Church of England

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Church of England
The Church of England badge is copyright  The Archbishops' Council, 2000.
Independence 1534 (from the Roman Catholic Church)
Supreme Governor Queen Elizabeth II
Primate Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Polity Episcopal
Headquarters Church House
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3AZ
England, United Kingdom
Territory England
Isle of Man · Channel Islands
Gibraltar · Continental Europe
Language English
Members 27 million baptised members (2010)[1][2]
Website www.churchofengland.org

The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[3][4][5] in England and the mother church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by Saint Augustine of Canterbury in AD 597.[6]

As a result of Augustine's mission, the church in England came under the authority of the pope. Initially prompted by a dispute over the annulment of the marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon, the Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534 and became the established church by an Act of Parliament in the Act of Supremacy, beginning a series of events known as the English Reformation.[7] During the reign of Queen Mary I and King Philip, the church was fully restored under Rome in 1555. The pope's authority was again explicitly rejected after the accession of Queen Elizabeth I when the Act of Supremacy of 1558 was passed. Catholic and Reformed factions vied for determining the doctrines and worship of the church. This ended with the 1558 Elizabethan Settlement, which developed the understanding that the church was to be both Catholic and Reformed:

Since the Reformation, the Church of England has used an English liturgy. During the 17th century, political and religious disputes raised the Puritan and Presbyterian faction to control of the church, but this ended with the Restoration. The contemporary Church of England still continues to contain several doctrinal strands, now generally known as Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical. This reflects early divisions. In recent times, tensions between theological conservatives and progressives find expression in debates over the current ordination of women and homosexuality within the church.

The Church of England is divided into parishes, grouped into dioceses presided over by a bishop. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the Primate of All England, leading the Church of England and acting as a focus of unity for the wider Anglican Communion. The General Synod is the legislative body for the church and comprises bishops, clergy and laity. Its measures must be approved by both Houses of Parliament.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

According to tradition, Christianity arrived in Britain in the 1st or 2nd century, during which time southern Britain became part of the Roman Empire. The earliest historical evidence of Christianity among the native Britons is found in the writings of such early Christian Fathers as Tertullian and Origen in the first years of the 3rd century. Three Romano-British bishops, including Restitutus, are known to have been present at the Council of Arles in 314.[9] Others attended the Council of Sardica in 347 and that of Ariminum in 360, and a number of references to the church in Roman Britain are found in the writings of 4th century Christian fathers. Britain was the home of Pelagius, who opposed Augustine of Hippo's doctrine of original sin.[10]

Anglo-Saxon Christianity[edit]

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 sent Saint Augustine of Canterbury from Rome to evangelise the Angles. This event is known as the Gregorian mission and is the date the Church of England generally marks as the beginning of its formal history. With the help of Christians already residing in Kent, Augustine established his church at Canterbury, the capital of the Kingdom of Kent, and became the first in the series of Archbishops of Canterbury in 598. A later archbishop, the Greek Theodore of Tarsus, also contributed to the organisation of Christianity in England.

Synod of Whitby and papal authority[edit]

While some Celtic Christian practices were changed at the Synod of Whitby, the Christian Church in the British Isles was under papal authority from earliest times.[11] Queen Bertha of Kent was among the Christians in England who recognised papal authority before Augustine arrived[12] and Celtic Christians were carrying out missionary work with papal approval long before the Synod of Whitby.

Hereford is one of the church's 43 cathedrals; many have histories stretching back centuries

The Synod of Whitby established the Roman date for Easter and the Roman style of monastic tonsure in Britain. This meeting of the ecclesiastics with Roman customs with local bishops was summoned in 664 at Saint Hilda's double monastery of Streonshalh (Streanæshalch), later called Whitby Abbey. It was presided over by King Oswiu, who did not engage in the debate but made the final ruling.

