Talk:Church of England

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Clerical Abuse Investigations[edit]

First, apologies if I'm editing this talk page wrong: I'm doing this from my phone rather than my computer, which I'd unfamiliar.

The recent prominence in the news regarding the C of E having a number of Clerical Sexual Abuse scandals, and the efforts the Church is going to to try and root out evidence of past abuse and cover-ups to prevent them happening again, seem to be something that ought to be mentioned under the History/21st Century section; or if not there, then at least somewhere on the page. I was reading an article about it, came on to the wiki for more information, and the fact that the article isn't linked from here makes it difficult to find. By way of comparison, the article on the Catholic Church has a whole section devoted to clerical abuse. Obviously the revelations regarding the Catholic Church have been public knowledge for far longer, and the problem is (as far as we know) far less widespread in the C of E, but it still seems to me that it's worth mentioning. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:42, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

And I've realised that I'm not properly logged in, so it hasn't signed this properly. User:thedisillusionedyouth — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

(Just confirming that those two edited were actually me) Thom (talk) 15:46, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

Scottish Epicopal Church[edit]

I have removed the comments about the Scottish Episcopal Church in the introduction for the reason that the original and essentially correct information is that the Church of England is the "Mother Church" of the Anglican Communion. This does not therefore mean that that the Church of England is directly the Mother Church of every church or province which is now part of the communion. Various parts of the Anglican Communion ( such as the Scottish church ) were more directly founded by the American church ( or some other member church ) - but that does not negate the fact the origins of these churches are still historically traced back to the Church of England even if less directly. It should also so mentioned that not all parts of the current Anglican Communion are historically "Anglican" churches as such and therefore their historical connection to the Church of England is even more indirect. Afterwriting (talk) 06:07, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

No, the American Church was founded by the Scottish Episcopal Church, not the other way around (see Samuel Seabury (bishop)). The Scottish Episcopal Church actually has a quite different and distinct history from the CofE, and while there were many historical influences on it from England, to say it can be "traced back to the Church of England" is simply not correct. I think the term "mother church" is a pretty vague term. However, it is worth clarifying the relationship of the CofE to other parts of the UK and Ireland, as a reader may be confused by this complex history. A short explanation now puts the CofE in context without going into too much detail.Wikidwitch (talk) 16:37, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Spelling of "south-west" and "well-being"[edit]

I changed the spelling of "southwest" and "wellbeing" to "south-west" and "well-being" and was very surprised to discover that the change was reverted - twice.

The first time I was told that "southwest" and "wellbeing" are both acceptable and common; however, I don't agree that either is acceptable. To support this view, I note that both the SOED and the COD contain entries for "south-west" and "well-being", but don't record "southwest" and "wellbeing" even as alternative spellings. As the "Church of England" article is written in British English, surely these dictionaries are appropriate authorities.

The second time I was asked who says they are not acceptable and whether I own this article. As I mentioned earlier, the SOED and the COD say so. Furthermore, while I don't own this article, I do have the same editing rights as everyone else - including those who reverted my changes.

I know that this is a trifling matter, but I don't see why we shouldn't get it right, so I will make the changes again. If you decide to revert them please explain your reasoning here. (talk) 13:34, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

You are, of course, entitled to your opinions and preferences on these matters - but the fact remains that both "wellbeing" and "southwest" are in common use in British English - including British academic publications. In my experience "wellbeing" appears to actually now be the much more preferred British spelling style - especially since the trend in British English is to omit hyphens in most cases. Regardless of your personal preferences - and what the OED might say - both spellings are acceptable alternative spellings so I don't understand why you think that only one spelling is somehow more "correct" or more "British". I am pleased that you realise that other editors have rights to make changes as your edit comments came across as very arrogant and highminded (or should that be "high-minded"?). Anglicanus (talk) 14:49, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
When it comes to matters relating to the English language I'd rather accept the authority of the OED than your experience. I don't think that makes me high-minded. Were you being high-minded when you removed the hyphen from the article about Ruth Gledhill? (talk) 15:18, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I haven't been able as yet to check the latest editions of the OED. However, it is the principal role of dictionaries to reflect the meanings of words and their spelling - not to dictate them.
The following recent articles are all published in The Independent, an established and quality British newspaper. They should know a few things about what is currently acceptable British English spellings with regards to your insistence of what is considered "incorrect" and "unacceptable" spelling. All these articles use the spellings in the article and also in the article's and/or webpage's headline:
1. "Wellbeing":
2. "Southwest":
3. "Longstanding":
Anglicanus (talk) 09:39, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Early History and References[edit]

Hi there. Reading the article I see little reference to reliable sources. From the current text it looks like the Church of England was an established institution with it's cannons and dogmas, head(s) and history. Looking at the history section this does not show anything about it and has 0 references. Could you please help develop the article so we see if there was any such institution "Church of England" at the early period. The history of Christianity in Britain is 1 thing but putting it as history of the Church of England is totally another. Comentatorr (talk) 11:23, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

