The Church Union

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This article is about the Church of England group. For the merging of churches, see Church union.

The Church Union is an Anglo-Catholic advocacy group within the Church of England.

The organisation was founded as the Church of England Protection Society on May 12, 1859 to challenge the authority of the English civil courts to determine questions of doctrine. It changed its name to the English Church Union in May 1860. It was active in defending Anglo-Catholic priests such as Arthur Tooth, Sidney Faithorn Green and Richard William Enraght against legal action brought under the Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 whose passage had been secured by Archbishop of Canterbury Archibald Campbell Tait, who sought to restrict the growing Oxford Movement.

One of the most famous prosecutions occurred beginning in 1888, against Edward King (bishop of Lincoln). Such prosecutions ended in 1906 after a Royal Commission recognized pluralism in worship, but the act was not repealed until the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963. In 1933 the English Church Union merged with the Anglo-Catholic Congress to form the present organisation.

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