Secession from Rome[edit]

In 1534, King Henry VIII separated the English Church from Rome.[7] A theological separation had been foreshadowed by various movements within the English Church such as Lollardy, but the English Reformation gained political support when Henry VIII wanted an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn. Pope Clement VII, considering that the earlier marriage had been entered under a papal dispensation and how Catherine's nephew, Emperor Charles V, might react to such a move, refused the annulment. Eventually, Henry, although theologically opposed to Protestantism, took the position of Supreme Head of the Church of England to ensure the annulment of his marriage. He was excommunicated by Pope Paul III.[13]

Henry maintained a strong preference for traditional Catholic practices and, during his reign, Protestant reformers were unable to make many changes to the practices of the Church of England. Indeed, this part of Henry's reign saw the trial for heresy of Protestants as well as Roman Catholics.

Under his son, King Edward VI, more Protestant-influenced forms of worship were adopted. Under the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, a more radical reformation proceeded. A new pattern of worship was set out in the Book of Common Prayer (1549 and 1552). These were based on the older liturgy but influenced by Protestant principles. The confession of the reformed Church of England was set out in the Forty-two Articles (later revised to thirty-nine). The reformation however was cut short by the death of the king. Queen Mary I, who succeeded him, returned England again to the authority of the papacy, thereby ending the first attempt at an independent Church of England. During her co-reign with her husband, King Philip, many leaders and common people were burnt for their refusal to recant of their reformed faith. These are known as the Marian martyrs and the persecution led to her nickname of "Bloody Mary".

Stained glass window in Rochester Cathedral, Kent

Mary also died childless and so it was left to the new regime of her half-sister Elizabeth to resolve the direction of the church. The settlement under Queen Elizabeth I (from 1558), known as the Elizabethan Settlement, developed the via media (middle way) character of the Church of England, a church moderately Reformed in doctrine, as expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles, but also emphasising continuity with the Catholic and Apostolic traditions of the Church Fathers. It was also an established church (constitutionally established by the state with the head of state as its supreme governor). The exact nature of the relationship between church and state would be a source of continued friction into the next century.

Stuart period[edit]

Further information: Stuart period

For the next century, through the reigns of James I, who ordered the creation of what became known as the King James Bible,[14] and Charles I, culminating in the English Civil War and the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, there were significant swings back and forth between two factions: the Puritans (and other radicals) who sought more far-reaching Protestant reforms, and the more conservative churchmen who aimed to keep closer to traditional beliefs and Catholic practices. The failure of political and ecclesiastical authorities to submit to Puritan demands for more extensive reform was one of the causes of open warfare. By Continental standards, the level of violence over religion was not high, but the casualties included King Charles I and Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud. Under the Commonwealth and the Protectorate of England from 1649 to 1660, the bishops were dethroned and former practices were outlawed, and Presbyterian ecclesiology was introduced in place of the episcopate. The 39 Articles were replaced by the Westminster Confession, the Book of Common Prayer by the Directory of Public Worship. Despite this, about one quarter of English clergy refused to conform to this form of State Presbyterianism.

With the Restoration of Charles II, Parliament restored the Church of England to a form not far removed from the Elizabethan version. One difference was that the ideal of encompassing all the people of England in one religious organization, taken for granted by the Tudors, had to be abandoned. The religious landscape of England assumed its present form, with the Anglican established church occupying the middle ground, and those Puritans and Protestants who dissented from the Anglican establishment, and Roman Catholics, too strong to be suppressed altogether, having to continue their existence outside the National Church rather than controlling it. Continuing official suspicion and legal restrictions continued well into the 19th century.

19th century[edit]

By the Fifth Article of the Union with Ireland 1800, the Church of England and Church of Ireland were united into "one protestant episcopal church, to be called, the united church of England and Ireland".[15] Although this union was declared "an essential and fundamental Part of the Union",[16] the Irish Church Act 1869 separated the Irish part of the church again and disestablished it, the Act coming into effect on 1 January 1871.

Overseas developments[edit]

Main article: Anglican Communion

As the British Empire expanded, British colonists and colonial administrators took the established church doctrines and practices together with ordained ministry and formed overseas branches of the Church of England. As they developed or, beginning with the United States of America, became sovereign and/or independent states many of their churches became separate organizationally but remained linked to the Church of England through the Anglican Communion.