How can you distinguish the history of the Church of England from the history of the earliest Christianity in England? The earliest Christian communities in England evolve into the Catholic Church in England, then comes the English Reformation and the Catholic Church in England embraces reformed teaching and rejects papal authority, therefore we have the Church of England we know today. By all means, add sources. Ltwin (talk) 18:16, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Ditto, the above. Not clear what you're getting at Comentatorr. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 03:44, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Quoting another user "One of the big assumptions here I guess is that the Church of England=church in England, which is simply untrue. The Church of England CANNOT claim to be THE ONLY church in England..." Or quoting the original author "The history of Christianity in Britain is 1 thing but putting it as history of the Church of England is totally another". I think Comentatorr also has a good point when he says that this assumption is largely based upon the fact there are 0 references supporting, and even if references could be found, they would be regarding the Catholic Church in England, and not the Church of England (it is probably better to refer to it as the "Anglican Church" so you don't get confused between the Church of England, and the Christian community/church in England) Luther roxs (talk) 12:12, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Number of members[edit]

It seems odd to count church members by the number of baptized members, as this is not necessary--in fact almost certainly--not representative of those who actually self identify as Anglican. An increasing number of people in England have become secular or atheist, many of whom would have been baptized in the C of E. Their website ( says that 1.7 mil go to church at least monthly, and almost 3 mil attend Christmas services. It seems doubtful then that 27 mil identify with the C of E but I'm having trouble finding stats that distinguish between Christians in national surveys and the church's own which aren't specific in this regard. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kilkeel (talkcontribs) 18:58, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

The reason why church members are counted by baptisms, and not identification as Anglican, is because previous authors have identified that doing so would materially misrepresent the attendee numbers. For instance, look at this National Church Life Survey ( which indicates that whereas 73% of Pentecostals and 74% of Church of Christ persons weekly attended church, only 5% of Anglicans attended church weekly. Therefore, although there were almost 20 times as many people censused as going to an Anglican church, there were only 1.25 times as many people going to a Anglican than Pentecostal church on a weekly basis (talk) 09:47, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Showing that the census is inaccurate and not challenging his point at all.
All the same, if we're including attendance, it needs to be (well) sourced and the baptized numbers were wrong. See below. — LlywelynII 18:23, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Zionism/Restorationism - for or against?[edit]

Given its long and significant contribution to Restorationism, the sharp recent Anglican turn towards an official Anti-Zionist position has drawn strong criticism, I have referenced these comments.Cpsoper (talk) 21:04, 2 August 2014 (UTC) An editor has removed this section without adequate explanation, it has been restored. Cpsoper (talk) 17:37, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Do you have any NPOV references that state the C of E is anti-Zionist? It is common for Zionists to accuse those opposed to Israeli government policies of being anti-Zionist or even of being anti-Semitic. The Board of Deputies (presumably of British Jews) is hardly a neutral source. The formerly pro-Nazi Daily Mail is rarely a reliable source. Dabbler (talk) 18:17, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Both Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism are common, and the sources document them amply w.r.t. CoE. Neither the Board of Deputies nor the DM is prone to making such claims lightly. You have removed well-sourced claims. Please examine the evidence cited if you contest this. Cpsoper (talk) 19:38, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
The Daily Mail article is a vitriolic and racist opinion piece by Melanie Phillips who is a strong supporter of Israel. It does not quote any independent and reliable sources. The Board of Deputies are, as I have already pointed out, hardly an independent and neutral source for facts. They reflect Israeli government opinion which is not even the same as Israeli opinion. Dabbler (talk) 22:34, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course Dabbler is absolutely correct to revert this silly edit. The EAPPI is an official programme of the World Council of Churches, a body representative of almost every mainstream Christian denomination in the world. There is nothing unusual about the CofE declaring support for such an organisation, neither is there anything unique about it. Nobody has found it odd or objectionable, other than the BoD, and that is why there are no reliable independent sources for an allegation of anti-Zionism or anti-semitism. The material is highly POV and inappropriate, doesn't belong in the article, and has been properly removed. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 00:54, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Your comments here speak volumes, the implied suggestion that the highly politicised WCC represents most Christians sums it up nicely. The lobbying character of EAPPI, and its involvement in BDS was referenced from its own literature. Nevertheless if you insist on excising accurate and well sourced criticism from wikipedia, your sin will find you out sooner or later. Cpsoper (talk) 09:34, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

"COE" redirect[edit]

I'd expect COE to redirect to or at least to point to a disambiguation page. C of E is more common than COE for the English Established Church, and COE is in widespread use. YusufAlBinVeryNaughty (talk) 14:48, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done A disambiguation page has been created, and yes, I agree with you, CoE is more synonymous with the Council of Europe (talk) 09:59, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Disgraceful reason why the "Church" was started[edit]

I won't reiterate what I've already written on the Talk page for the Australian Anglican Church, but something needs to be said about why the church was started - i.e. for the sexual needs of King Henry the 8th to SHAG his brother's wife... (talk) 09:54, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

