Portal:Anglicanism

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The Anglicanism Portal

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A map showing the provinces of the Anglican Communion (blue). Also shown are the churches in full communion with the Anglicans: The churches of the Porvoo Communion (green) and the Union of Utrecht (red)

Anglicanism most commonly refers to the beliefs and practices of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide affiliation of Christian churches. There is no single "Anglican Church" with universal juridical authority, since each national or regional church has full autonomy. As the name suggests, the communion is an association of churches in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. With an estimated 80 million members, the Anglican Communion is the third largest communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Anglicanism, in its structures, theology and forms of worship, is understood as a distinct Christian tradition representing a middle ground between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism and, as such, is often referred to as being a via media ("middle way") between these traditions. Anglicans uphold the Catholic and Apostolic faith and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In practice Anglicans believe this is revealed in Holy Scripture and the creeds and interpret these in light of Christian tradition, scholarship, reason and experience.

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Dioceses of the Church of England
The dioceses of the Church of England are administrative territorial units governed by a bishop, of which there are currently 44. These cover all of England, and also the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly, and a small part of Wales. The structure of diocese within the Church of England was initially inherited from the Roman Catholic Church as part of the English Reformation. During the Reformation, a number of new dioceses were founded. No new dioceses were then created until the middle of the 19th century, when dioceses were founded mainly in response to the growing population, especially in the northern industrial cities.

The last dioceses were created in 1927. The 44 dioceses are divided into two Provinces, the Province of Canterbury (with 30 dioceses) and the Province of York (with 14 dioceses). The archbishops of Canterbury and York have pastoral oversight over the bishops within their province, along with certain other rights and responsibilities.

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Augustine of Canterbury
Augustine of Canterbury (died 26 May 604) was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 598. He is considered the "Apostle to the English", and a founder of the English Church. Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead a mission to Britain to convert the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity. Æthelberht allowed the missionaries to preach freely and converted to Christianity, giving the missionaries land to found a monastery outside the city walls. Augustine was consecrated bishop of the English, and converted many of the king's subjects, including thousands during a mass baptism on Christmas Day in 597. Pope Gregory sent more missionaries in 601, along with encouraging letters and gifts for the churches, although attempts to persuade the native Celtic bishops to submit to Augustine's authority failed. Roman Catholic bishops were established at London and Rochester in 604, and a school was founded to train Anglo-Saxon priests and missionaries. Augustine arranged the consecration of his successor, Laurence of Canterbury. Augustine died in 604 and was soon revered as a saint. The authority of the Roman Catholic Church over the Church of England remained in place for ten centuries, until the latter broke away in the 16th century during the English Reformation.

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