Doctrine and practice[edit]

Richard Hooker (1554–1600), one of the most influential figures in shaping Anglican theology and self-identity

The canon law of the Church of England identifies the Christian scriptures as the source of its doctrine. In addition, doctrine is also derived from the teachings of the Church Fathers and ecumenical councils (as well as the ecumenical creeds) in so far as these agree with scripture. This doctrine is expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal containing the rites for the ordination of deacons, priests, and the consecration of bishops.[17] Unlike other traditions, the Church of England has no single theologian that it can look to as a founder. However, Richard Hooker's appeal to scripture, church tradition, and reason as sources of authority continue to inform Anglican identity.[18]

Canterbury Cathedral houses the cathedra or episcopal chair of the Archbishop of Canterbury and is the cathedral of the Diocese of Canterbury and the mother church of the Church of England as well as a focus for the Anglican Communion

The Church of England's doctrinal character today is largely the result of the Elizabethan Settlement, which sought to establish a comprehensive middle way between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. The Church of England affirms the Protestant Reformation principle that scripture contains all things necessary to salvation and is the final arbiter in doctrinal matters. The Thirty-nine Articles are the church's only official confessional statement. Though not a complete system of doctrine, the articles highlight areas of agreement with Lutheran and Reformed positions, while differentiating Anglicanism from Roman Catholicism and Anabaptism.[18]

While embracing some themes of the Protestant Reformation, the Church of England also maintains Catholic traditions of the ancient church and teachings of the Church Fathers, unless these are considered contrary to scripture. It accepts the decisions of the first four ecumenical councils concerning the Trinity and the Incarnation. The Church of England also preserves Catholic order by adhering to episcopal polity, with ordained orders of bishops, priests and deacons. There are differences of opinion within the Church of England over the necessity of episcopacy. Some consider it essential, while others feel it is needed for the proper ordering of the church.[18]

The Church of England has, as one of its distinguishing marks, a breadth and "open-mindedness". This tolerance has allowed Anglicans who emphasise the Catholic tradition and others who emphasise the Reformed tradition to coexist. The three "parties" (see Churchmanship) in the Church of England are sometimes called high church (or Anglo-Catholic), low church (or Evangelical) and broad church (or liberal). The high church party places importance on the Church of England's continuity with the pre-Reformation Catholic Church, adherence to ancient liturgical usages and the sacerdotal nature of the priesthood. As their name suggests, Anglo-Catholics maintain many traditional Catholic practices and liturgical forms.[19] The low church party is more Protestant in both ceremony and theology.[20] Historically, broad church has been used to describe those of middle-of-the-road ceremonial preferences who lean theologically towards liberal Protestantism.[21] The balance between these strands of churchmanship is not static: in 2013, 40% of Church of England worshippers attended evangelical churches (compared with 26% in 1989), and 83% of very large congregations were evangelical. Such churches were also reported to attract higher numbers of men and young adults than others.[22]

Worship and liturgy[edit]

The Church of England's official book of liturgy as established in English Law is the Book of Common Prayer. In addition to this book the General Synod has also legislated for a modern liturgical book, Common Worship, dating from 2000, which can be used as an alternative to the BCP. Like its predecessor, the 1980 Alternative Service Book, it differs from the Book of Common Prayer in providing a range of alternative services, mostly in modern language, although it does include some BCP-based forms as well, for example Order Two for Holy Communion. (This is a revision of the BCP service, altering some words and allowing the insertion of some other liturgical texts such as the Agnus Dei before communion.) The Order One rite follows the pattern of more modern liturgical scholarship.

The liturgies are organised according to the traditional liturgical year and the calendar of saints. The sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist are generally thought necessary to salvation. Infant baptism is practised. At a later age, individuals baptised as infants receive confirmation by a bishop, at which time they reaffirm the baptismal promises made by their parents or sponsors. The Eucharist, consecrated by a thanksgiving prayer including Christ's Words of Institution, is believed to be "a memorial of Christ's once-for-all redemptive acts in which Christ is objectively present and effectually received in faith".[23]

The use of hymns and music in the Church of England has changed dramatically over the centuries. Traditional Choral evensong is a staple of most cathedrals.[citation needed] The style of psalm chanting harks back to the Church of England's pre-reformation roots. During the 18th century, clergy such as Charles Wesley introduced their own styles of worship with poetic hymns.

