Free Protestant Episcopal Church

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Introduction[edit]

The Free Protestant Episcopal Church - FPEC in the United States (FPEC) began as an overseas outreach of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church of England. The English group was formed on November 2, 1897, from the merger of three smaller churches; others were to join later. The ordination of bishops from within the apostolic succession was of major importance to this group, as also was having the church recognized as a lawfully constituted denomination. The latter event occurred, at least tacitly, when an archdeacon from the group was exempted from World War I conscription in 1917 due to his clergy status, which would not have been permitted had the group not been considered a lawfully constituted denomination.

Thes church has traditionally been quite small. There are various reasons for this, but one of them seems to be that clergy have tended to pass though it as a church in which to be ordained by bishops from the historic apostolic succession before moving on to other, larger church bodies.

The FPEC has known much internal dissension, some based on theological disputes and some on personalities, as is common to many small denominations. On 12 February 2008 Block died and Leers succeeded him as the Primus of TIFPEC. In February 2011 Peers dissolved that jurisdiction, ending the schism.

Currently, after the solution of the schism, the Free Protestant Episcopal Church is in a phase of restructuring and advancing worldwide, continuing its centennial history.

Description[edit]

The Free Protestant Episcopal Church is a large group of Anglicans of all varieties of churchmanship from Anglo-Catholic (High Church), Evangelical (Low Church), Latitudinarian (Broad Church), Charismatic and Liberal. All of the Provinces of the Communion are autonomous, comprising self-governing churches and families of churches around the world. This Communion was established in England on 2 November 1897 by a union of several small British episcopates established in the 1870s, independent of the Church of England. The Most Rev'd Leon Checkemian (1848 to 1920), an Armenian Uniate bishop had moved to Britain and became an Anglican and served as the first primate of the new Church.

The Free Protestant Episcopal Church is a communion of free Anglican churches around the world, living an Anglican reconciliation and unity.

The Free Protestant Episcopal Church is present in the U.S., Canada, England, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Gabon and India.

Apostolic succession[edit]

The church claims valid apostolic succession derived from the Armenian Catholic Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Church of England (through the Reformed Episcopal Church of the United States of America). These lines were in the jurisdictions that united in 1897 to found the Free Protestant Episcopal Church.

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