This statement is propaganda and garbage: dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by Saint Augustine of Canterbury in AD 597. What a load of RUBBISH!!! King Henry the 8th ESTABLISHED the church, and he was born 1491 and died -1547. How the Church of England can DARE to date back to 597 to one of the church fathers (St Augustine) is a matter of propaganda, and attempt to REWRITE history! As a result of Augustine's mission, the church was ESTABLISHED in England - there wasn't an ALREADY EXISTING church in England that came under the authority of the pope! That's sort of like if the Pentecostals were to say "we date back to to the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost". Yes you do... but so do the Catholics, Anglicans, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons.... (talk) 09:58, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

One of the big assumptions here I guess is that the Church of England=church in England, which is simply untrue. The Church of England CANNOT claim to be THE ONLY church in England... (talk) 10:00, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

I think you need to study History of the Church of England a bit more. Your initial post is so completely wrong that it rather takes away the credibility of any further arguments that you make. Dabbler (talk) 12:44, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm afraid User: you show a stunning ignorance of English Church history. As Dabbler correctly states, your initial statement is so far off the mark as to make anything else you say irrelevant. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 13:05, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
Rather than using Argumentum ad hominem stating a generalized "ignorance" of English Church history, why don't you point out what is wrong with the statement "The Church of England was established because King Henry the 8th wanted to shag his brother's wife"
I think I'll let the article speak for itself: "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"
I rest my case :) (talk) 10:36, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually - I won't "rest my case" just yet - this Introduction to the article hasn't made clear WHY this "initial prompting" happened. Yes, King Henry 8 wanted to annul the marriage to Catherine, but why.... Hmm..... Yes, you got it, he wanted to divorce Catherine so he could shag his brother's wife ;) ! Why not leave out the bleeding obvious truth that was pitted right throughout the English magazines when this story first broke out ;) ? Trying to rewrite history to suit a church whose pope is a woman (the Queen) - even though they don't ordain women??? (talk) 11:18, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
OK Henry VIII wanted an annullment from Catherine of Aragon BECAUSE she was his brother's former wife and he had been given a papal dispensation to marry her after his brother died. It was the Pope's refusal to annul that marriage that prompted the initial split from Rome. Now do you understand why your comments seem so ludicrous? Dabbler (talk) 14:21, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
There is not one single point of similarity between the position of the Pope in Roman catholicism and the Queen in the Church of England. As Supreme Governor she is essentially "chief lay member" and a figurehead, having no actual authority other than moral and ceremonial roles. There is no Pope in Anglicanism, which is actually one of the chief points of its existence, and even the chief ministerial role (Archbishop of Canterbury) is fundamentally different from Papacy. Also, the Church of England does ordain women. A full third of its ordained deacons and priests are female; it currently has no female bishops, but the legislation is in place for women to be ordained as bishops. Again, your ignorance of the facts is stunning. Your ignorance of Wikipedia is equally stunning if you think we're going to introduce the phrase "shag" into this article; it belongs in articles about carpets, not churches. Finally, go and read about the influences on the English Reformation, which begin about 200 years before Henry VIII was born. The monarchy was powerful in his day, but the English Reformation would have been impossible at the King's whim; it occurred because of the influences of the previous two centuries, and the King's marital affairs were nothing more than a trigger. Get yourself a copy of "The English Reformation" by A G Dickens (Fontana Press) which is an excellent one-volume survey of the topic, and was required reading before commencing Theology at Oxford in my day - which wasn't that long ago, so it probably still is. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 12:17, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
I think you know what I meant... King Henry divorced his brother's wife Catherine (who as you mention he legitimately married because his brother had DIED... Although this "death" is nonetheless suspicious given King Henry's thirst for blood...), so he wanted this annulment from Catherine because he wanted to shag Anne Boleyn (who as I have referenced below, he confided as a complete slut in the bed)! And his basis? Yes, just like all the Anglicans who appeal to the law, he points to Leviticus and says his marriage to Catherine shouldn't have been allowed in the first place anyway, which (1) shows a ridiculously bad manipulation of the Torah to achieve his sexual means, (2) fails to understand what Christ did on the cross (i.e. fulfil the law); and (3) his own disregard for the Bible, as he ought to have read it first, and not waited until he broke the law and ask the pope to remedy it by annulling his marriage! This is a textbook example of the Spirit of the law vs. Word of the law. He never engaged in premarital sex but nonetheless used multiple marriages to shag a whole heap of women!
You also seem to have a revisionist, rosy view of King Henry. Let me provide a few references about the so called "founder" of your church (remember: he is like the equivalent of the Martin Luther of the Lutheran church, although his own disgusting behaviour is clear purpose for the Anglicans to try to wipe him out of their history, hence he is by no means celebrated as well as Martin Luther- usually the Anglicans try to point to a more wholesome figure like King James who was aptly far more ecumenical than this pathetic King Henry figure - PS this is also a good analogy as Luther was NOT the "very beginnings" of a Protestant revolt, but he was the but-for cause; the same can be said about the Charismatic Movement and Asuza St, Asuza St was a tipping point although general charismatic direction was slowly being built up). So here is how King Henry is described in literature:
Do you now understand why the King Henry is one of the most hated figures of time? He is sexually perverse, a bully, a megalomaniac who murders others to get his way, a narcissist who brutally destroys his opponents, applies the rule of law at his own whim, manipulates the law for his own purposes, and in his later years, depicts traits of paranoid personality disorder. What is even worse is to his enemies, he paraded himself as doing everything in the "name of God", given now that he was the Head of the newfound church. I could not think of a better hydrocarbon to fuel the Richard Dawkins machine. Now what is even worse is this article about the foundation of the Anglican Church omits all of this, and includes none of it, instead depicting him as a mystical godlike figure who was nothing short of a goody two shoes!
You raise good points regarding the Queen being essentially useless, reduced only to a ceremonial figure (the same occurred in politics); and upcoming legislation for the acceptance of women as bishops in England - you need to understand that you have fellow brethren in Australia who are extremist literalist of the bible though! Touché for those good points though!
But I love the "name dropping" you did with "Theology at Oxford in my day" ;) Classic Anglican elitist behaviour, as a type of fallacious "argument from authority" I think you also failed to mention you didn't do a Theological degree at Oxford - you just studied an Arts degree and majored in Theology... Big different mate ;) (talk) 02:37, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
By the way, just a warning to other users about User:Timothy_Titus, if you look on his Wiki talk page, it states that he is a Freemason. How he can dare call himself a Anglican Christian is beyond me! Read this for a biblical perspective on Freemasonary cult: (talk) 03:26, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
Personal attacks are not welcome at Wikipedia. If you engage in such conduct in the future, your editing privileges may be suspended.
Not that you're wrong, but kindly sign your posts. — LlywelynII 18:19, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Acceptance of gay marriage, Clergy who are atheist, the Church being "out of touch"[edit]