In the latter half of the 20th century, the influence of the Charismatic Movement significantly altered the worship traditions of numerous Church of England parishes, primarily affecting those of evangelical persuasion. These churches now adopt a contemporary worship form of service, with minimal liturgical or ritual elements, and incorporating contemporary worship music.

Women's ministry[edit]

Women were appointed as deaconesses from 1861 but they could not function fully as deacons and were not considered ordained clergy. Women have been lay readers for a long time. During the First World War, some women were appointed as lay readers, known as "bishop's messengers", who also led missions and ran churches in the absence of men. After that no more lay readers were appointed until 1969.

Legislation authorising the ordination of women as deacons was passed in 1986 and they were first ordained in 1987. The ordination of women as priests was passed by the General Synod in 1992 and began in 1994. In 2010, for the first time in the history of the Church of England, more women than men were ordained as priests (290 women and 273 men).[24]

In July 2005, the synod voted to "set in train" the process of allowing the consecration of women as bishops. In February 2006, the synod voted overwhelmingly for the "further exploration" of possible arrangements for parishes that did not want to be directly under the authority of a woman bishop.[25] On 7 July 2008, the Synod voted to approve the ordination of women as bishops and rejected moves for alternative episcopal oversight for those who do not accept women bishops.[26] Actual ordinations of women to the episcopate will require further legislation, which was narrowly rejected in a vote at General Synod in November 2012.[27][28]

On 20 November 2013, the General Synod voted overwhelmingly in support of a plan to introduce women bishops, with 378 in favour, 8 against and 25 abstentions.[29]

On 14 July 2014, the General Synod approved the above plan to introduce women bishops. The House of Bishops recorded 37 votes in favour, two against with one abstention. The House of Clergy had 162 in favour, 25 against and four abstentions. The House of Laity voted 152 for, 45 against with five abstentions. [30] This legislation has to be approved by the Ecclesiastical Committee of the Parliament before it can then be finally implemented at Synod in November 2014.

Poverty[edit]

Church Urban Fund[edit]

The Church of England set up the Church Urban Fund in the 1980s to tackle poverty and deprivation. They see poverty as trapping individuals and communities with some people in urgent need. This leads to dependency, homelessness, hunger, isolation, low income, mental health problems, social exclusion, and violence. They feel poverty reduces confidence, reduces life expectancy people born in poor conditions have difficulty escaping.[31]

Child poverty[edit]

In parts of Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle two thirds of babies are born to poverty and have poorer life chances, also life expectancy 15 years lower than babies born in most fortunate communities. South Shore, Blackpool has lowest life expectancy at 66 years for men.[32]

The deep-rooted unfairness in our society is highlighted by these stark statistics. Children being born in this country, just a few miles apart, couldn't witness a more wildly differing start to life. In child poverty terms, we live in one of the most unequal countries in the western world. We want people to understand where their own community sits alongside neighbouring communities. The disparity is often shocking but it's crucial that, through greater awareness, people from all backgrounds come together to think about what could be done to support those born into poverty. [Paul Hackwood, the Chair of Trustees at Church Urban Fund][33]

Action on hunger[edit]

Many prominent people in the Church of England have spoken out against poverty and welfare cuts in the United Kingdom. 27 Anglican bishop are among 43 Christian leaders who signed a letter that urge David Cameron to make sure people have enough to eat.

