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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.
St Thomas the Martyr's
is a Church of England church
of the Anglo-Catholic
tradition, in Oxford
, near Oxford railway station
. The church was founded in the 12th century
, dedicated to St Thomas Becket
. The building still retains some of its original architecture, although substantial expansions and repairs have been made, particularly in the seventeenth century (under the curacy
of Robert Burton
) and in the nineteenth century.
The church played a significant role in the early stages of the Oxford Movement, being the site of daily services as well as such ritualist practices as altar candles and the wearing of Eucharistic vestments. The leaders of the Oxford Movement preached at the church and the early Tractarians were closely associated with St Thomas's. A candelabrum given by Ann Kendall in 1705 hangs in the chancel. The chancel ceiling was decorated with a pattern of gold stars on a blue background in 1914. Two years later, an altar was erected at the east end of the north aisle, and an aumbry placed in the north wall of the chancel. The royal arms of William IV are on display in the tower.
, also Saint Bede
, the Venerable Bede
, (c. 672
– May 25
), was a Benedictine monk
at the Northumbrian monastery
of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth
, today part of Sunderland
, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow
), both in the English county of Durham
(now Tyne and Wear
). He is well known as an author and scholar known as "The father of English history
The most important and best known of his works is the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, giving in five books and 400 pages the history of England, ecclesiastical and political, from the time of Caesar to the date of its completion (731). Pilgrims were claiming miracles at Bede's grave only fifty years after his death. His body was transferred to Durham Cathedral in the mid-11th century and to its present location in the Galilee Chapel there in 1370.
His scholarship and importance to the Church were recognised in 1899 when he was declared by the Roman Catholic Church to be the first English Doctor of the Church as St Bede The Venerable. He is also the only Englishman in Dante's Paradise (Paradiso' X.130), mentioned among theologians and doctors of the church.