YouGov in their poll for the Westminster Faith Debates has shown that 40% of Anglican clergy accept gay marriage. (

The article also lists other polling results, including:

  • 34% of clergy thought the Anglican Church had a negative impact on society because it discriminates against women and gay people
  • 35% of clergy admitted the Church was "out of touch"
  • 2% of Anglican clergy don't actually believe in God (how come atheists are being ordained?????)

I think that this all ought to be included in the article, if you disagree please feel free to write why you think it ought not to be included (talk) 09:33, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

I think we have a clear duty to not feed the Troll[edit]

This editor is not discussing the article but exhibiting his/her ignorance and prejudices and obviously cannot be reasoned with. Dabbler (talk) 12:54, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. A clear case of WP:DNFTT. There is also now personal attack which, if repeated, will require Administrator intervention. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 13:52, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Separatist movements spinning out of the Church of England[edit]

Because the Church of England has given off various spin off churches that are historically relevant, I think it is useful to update this article accordingly. Here is an example of a Church history timeline ( As you can see, the Church of England that was established in 1534 with the Act of Supremacy, and from it has been various spin off churches:

  • Quakers, who form part of the English Dissenters, capitalising the statement of King James (person who authorised the King James bible), "no bishop, no king", as the reversing Act of Uniformity 1662 required all clergy to be ordained as an Anglican, as well as use of all rites and ceremonies in the Book of Common Prayer, requirement to be Anglican to hold civil or military office, and to attend an English University. The main issue here was separation of church and state. This is particularly important because by the 19th century, it included Reformed Church (Presbyterians and Congregationalists), Baptists and Methodists (including The Salvation Army)
  • Episcopalians, who although accepted the bishop organisational structure, rejected submission to the King of England
  • Baptists, who also form part of the English Dissenters, only give baptism to professing believers, and not infant baptism (which is done in Anglican churches). Rather, Anglicans will conduct confirmation, They also differed in that they believed in autonomy of the local congregation, and not to be ruled by a central authority (or government as in the case of the Church of England)
  • Methodists, which are an 18th century revival within the Church of England, and separated from the church following the death of John Wesley. It is distinct from the Church of England by its Arminianism, and placed emphasis on helping the poor and average person, missional spirit (establishment of hospitals, universities, orphanages, soup kitchens, schools), rich musical tradition

None of these are currently mentioned in the article, despite the Church of England is mentioned in their articles. Luther roxs (talk) 12:12, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