We often hear talk of hard choices. Surely few can be harder than that faced by the tens of thousands of older people who must 'heat or eat' each winter, harder than those faced by families whose wages have stayed flat while food prices have gone up 30% in just five years. Yet beyond even this we must, as a society, face up to the fact that over half of people using food banks have been put in that situation by cutbacks to and failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions.[34]

Benefit cuts, failures and "punitive sanctions" force thousands of UK citizens to use food banks. The campaign to end hunger considers this "truly shocking". and calls for a national day of fasting on 4 April 2014.[34]

Membership[edit]

Official figures from 2005 show there are 25 million baptised Anglicans in England and Wales.[35] Due to its status as the established church, in general, anyone may be married, have their children baptised or their funeral in their local parish church, regardless of whether they are baptised or regular churchgoers.[36]

Between 1890 and 2001, churchgoing in the United Kingdom declined steadily.[37] In the years 1968 to 1999, Anglican Sunday church attendances almost halved, from 3.5 per cent of the population to just 1.9 per cent.[38] One study published in 2008 suggested that if current trends were to continue, Sunday attendances could fall to 350,000 in 2030 and just 87,800 in 2050.[39]

In 2011, the Church of England published statistics showing 1.7 million people attending at least one of its services each month, a level maintained since the turn of the millennium; approximately one million participating each Sunday and three million taking part in a Church of England service on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. The church also claimed that 30% attend Sunday worship at least once a year; more than 40% attend a wedding in their local church and still more attend a funeral there.[40] Nationally the Church of England baptises one child in eight.[41]

The Church of England has 18,000 active ordained clergy and 10,000 licensed lay ministers.[42] In 2009, 491 people were recommended for ordination training, maintaining the level at the turn of the millennium, and 564 new clergy (266 women and 298 men) were ordained. More than half of those ordained (193 men and 116 women) were appointed to full-time paid ministry.[43] In 2011, 504 new clergy were ordained, including 264 to paid ministry, and 349 lay readers were admitted to ministry; and the mode age-range of those recommended for ordination training had remained 40-49 since 1999.[44]

Structure[edit]

Dioceses of the Church of England
  Province of Canterbury
  Province of York

Article XIX (Of the Church) of the 39 Articles defines the church as follows:

The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.[45]

The British monarch has the constitutional title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The canon law of the Church of England states, "We acknowledge that the Queen's most excellent Majesty, acting according to the laws of the realm, is the highest power under God in this kingdom, and has supreme authority over all persons in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as civil."[46] In practice this power is often exercised through Parliament and the Prime Minister.

The Church of Ireland and the Church in Wales separated from the Church of England in 1869[47] and 1920[48] respectively and are autonomous churches in the Anglican Communion; Scotland's national church, the Church of Scotland, is Presbyterian but the Scottish Episcopal Church is in the Anglican Communion.[49]

In addition to England, the jurisdiction of the Church of England extends to the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and a few parishes in Flintshire, Monmouthshire and Radnorshire in Wales.[50] Expatriate congregations on the continent of Europe have become the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe.

The church is structured as follows (from the lowest level upwards):

