of All England
| Archbishop of Canterbury |
|General Secretary||Josiah Idowu-Fearon|
|Headquarters||Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England|
Lambeth Conference, London, England
|Separations|| Continuing Anglican movement (1977) |
Anglican realignment (2002)
|Official website|| www|
|Part of a series on Anglicanism|
|Liturgy and worship|
The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million memberswithin the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion. The traditional origins of Anglican doctrines are summarised in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571). The Archbishop of Canterbury (currently Justin Welby) in England acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares ("first among equals"), but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside of the Church of England.
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with about 2.4 billion followers.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.
The Anglican Communion was founded at the Lambeth Conference in 1867 in London, England, under the leadership of Charles Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury. The churches of the Anglican Communion consider themselves to be part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, and to be both catholic and reformed. Although aligned with the Church of England, the communion has a multitude of beliefs, liturgies, and practices, including evangelical, liberal and Anglo-Catholic. Each retains their own legislative process and episcopal polity under the leadership of local primates. For some adherents, Anglicanism represents a non-papal Catholicism, for others a form of Protestantism though without guiding figure such as Luther, Knox, Calvin, Zwingli or Wesley,or for yet others a combination of the two.
The Lambeth Conference is a decennial assembly of bishops of the Anglican Communion convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The first such conference took place in 1867.
Charles Thomas Longley was a bishop in the Church of England. He served as Bishop of Ripon, Bishop of Durham, Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1862 until his death.
The Four Marks of the Church, also known as the Attributes of the Church, is a term describing four distinctive adjectives—"one, holy, catholic and apostolic"—of traditional Christian ecclesiology as expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed completed at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381: "[We believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." This ecumenical creed is today recited in the liturgy of the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Church of the East, the Moravian Church, the Lutheran Churches, the Methodist Churches, the Presbyterian Churches, the Anglican Communion and by members of many Reformed Churches.
Most of its 85 million members live in the Anglosphere of former British territories. Full participation in the sacramental life of each church is available to all communicant members. Due to their historical link to England (Ecclesia Anglicana means "English Church"), some of the member churches are known as "Anglican", such as the Anglican Church of Canada. Others, for example the Church of Ireland, the Scottish and American Episcopal churches have official names which do not include "Anglican". (Additionally, there are now breakaway churches called "Anglican" which are not of the Communion.)
The Anglosphere is a group of English-speaking nations that share common cultural and historical ties to the United Kingdom, and which today maintain close political, diplomatic and military cooperation. While the nations included in different sources vary, the Anglosphere is usually not considered to include all countries where English is an official language, although the nations that are commonly included were all once part of the British Empire. Most definitions include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The term can also encompass the Republic of Ireland and English-speaking Caribbean countries such as The Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica.
The Anglican Church of Canada is the province of the Anglican Communion in Canada. The official French-language name is l'Église anglicane du Canada. In 2007, the Anglican Church counted 545,957 members on parish rolls in 2,792 congregations, organized into 1,676 parishes. The 2011 Canadian Census counted 1,631,845 self-identified Anglicans, making the Anglican Church the third-largest Canadian church after the Catholic Church and the United Church of Canada. The Queen of Canada's Canadian Royal Style continues to include the title of Defender of the Faith, and the Canadian Monarch continues her countenance of three Chapels Royal in the Realm.
The Church of Ireland is a Christian church in Ireland and an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. It is organised on an all-Ireland basis and is the second largest Christian church on the island after the Catholic Church. Like other Anglican churches, it has retained elements of pre-Reformation practice, notably its episcopal polity, while rejecting the primacy of the Pope. In theological and liturgical matters, it incorporates many principles of the Reformation, particularly those espoused during the English Reformation. The church self-identifies as being both catholic and Reformed. Within the church, differences exist between those members who are more Catholic-leaning and those who are more Protestant-leaning (evangelical). For historical and cultural reasons, the Church of Ireland is generally identified as a Protestant church.
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The Anglican Communion has no official legal existence nor any governing structure which might exercise authority over the member churches. There is an Anglican Communion Office in London, under the aegis of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but it only serves in a supporting and organisational role. The communion is held together by a shared history, expressed in its ecclesiology, polity and ethos and also by participation in international consultative bodies.
