
original sin Original sin is the Christianity, Christian doctrine that holds that humans, through the fact of birth, inherit a tainted nature in need of regeneration and a proclivity to sinful conduct. The biblical bases for the belief are generally found i ...
. While Christianity was long established as the religion of the Britons at the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasion, Christian Britons made little progress in converting the newcomers from their native paganism. Consequently, in 597,
Pope Gregory I Pope Gregory I ( la, Gregorius I; – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally ent ...

Pope Gregory I
sent the
prior Prior (or prioress) is an ecclesiastical {{Short pages monitor