The parish church of St Lawrence in Toot Baldon is typical of many small English village churches
  • Parish is the most local level, often consisting of one church building and community, although many parishes are joining forces in a variety of ways for financial reasons. The parish is looked after by a parish priest who for historical or legal reasons may be called by one of the following offices: vicar, rector, priest in charge, team rector, team vicar. The first, second, and fourth of these may also be known as the 'incumbent'. The running of the parish is the joint responsibility of the incumbent and the Parochial Church Council (PCC), which consists of the parish clergy and elected representatives from the congregation. The Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe is not formally divided into parishes.
  • There are a number of local churches that do not have a parish. In urban areas there are a number of proprietary chapels (mostly built in the 19th century to cope with urbanisation and growth in population). Also in more recent years there are increasingly church plants and Fresh expressions of church, whereby new congregations are planted in locations such as schools or pubs in order to spread the Gospel of Christ in non-traditional ways.
Map showing the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe with the archdeaconries colour-coded
  • Deanery, e.g., Lewisham or Runnymede. This is the area for which a rural dean (or area dean) is responsible. It consists of a number of parishes in a particular district. The rural dean is usually the incumbent of one of the constituent parishes. The parishes each elect lay (non-ordained) representatives to the deanery synod. Deanery synod members each have a vote in the election of representatives to the diocesan synod.
  • Archdeaconry, e.g., the seven in the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe. This is the area under the jurisdiction of an archdeacon. It consists of a number of deaneries.
  • Diocese, e.g., Diocese of Durham, Diocese of Guildford, Diocese of St Albans. This is the area under the jurisdiction of a diocesan bishop, e.g., the Bishops of Durham, Guildford and St Albans, and will have a cathedral. There may be one or more assisting bishops, usually called suffragan bishops, within the diocese who assist the diocesan bishop in his ministry, e.g., in Guildford diocese, the Bishop of Dorking. In some very large dioceses a legal measure has been enacted to create "episcopal areas", where the diocesan bishop runs one such area himself and appoints "area bishops" to run the other areas as mini-dioceses, legally delegating many of his powers to the area bishops. Dioceses with episcopal areas include London, Chelmsford, Oxford, Chichester, Southwark, and Lichfield. The bishops work with an elected body of lay and ordained representatives, known as the diocesan synod, to run the diocese. A diocese is subdivided into a number of archdeaconries.
  • Province, i.e., Canterbury or York. This is the area under the jurisdiction of an archbishop, i.e. the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Decision-making within the province is the responsibility of the General Synod (see also above). A province is subdivided into dioceses.
  • Primacy, i.e., Church of England. In addition to his specific authority in his own province, each archbishop is "Primate of All England" (Canterbury) or "Primate of England" (York) and has powers that extend over the whole country—for example his license to marry without the banns (marriage licence).
  • Royal Peculiar, a small number of churches more closely associated with the Crown, and a very few with the law and are outside the usual church hierarchy though conforming to the rite. These are outside episcopal jurisdiction.

All rectors and vicars are appointed by patrons, who may be private individuals, corporate bodies such as cathedrals, colleges or trusts, or by the bishop or directly by the Crown. No clergy can be instituted and inducted into a parish without swearing the Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty, and taking the Oath of Canonical Obedience "in all things lawful and honest" to the bishop. Usually they are instituted to the benefice by the bishop and then inducted by the archdeacon into the possession of the benefice property—church and parsonage. Curates (assistant clergy) are appointed by rectors and vicars, or if priests-in-charge by the bishop after consultation with the patron. Cathedral clergy (normally a dean and a varying number of residentiary canons who constitute the cathedral chapter) are appointed either by the Crown, the bishop, or by the dean and chapter themselves. Clergy officiate in a diocese either because they hold office as beneficed clergy or are licensed by the bishop when appointed, or simply with permission.

Primates[edit]

The most senior bishop of the Church of England is the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the metropolitan of the southern province of England, the Province of Canterbury. He has the status of Primate of All England. He is the focus of unity for the worldwide Anglican Communion of independent national or regional churches. Justin Welby has been Archbishop of Canterbury since the confirmation of his election on 4 February 2013.[51]

The second most senior bishop is the Archbishop of York, who is the metropolitan of the northern province of England, the Province of York. For historical reasons (relating to the time of York's control by the Danes) he is referred to as the Primate of England. John Sentamu became Archbishop of York in 2005. The Bishop of London, the Bishop of Durham and the Bishop of Winchester are ranked in the next three positions.

Diocesan bishops[edit]

The process of appointing diocesan bishops is complex and is handled by the Crown Nominations Committee which submits names to the Prime Minister (acting on behalf of the Crown) for consideration.

Representative bodies[edit]

The Church of England has a legislative body, the General Synod. Synod can create two types of legislation, measures and canons. Measures have to be approved but cannot be amended by the British Parliament before receiving the Royal Assent and becoming part of the law of England.[52] Although it is the established church in England only, its measures must be approved by both Houses of Parliament including the non-English members. Canons require Royal Licence and Royal Assent, but form the law of the church, rather than the law of the land.[53]

Another assembly is the Convocation of the English Clergy, which is older than the General Synod and its predecessor the Church Assembly. By the 1969 Synodical Government Measure almost all of the Convocations' functions were transferred to the General Synod. Additionally, there are diocesan synods and deanery synods, which are the governing bodies of the divisions of the Church.