In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of the Christian Church, the origins of Christianity, its relationship to Jesus, its role in salvation, its polity, its discipline, its destiny, and its leadership.
A polity is an identifiable political entity, or any group of people who have a collective identity, who have a capacity to mobilize resources, and are organized by some form of institutionalized hierarchy. A polity can be the government of a country, or country subdivision, or any other group of people organized for governance.
Ethos is a Greek word meaning "character" that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power of music to influence emotions, behaviors, and even morals. Early Greek stories of Orpheus exhibit this idea in a compelling way. The word's use in rhetoric is closely based on the Greek terminology used by Aristotle in his concept of the three artistic proofs or modes of persuasion.
Three elements have been important in holding the communion together: first, the shared ecclesial structure of the component churches, manifested in an episcopal polity maintained through the apostolic succession of bishops and synodical government; second, the principle of belief expressed in worship, investing importance in approved prayer books and their rubrics; and third, the historical documents and the writings of early Anglican divines that have influenced the ethos of the communion.
An episcopal polity is a hierarchical form of church governance in which the chief local authorities are called bishops. It is the structure used by many of the major Christian Churches and denominations, such as the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Church of the East, Anglican, and Lutheran churches or denominations, and other churches founded independently from these lineages.
Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession, which has usually been associated with a claim that the succession is through a series of bishops. This series was seen originally as that of the bishops of a particular see founded by one or more of the apostles. According to historian Justo L. González, apostolic succession is generally understood today as meaning a series of bishops, regardless of see, each consecrated by other bishops, themselves consecrated similarly in a succession going back to the apostles. According to the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, "apostolic succession" means more than a mere transmission of powers. It is succession in a Church which witnesses to the apostolic faith, in communion with the other Churches, witnesses of the same apostolic faith. The "see (cathedra) plays an important role in inserting the bishop into the heart of ecclesial apostolicity", but, once ordained, the bishop becomes in his Church the guarantor of apostolicity and becomes a successor of the apostles.
A synod is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word synod comes from the Greek σύνοδος (sýnodos) meaning "assembly" or "meeting", and it is synonymous with the Latin word concilium meaning "council". Originally, synods were meetings of bishops, and the word is still used in that sense in Catholicism, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not. It is also sometimes used to refer to a church that is governed by a synod.
Originally, the Church of England was self-contained and relied for its unity and identity on its own history, its traditional legal and episcopal structure and its status as an established church of the state. As such Anglicanism was, from the outset, a movement with an explicitly episcopal polity, a characteristic which has been vital in maintaining the unity of the communion by conveying the episcopate's role in manifesting visible catholicity and ecumenism.
Early in its development, Anglicanism developed a vernacular prayer book, called the Book of Common Prayer. Unlike other traditions, Anglicanism has never been governed by a magisterium nor by appeal to one founding theologian, nor by an extra-credal summary of doctrine (such as the Westminster Confession of the Presbyterian churches). Instead, Anglicans have typically appealed to the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and its offshoots as a guide to Anglican theology and practise. This had the effect of inculcating the principle of lex orandi, lex credendi (Latin loosely translated as "the law of praying [is] the law of believing") as the foundation of Anglican identity and confession.
Protracted conflict through the 17th century with radical Protestants on the one hand and Catholics who recognised the primacy of the Pope on the other, resulted in an association of churches that were both deliberately vague about doctrinal principles, yet bold in developing parameters of acceptable deviation. These parameters were most clearly articulated in the various rubrics of the successive prayer books, as well as the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (1563). These articles have historically shaped and continue to direct the ethos of the communion, an ethos reinforced by their interpretation and expansion by such influential early theologians such as Richard Hooker, Lancelot Andrewes and John Cosin.
With the expansion of the British Empire, and hence the growth of Anglicanism outside Great Britain and Ireland, the communion sought to establish new vehicles of unity. The first major expression of this were the Lambeth Conferences of the communion's bishops, first convened in 1867 by Charles Longley, the Archbishop of Canterbury. From the beginning, these were not intended to displace the autonomy of the emerging provinces of the communion, but to "discuss matters of practical interest, and pronounce what we deem expedient in resolutions which may serve as safe guides to future action."