"Spin off" is not a technical term, but even so, it would be wrong to describe Quakers or Baptists as such. Both movements have entirely independent histories, and their foundation has more to do with continental influences arriving in England, than anything to do with the Church of England. Neither the Quakers nor the Baptists would trace their ancestry through the Church of England in anything other than a most tangental and distant fashion. (American) Epicopalians are part of the Anglican Communion, and have a common heritage with the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church. Early church and chaplaincy foundations do trace their origins to England, but this is covered in the current article section 1.7 "Overseas development" and the main article referenced there. The formal foundation of American Episcopalianism came from the Scottish Episcopal Church, not the Church of England; in fact the Church of England refused to establish a church in the USA or to consecrate Bishops, which is why the Scottish Episcopal Church did so. I don't think there is any need for further mention in the article of any of these movements. I do agree that there should be more about the formation of Methodism, as that is the one movement that was genuinely a "spin off" from the Church of England. There is currently a mention of Wesley's hymn writing as being a new style in church music and worship, but there should be something about his subsequent formation of Methodist classes, and the process that led to this becoming a separate denomination. Similarly, the fact that the Church of England and the Methodist Church are currently in advanced talks about reuniting again, should be mentioned. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 12:45, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but as a fact of history, your statement accepting only John Wesley and Methodism as a "genuine spin off", and rejecting Baptists or Quakers as having spun off from the Church of England, is incorrect:
The earliest Baptist church can be traced back to 1609 in Amsterdon with John Smyth, who by 1606, a Fellow of Christ's College (Cambridge), broke ties with the Church of England. He was however, reared in the Church of England, first becoming a puritan English separatist, then a baptist Separatist. If you look at the page for puritan, you can see this reference being made too, "founded by John Calvin from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England". John Calvin's notability is recognised by the fact that he is a saint in the Church of England. The article continues, "After the Restoration of 1660 and the 1662 Uniformity Act, almost all Puritan clergy left the Church of England, some becoming nonconformist ministers". The article also needs to do a better job as distinguishing between the various English Dissenters, especially the Puritans Separatists (who thought the Church of England was so corrupt that true Christians should separate from it altogether), and the non-separating Puritans (who remained within the Church of England advocating further reforms)
The Quakers arose from the Legatine-Arians and other English Dissenters (Protestant) as a breakaway from the established Church of England, the founder George Fox himself was an English dissenter. By the way, if you disagree the Quakers broke from the Church of England, you should also redress that with the Quakers article which states in its Infobox that it "Separated from: Church of England"
These movements are particularly important, because they outline why there are differences of belief between the various different Christian denominations. It also explains how the Church of England eventually differs from the, particularly relating to the Holy Spirit (Charles Finney's Holiness Churches, Charles Mason's Church of God, Assemblies of God, Aimee Semple McPherson's Foursquare Church, Ken Gullickson and John Wimber's Vineyard Church), New Testament style leadership (James O'Kelly's Church of Christ, Billy Hybels' Willow Creek Church, Chuck Smith's Calvary Chapel), and missional focus (Phineas Bresee's Church of the Nazarene) Luther roxs (talk) 00:27, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, of course the earliest dissenters were formerly members of the Church of England, before establishing their protestant denominations (as you clearly and acurately demonstrate), but that is hardly "news". There was nothing else for them to have been, previously. The point is that they founded new movements, largely under continental protestant influences, and not something that was at all continuous with the Church of England. Indeed, it would have been a point of principle for many of them that they were starting a new movement, and not one that was continuous with their former Church of England life, from which they conspicuously resigned. The Wesleys are quite different, of course, and founded Methodism specifically as a movement within the Church of England. John Wesley resisted any split from the Church of England, and Charles Wesley positively opposed any such split. Methodism is a true "spin-off", tracing its roots directly back into the CofE. Baptists and Quakers are new movements, unrelated to the CofE beyond the former membership of their founding fathers. Thus Methodism should be given more prominence in this article, as you propose, but the other denominations are adequately covered in their own articles. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 02:17, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
OK, well I think I have successfully convinced you of my point, if I understand your statement correctly: "the earliest dissenters were formerly members of the Church of England, before establishing their protestant denominations", so our disagreement is now over principle and not fact. I think what you are thinking when I say "spin off", is "continuous" movements, but I won't entirely concede to you just yet, because apart from Methodists, there's also the puritans which, quoting the article, was "founded by John Calvin from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England". I emphasise the words "within the Church of England", and not as a separatist movement. Like I mentioned earlier, there were non-separatist puritans, which is important to mention, because they are what has caused the Church of England to maintain relatively "mainstream" in terms of Protestant Christianity.
Nonetheless, I still maintain disagreement with you, that the English Dissenters (which is where all of the above said movements originate from) should be omitted from the article together, simply because, although their founding fathers were formerly members of the Church of England, they failed to start a movement continuous with the Church of England. As an example, the only reason why the Church of England can be said to be continuous with the Catholic Church in England, is because of the Acts of Supremacy and seizure of Catholic assets, which is akin to a forced continuation. Thus, I disagree that a dissenting continuation (by peace and not force) cannot be classified as such too.
Perhaps a more disconcerting outcome, is that if you omit the Separatist movements (hopefully this word will appease more than the aforementioned "spin-off") and the English Dissenters from discussion, the article will also fail to indicate why the Church of England's theology differs from many of the (1) charismatic/Pentecostal, (2) non-state and flat leadership models; and (3) and missional churches, which fall under the same denominational stream as the Church of England. They then otherwise simply become a glob of Protestant church in classification. Luther roxs (talk) 00:27, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Given that Joseph Smith was apparently interested in Methodism as a young man, perhaps by the same logic, we should add the Mormons as a separatist group from the Church of England? This article is about the Church of England, not groups that were founded by people who left the church because they decided that its theology and doctrines and practices were not in accordance with their beliefs and principles. Dabbler (talk) 11:46, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Absolutely right! Timothy Titus Talk To TT 23:29, 31 October 2014 (UTC)