House of Lords[edit]

Main article: Lords Spiritual

Of the 42 diocesan archbishops and bishops in the Church of England, 26 are permitted to sit in the House of Lords. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York automatically have seats, as do the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester. The remaining 21 seats are filled in order of seniority by consecration. It may take a diocesan bishop a number of years to reach the House of Lords, at which point he becomes a Lord Spiritual. The Bishop of Sodor and Man and the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe are not eligible to sit in the House of Lords as their dioceses lie outside the United Kingdom.[54]

Financial situation[edit]

Although an established church, the Church of England does not receive any direct government support. Donations comprise its largest source of income, and it also relies heavily on the income from its various historic endowments. In 2005, the Church of England had estimated total outgoings of around £900 million.[55]

The Church of England manages an investment portfolio which is worth more than £8 billion.[56]

Criticism[edit]

Anti-Zionism[edit]

On the 9th July 2012, the Anglican General Synod passed a motion affirming support for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).[57] This was criticised by the Board of Deputies claiming the Synod 'has chosen to promote an inflammatory and partisan programme'.[58] The advocated group was simultaneously criticised for its publication of a call for sit-ins at Israeli Embassies, the hacking of government websites to promote its message, and support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.[58][59] The Church has been consequently criticised for its advocacy of a body that selectively ignores terror attacks against Israelis and solely blames Israel for the conflict, along with the 'demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel'.[60]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (15 February 2007). "Catholics set to pass Anglicans as leading UK church". The Times (London). 
  2. ^ How many Catholics are there in Britain?
  3. ^ Eberle, Edward J. (2011). Church and State in Western Society. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 2. ISBN 978-1-4094-0792-8. Retrieved 9 November 2012. "The Church of England later became the official state church, with the monarch supervising church functions." 
  4. ^ Fox, Jonathan (2008). A World Survey of Religion and the State. Cambridge University Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-521-88131-9. Retrieved 9 November 2012. "The Church of England (Anglican) and the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) are the official religions of the UK." 
  5. ^ Ferrante, Joan (2010). Sociology: A Global Perspective. Cengage Learning. p. 408. ISBN 978-0-8400-3204-1. Retrieved 9 November 2012. "the Church of England [Anglican], which remains the official state church" 
  6. ^ Delaney, John P. (1980). Dictionary of Saints (Second ed.). Garden City, NY: Doubleday. pp. 67–68. ISBN 978-0-385-13594-8. 
  7. ^ a b The English Reformation by Professor Andrew Pettegree. Bbc.co.uk.
  8. ^ a b "Canons of the Church of England". Church of England. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Rahner, Karl (1975). Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi. Freiburg: Herder. pp. 301–302. ISBN 978-0-86012-006-3. 
  10. ^ Paula K. Byers; 1998, Encyclopedia of World Biography, Page 189 - Pelagius, ISBN 0-7876-2553-1
  11. ^ Marcus Holden and Andrew Pinsent, The Catholic Gift to Civilisation (London: CTS), p. 13ff
  12. ^ D. Attwater, "Ethelbert of Kent," in The Penguin Dictionary of Saints (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books), p.118
  13. ^ King Henry VIII (1491–1547). HistoryMole (18 September 2010).
  14. ^ The Diary Of Samuel Ward: A Translator Of The 1611 King James Bible, edited by John Wilson Cowart and M. M. Knappen
  15. ^ The Laws of England, p.104
  16. ^ Article Fifth of "An Act for the Union of Great Britain and Ireland" 1800. Rahbarnes.demon.co.uk.
  17. ^ Canon A5. Canons of the Church of England.
  18. ^ a b c Massey H. Shepherd, Jr. and Dale B. Martin, "Anglicanism" in Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 1, 2nd. ed., edited by Lindsay Jones (Detroit:Macmillan Reference USA, 2005), pp. 349–350.