One of the enduringly influential early resolutions of the conference was the so-called Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1888. Its intent was to provide the basis for discussions of reunion with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, but it had the ancillary effect of establishing parameters of Anglican identity. It establishes four principles with these words:
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As mentioned above, the Anglican Communion has no international juridical organisation. The Archbishop of Canterbury's role is strictly symbolic and unifying and the communion's three international bodies are consultative and collaborative, their resolutions having no legal effect on the autonomous provinces of the communion. Taken together, however, the four do function as "instruments of communion", since all churches of the communion participate in them. In order of antiquity, they are:
Since there is no binding authority in the Anglican Communion, these international bodies are a vehicle for consultation and persuasion. In recent times, persuasion has tipped over into debates over conformity in certain areas of doctrine, discipline, worship and ethics. The most notable example has been the objection of many provinces of the communion (particularly in Africa and Asia) to the changing acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals in the North American churches (e.g., by blessing same-sex unions and ordaining and consecrating same-sex relationships) and to the process by which changes were undertaken. (See Anglican realignment)
Those who objected condemned these actions as unscriptural, unilateral, and without the agreement of the communion prior to these steps being taken. In response, the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada answered that the actions had been undertaken after lengthy scriptural and theological reflection, legally in accordance with their own canons and constitutions and after extensive consultation with the provinces of the communion.
The Primates' Meeting voted to request the two churches to withdraw their delegates from the 2005 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council. Canada and the United States decided to attend the meeting but without exercising their right to vote. They have not been expelled or suspended, since there is no mechanism in this voluntary association to suspend or expel an independent province of the communion. Since membership is based on a province's communion with Canterbury, expulsion would require the Archbishop of Canterbury's refusal to be in communion with the affected jurisdictions. In line with the suggestion of the Windsor Report, Rowan Williams (the then Archbishop of Canterbury) established a working group to examine the feasibility of an Anglican covenant which would articulate the conditions for communion in some fashion.
Episcopal Church of the United States
Church in the Province of the West Indies
Anglican Church in Central America
Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America
Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Church of the Province of Central Africa
Church of the Province of West Africa
Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Church of the Province of Melanesia
Diocese in Europe of the Church of England
Extra-provincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury
Church of the Province of South East Asia
No organised Anglican presence
The Anglican communion consists of forty autonomous provinces each with its own primate and governing structure. These provinces may take the form of national churches (such as in Canada, Uganda, or Japan) or a collection of nations (such as the West Indies, Central Africa, or Southeast Asia).
|Provinces||Territorial Jurisdiction||Membership (in thousands of people)|
|Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia||Aotearoa New Zealand, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga||469|
|Anglican Church of Australia||Australia||3,100|
|Church of Bangladesh||Bangladesh||16|
|Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil||Brazil||120|
|Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi||Burundi||800|
|Anglican Church of Canada||Canada||1,600|
|Church of the Province of Central Africa||Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe||900|
|Anglican Church in Central America||Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama||35|
|Anglican Church of Chile||Chile||NA|
|Province of the Anglican Church of the Congo||Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo||500|
|Church of England||England, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Europe||26,000|
|Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui||Hong Kong, Macau||29|
|Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean||Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles||505|
|Church of Ireland||Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland||410|
|Nippon Sei Ko Kai||Japan||57|
|Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East||Algeria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen||40|
|Anglican Church of Kenya||Kenya||5,000|
|Anglican Church of Korea||South Korea, North Korea||65|
|Anglican Church of Melanesia||New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu||200|
|Anglican Church of Mexico||Mexico||100|
|Church of the Province of Myanmar||Myanmar||62|
|Church of Nigeria||Nigeria||18,000|
|Church of North India||Bhutan, India||1,500|
|Church of Pakistan||Pakistan||500|
|Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea||Papua New Guinea||167|
|Episcopal Church in the Philippines||Philippines||125|
|Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda||Rwanda||1,000|
|Scottish Episcopal Church||Scotland||31|