I made several edits to introduce a neutral point of view; presenting the COE view that it is continuous with early Christianity, while referring to the pre-reformation era as "Christianity" under the authority of the Pope, and emphasizing King Henry's declaration as head of the church in the 1500's. I also tentatively removed the divorce situation as perhaps unneeded in the lead. --Zfish118 (talk) 04:13, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Eh, ok, but be careful: we should present the COE claims but presenting it as anything other than dogma falls under POV since the act of reforming the church very pointedly discontinued it, for better or worse. Don't remove the divorce from the lead: it is the single most needful aspect of the entire page w/r/t the history of why this denomination exists. — LlywelynII 18:11, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
I do not agree with your logic. Reforming an institution does not "pointedly discontinue" it. Did the reforms of Parliament over the centuries, for example, make the current Parliament in anyway not a continuation of the previous versions? Is the Catholic Church after Vatican 2 not the continuation of the previous Catholic church despite the reforms? How and where do you draw the line without making it a point of view?
Secondly, King Henry VIII never was divorced, all his marriages, except the last. were either annulled or ended because his wife died. Dabbler (talk) 18:22, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Reading above, I see why the original treatment might have been phrased in a POVy way. Still, there should be a balanced way to get the issue across. — LlywelynII 18:21, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Where is the source - said in the infobox - that the denomination was founded in 597 in purpose to create a national church "of England"? Chicbyaccident (talk) 09:18, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Since there is currently no information about the origins of the church neither in the infobox, neither in the leading section - which are the authouritative sources to be consulted on this issue, according to you, please? As for now, it only states that it "Separated from: Roman Catholic Church [sic*]". * An name that didn't really exist as such by then. Chicbyaccident (talk) 11:28, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Lead source clarification[edit]

Does the "Dictionary of Saints" explicitly state that the Church of England's "formal establishment" began with the Augustine mission, as is claimed in the lead? --Zfish118 (talk) 18:11, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

I have added a reference which does explicitly state that, I can't check the original one so I have left it with the clarification tag. It could be deleted if it does not support the statement. Dabbler (talk) 17:38, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Astounding Omission: Which Bible?[edit]

I came here looking for the identity (identies?) of the version of the Bible that the CoE uses. Nothing. I'm pretty sure it used to be King James Version, but can't be more specific, and don't know its recent history. If you don't find the omission of the scriptural basis of an entire religious sect (3rd largest Christian denomination if the entire Anglican Communion is counted) astounding, I think you must not understand. Here's a hint: "the Bible" is not a single work, whether translated into various languages or not. Especially when the link in this article is NOT to what appears to be "Christian scriptures" but to an article about the Bible as a group of texts of Judaism and the multitude of Christian (and pseudo-Christian) off-shoots. Needs heavy editing. It also seems to minimize the recent problems the Anglican Communion has had regarding the acceptance of 'new fangled' ideas about women's and homosexual's "place" in the church community.FWIW.Abitslow (talk) 22:27, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't think the CofE has an "official" version of the Bible. I think Anglicans go to the store and buy the translation they like best just like the rest of us. Happy editing. Ltwin (talk) 23:35, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
It certainly isn't an "astounding omission". No mainstream denomination dictates which version/translation of the Bible its members must use. In the Church of England it is a requirement that all ordinands (clergy in training) learn New Testament Greek in order to study the NT in the original Greek versions (learning Hebrew for Old Testament study is optional). The officially commended and published Lectionaries (that is the printed volumes of Sunday readings set for each Sunday and Principal Festival throughout the year, on a three-year rolling basis) all use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), so that is the closest to an "official" translation in the Church of England today, but it is certainly not mandatory, and any church may use any translation, as may any individual member. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 04:19, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Total baptized[edit]

There may be a source for the figure 27 million baptized, but it's not either of the two currently being used. The Times gives 25 million plus, the Beeb gives "about" 26 million. Those are figures for all of the United Kingdom, although some parts of the page—such as the map of dioceses—make it seem like this page is only about the church in England, in which case there's no source at all for the number but it's significantly under even 25 million. — LlywelynII 18:08, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

The World Council of Churches uses the number 25 million and the Church of England Yearbook 2004 gives the number of 26 million.SeminarianJohn (talk) 10:06, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Proposed merge with A Church Near You[edit]

Shall we merge A Church Near You into this article? George Ho (talk) 00:18, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