  19. ^ "High Church", New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., vol. 6 (Detroit: Gale, 2003), pp. 823–824.
  20. ^ "Low Church", New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., vol. 8 (Detroit: Gale, 2003), p. 836.
  21. ^ E. McDermott, "Broad Church", New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., vol. 2 (Detroit: Gale, 2003), pp. 624–625.
  22. ^ 'New Directions', May 2013
  23. ^ Shepherd, Jr. and Martin, "Anglicanism", p. 350.
  24. ^ "More new women priests than men for first time". The Daily Telegraph. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  25. ^ Church votes overwhelmingly for compromise on women bishops – news from. Ekklesia.
  26. ^ "Church will ordain women bishops". BBC News. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2008. 
  27. ^ Pigott, Robert. (14 February 2009) Synod struggles on women bishops. BBC News.
  28. ^ "Church of England general synod votes against women bishops", BBC News, 20 November 2012.
  29. ^ "Church of England Synod votes overwhelmingly in support of women bishops". The Descrier. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  30. ^ "LIVE: Vote backs women bishops". BBC. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  31. ^ About Church Urban Fund
  32. ^ Church Urban Fund finds 'poorest' in north-west England
  33. ^ Child poverty in the UK
  34. ^ a b Church of England bishops demand action over hunger
  35. ^ Metro 2007
  36. ^ See the pages linked from the Life Events page on the Church of England website
  37. ^ Peter J. Bowler, Reconciling science and religion: the debate in early-twentieth-century Britain (University of Chicago Press, 2001), page 194.
  38. ^ Robin Gill, The Empty Church Revisited, (Ashgate Publishing, 2003) page 161.
  39. ^ Christian Research, Religious Trends (2008), cited in Ruth Gledhill, "Churchgoing on its knees as Christianity falls out of favour", The Times, 8 May 2008.
  40. ^ Church of England website. Churchofengland.org.
  41. ^ Church of England website. (PDF).
  42. ^ Church of England Research & Statistics link page. Churchofengland.org (9 May 2012).
  43. ^ Facts and stats. Churchofengland.org.
  44. ^ Church of England Year Book, 2012
  45. ^ 39 Articles – 19–22. Church Society.
  46. ^ Canon A 7 "Of the Royal Supremacy"
  47. ^ "Irish Church Act 1869". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  48. ^ "Our Heritage: Facing Difficulties". Church in Wales website. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  49. ^ "History: The Revolution". Scottish Episcopal Church website. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  50. ^ Cross, F. L. (ed.) (1957) Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church; p. 1436
  51. ^ BBC News – Welby takes over as Archbishop
  52. ^ "Summary of Church Assembly and General Synod Measures". Church of England website. Archbishops' council of the Church of England. November 2007. 
  53. ^ "General Synod". Church of England website. Archbishops' council of the Church of England. 
  54. ^ House of Lords: alphabetical list of Members. Retrieved 12 December 2008.
  55. ^ outgoings. Cofe.anglican.org.
  56. ^ "Citing ethics, Anglicans sell stake in News Corp" by Eric Pfanner, The New York Times, 8 August 2012.
  57. ^ "Support work for peace in divided region, Synod urged". Church Times. 2012-07-13. 
  58. ^ a b "Board of Deputies statement on the Synod EAPPI vote". Jewish Chronicle. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  59. ^ Quinn, Ronan; Botnen, Trond (2007), "40 ways to end the occupation", Chain Reaction (6): 25 
  60. ^ "The Synod should be ashamed for endorsing the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme". Daily Mail. 2012-07-12. Archived from the original on 2014-08-02. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Garbett, Cyril, Abp. The Church of England Today. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1953. 128 p.
  • Hodges, J. P. The Nature of the Lion: Elizabeth I and Our Anglican Heritage. London: Faith Press, 1962. 153 pp.
  • Rowlands, John Henry Lewis. Church, State, and Society, 1827–1845: the Attitudes of John Keble, Richard Hurrell Froude, and John Henry Newman. Worthing, Eng.: P. Smith [of] Churchman Publishing; Folkestone, Eng.: distr. ... by Bailey Book Distribution, 1989. xi, 262 p. ISBN 1-85093-132-1

External links[edit]