I think the merger is a good idea. The website doesn't appear to be notable as a separate entity. Ilikeeatingwaffles (talk) 11:30, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
The website is under copyright by the Archbishops' Council. It is even linked to by the official website for the Church of England ( Susdit.genre (talk) 07:41, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
How exactly do you plan on integrating this article into the Church of England article without sounding weird? Seems like it would be more misplaced there and really deserves its own article. Has no one looked for more reliable sources to help add to this page? Again, it seems like a strange merge proposal to me. (talk) (ex user) 19:36, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
This page is basically a promotional ad for a product being peddled by The Anglican Church. None of the sources are third party, and shameless name-dropping ("...with a radio campaign backed by actor Jeremy Irons") isn't even backed by sources, therefore failing to meet Wikipedia Notability guidelines. The only reason anyone has let it live this long is because it's connected to a church, and churches are considered non-profits. I think a merger into Church of England is a generous offering over complete deletion. The only user who argues to keep it is hiding behind a naked IP. Kendrickhaveadream (talk) 17:25, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
"...a vital criteria for finding a church in which people could marry." How could peacock words like "vital" followed by a very expensive product get away on any other venue's Wiki? Imagine a sentence like that connected to a web product the Plaza Hotel put out. Kendrickhaveadream (talk) 17:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
The discussion has been dragging on for four months, with little interest. The consensus seems to be to merge the article. I've copied some of the text to this article, but I've deleted the fluff and self-promotion. Other editors feel free to correct the section as you seen fit. --Hazhk (talk) 13:14, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

20th Century[edit]

Sections in "History" : It seems odd to have the 20th Century not present between the 19th and the 21st; it was, after all, quite eventful. (talk) 23:30, 28 October 2015 (UTC)


There doesn't seem to have ever been a consensus here that Augustine founded the Church of England in 597, let alone any reliable sources for that claim, as opposed to the Church itself tracing its history to that papal mission which is (correctly) stated in the lead. Haldraper (talk) 10:36, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

Anyone who thinks that Henry VIII founded the Church of England knows very little about its history. Did you really think you would get away with that? Anglicanus (talk) 10:47, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

I do think that as it happens, but that's beside the point. You need to provide reliable sources to back up the claim that Augustine did. There also seems to be little point in having a link to "Roman Catholic Church" in the infobox which immediately redirects the reader to the correct page title of "Catholic Church". Haldraper (talk) 11:12, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

As stated above by Anglicanus, the suggestion that Henry VIII founded the CofE simply reflects a very poor knowledge of church history - and a very poor understanding of the man Henry VIII too. If you want a source just pick up any of the thousands of books on English church history. It won't wash. As for your comments about "Roman Catholic Church", there are multiple reasons why that is the correct phrase to use here. For one, when Henry stopped recognising papal authority over the English Church it was an alteration of the relationship with the western rite Roman Catholic Church, and not any of the other constituent autonomous churches which collectively form the Catholic Church. For another, the English Church continued to be catholic in form and practice (there was no change to liturgy, structure, etc - any alterations which did occur came much later), so again the use of "Roman Catholic Church" makes the position much clearer, and removes ambiguity. For yet another reason, the Church of England remains both the Established Church in England, and the historically consistent Church with the Augustinian mission, and as such is the Catholic and Apostolic Church within England by any theological or legal definition; it does not claim to be the Roman Catholic Church, but it certainly does claim to be (and is) the Catholic Church - again, I am not pushing a personal POV here, merely stating the actual facts of the situation. All of this is why there has been a clear consensus, long-established. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 13:30, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
It is perfectly acceptable in Wikipedia articles to link to an article via a redirect if the redirect name is more appropriate. Not only is it acceptable but it is also encouraged by the MoS. There is nothing "correct" about the Catholic Church article name. It is simply the name chosen by consensus and was previously Roman Catholic Church also by consensus. When it was changed to its present name the consensus decision included the principle that this was not a reason to also change "Roman Catholic Church" to "Catholic Church" in any other articles without consensus. Afterwriting (talk) 14:00, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
All reliable sources describe the change in status of the Church of England during the 16th century as a reformation, not a foundation. You can only reform something that already exists and the Church in England can also be reliably dated back to St Augustine's mission. Dabbler (talk) 16:06, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

If that's the case, why isn't the claim that Augustine founded the Church of England in 597 backed by a reliable, independent source?

As a comparison, in the infobox on the Catholic Church page the founder is given as "Jesus Christ, according to Catholic tradition". It might be possible to do something similar here. Haldraper (talk) 08:40, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

There ARE references (in the corresponding lead paragraph text), currently (as of today) refs 5 & 6. There is also a link to the CofE History page for those who wish to go into more detail on the Augustian mission, and Augustine's founding of the Church. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 09:27, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Those refs only support the CofE's claim to have been founded by Augustine, not an academic consensus that he did.

A Google search for "founder of the Church of England" tends towards Henry VIII being widely regarded as such, for example here:

Haldraper (talk) 10:22, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Regardless of what some academics think, the Church of England itself has never considered that it was founded in the 16th century by Henry. That is the usual ignorant and polemical Roman Catholic viewpoint but it is not the Church of England's own understanding ~ which is that it is the continuation of the English Church which existed prior to the English Reformation. Roman Catholics and others can disagree with the validity of this claim but they cannot avoid the fact that this is what is claimed. On the issue of Augustine as "founder" I also have some doubts that he should be referred to as such in the info box without the inclusion of "according to Anglican tradition" or something similar. Afterwriting (talk) 12:08, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

As you say, there is no dispute that the CofE considers itself as having been founded by Augustine, as stated in the lead. As for the infobox, I concur with the idea of adding "according to Anglican tradition". It also reads at the moment as though the CofE separated from the Catholic Church in 597 which obviously needs fixing. Haldraper (talk) 12:26, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Would an alternative be to have two values in each category? Augustine of Canterbury / Henry VII; 597 / 1534. This is roughly what is done in the case of, e.g. Newcastle University (which dates its founding both to the start of Durham University activity in Newcastle, and to its separation from Durham).
I don't think the analogy to the Catholic Church article quite lines up; what that page is saying is that the origins of the church are outside of reliable historical record, but it understands itself to have been founded by Jesus. In this case, the historical events are not in doubt, the question is what part of them constitutes a founding of the church; so the same solution is not necessarily appropriate.
(I would prefer to have no value than only Henry VIII, whether or not that is the popular understanding.) TSP (talk) 12:16, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I think that might work. Haldraper (talk) 12:50, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

I cannot see at all how this might work. Both "founders" are disputed and at least one will not be considered factually correct by many. In my own view neither is a founder in any clear sense. There is also no requirement, surely, that any "founder(s)" be mentioned in the info box. In this case, therefore, I suggest the most sensible thing is to not maker any claim or assertion in the info box who the founder is but leave the issue to the article itself. I note that no founder is mentioned in the Eastern Orthodox Church article. Not an exact analogy of course but it indicates that information about founders is not really needed. Anglicanus (talk) 04:37, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

I agree with Anglicanus and TSP who appear to be well educated and informed editors. The article is merely relaying the information that the CoE understands itself to be traced to St. Augustine of Canterbury and even Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox would agree that the Church in England has ancient roots. To suggest that King Henry suddenly founded a 'new' institution would be inconsistent with history and the CoE's self-understanding. TSP rightly points out that there are different conjunctures in the CoE's history that have shaped its formation and evolution. The article already accurately describes how the CoE, and Anglicans in general, trace their roots to St. Augustine and how King Henry separated it from the Church in Rome SeminarianJohn (talk) 05:49, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy section[edit]

This section is getting rather long and in-depth - it's now about 1/3rd of the Doctrine and Practice section. While this has significant current relevance, I don't know if this level of detail is justified in an article covering the entirety of the church? (It is, for example, almost the only mention of marriage in the article.)

It's also in a very different style to the rest of the article - the average paragraph length in the article is about 42 words. The average paragraph length in that section is over 300 words. It offers a lot of minor detail (is the action of St Bartholomew's Church really that relevant?) and is quite wooly and subjective in some places (what does "the Church of England has decidedly taken a liberal position on a number of issues relating to human sexuality" mean, and what is the source for it)?

I wonder what's the best approach to this? It could be split out into a separate article where it could more reasonably have the level of detail some parts of it have at the moment. I think if not it should be cut down a bit to take out some of the more subjective bits and cut down the level of detail a little. It should also be significantly copyedited into 2-3 sentence paragraphs like the rest of the article, rather than 15-sentence paragraphs as at present! TSP (talk) 12:20, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

I would be in favour of splitting of into an article like Homosexuality and the Anglican Church of Canada for example. Just leave a short summary and a link to the new article. Dabbler (talk) 13:39, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
I would also favour splitting it into another article as is done with the Anglican Church of Canada. That separation seems like it could provide the in depth details while at the same time, as TSP has suggested, leaving the opportunity to more briefly and succinctly summarize the views, both provincial and localized, in a shorter section for the CofE article.SeminarianJohn (talk) 22:24, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
I also support creating a separate article on this issue. As others have said, the issue is taking up too much space in the current article. There may also be some WP:RECENT problems as is. Afterwriting (talk) 23:20, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

That's a very good point, Afterwriting. I started the section and most of the information comes from the 90s-present. I do not, as of yet, know how to really move a section to a new article, but I think someone should initiate that so we can summarize on the CofE page.SeminarianJohn (talk) 00:34, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

I condensed it considerably and think it is much better. However, I remain in favour of creating a new article so that the citations and information could be represented well on a separate article unique to the topic and so that the CofE section could be further condensed in summary. As of now, the section is about the same size as worship and is now smaller than the section on Women's ministry. Moreover, I removed some of the more subjective language. SeminarianJohn (talk) 00:43, 4 May 2016 (UTC)