|Anglican Church of South America||Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay||23|
|Church of the Province of South East Asia||Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam||98|
|Church of South India||India, Sri Lanka||3,800|
|Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan||South Sudan||3,500|
|Anglican Church of Southern Africa||Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Saint Helena, South Africa, Swaziland||3,000 - 4,000|
|Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan||Sudan||1,100|
|Anglican Church of Tanzania||Tanzania||2,000|
|Church of the Province of Uganda||Uganda||8,000|
|The Episcopal Church||British Virgin Islands, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Europe, Guam, Haiti, Honduras, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, United States, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela||1,836|
|Church in Wales||Wales||84|
|Church of the Province of West Africa||Cameroon, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone||300|
|Church in the Province of the West Indies||Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Eustatius, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands||770|
In addition to the forty provinces, there are five extraprovincial churches under the metropolitical authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
|Extra-Provincial Church||Territorial Jurisdiction|
|Anglican Church of Bermuda||Bermuda|
|Church of Ceylon||Sri Lanka|
|Parish of the Falkland Islands||Falkland Islands|
|Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church||Portugal|
|Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church||Spain|
|Province||Territorial Jurisdiction||Year Established||Year Dissolved|
|Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui||China||1912||1949|
|Church of Hawaii||Hawaii||1862||1902|
|Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon||Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka||1930||1970|
|Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America [ citation needed ]||Confederate States of America||1861||1865|
|United Church of England and Ireland||England, Wales, Ireland||1800||1871|
In addition to other member churches, the churches of the Anglican Communion are in full communion with the Old Catholic churches of the Union of Utrecht and the Scandinavian Lutheran churches of the Porvoo Communion in Europe, the India-based Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian and Malabar Independent Syrian churches and the Philippine Independent Church, also known as the Aglipayan Church.
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The Anglican Communion traces much of its growth to the older mission organisations of the Church of England such as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (founded 1698), the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (founded 1701) and the Church Missionary Society (founded 1799).The Church of England (which until the 20th century included the Church in Wales) initially separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534 in the reign of King Henry VIII, reunited in 1555 under Queen Mary I and then separated again in 1570 under Queen Elizabeth I (the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated Elizabeth I in 1570 in response to the Act of Supremacy 1559).
The Church of England has always thought of itself not as a new foundation but rather as a reformed continuation of the ancient "English Church" (Ecclesia Anglicana) and a reassertion of that church's rights. As such it was a distinctly national phenomenon. The Church of Scotland was formed as a separate church from the Roman Catholic Church as a result of the Scottish Reformation in 1560 and the later formation of the Scottish Episcopal Church began in 1582 in the reign of James VI of Scotland over disagreements about the role of bishops.
The oldest-surviving Anglican church building outside the British Isles (Britain and Ireland) is St Peter's Church in St. George's, Bermuda, established in 1612 (though the actual building had to be rebuilt several times over the following century). This is also the oldest surviving non-Roman Catholic church in the New World. It remained part of the Church of England until 1978 when the Anglican Church of Bermuda separated. The Church of England was the established church not only in England, but in its trans-Oceanic colonies.
Thus the only member churches of the present Anglican Communion existing by the mid-18th century were the Church of England, its closely linked sister church the Church of Ireland (which also separated from Roman Catholicism under Henry VIII) and the Scottish Episcopal Church which for parts of the 17th and 18th centuries was partially underground (it was suspected of Jacobite sympathies).
The enormous expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries of the British Empire brought Anglicanism along with it. At first all these colonial churches were under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. After the American Revolution, the parishes in the newly independent country found it necessary to break formally from a church whose supreme governor was (and remains) the British monarch. Thus they formed their own dioceses and national church, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in a mostly amicable separation.
At about the same time, in the colonies which remained linked to the crown, the Church of England began to appoint colonial bishops. In 1787 a bishop of Nova Scotia was appointed with a jurisdiction over all of British North America; in time several more colleagues were appointed to other cities in present-day Canada. In 1814 a bishop of Calcutta was made; in 1824 the first bishop was sent to the West Indies and in 1836 to Australia. By 1840 there were still only ten colonial bishops for the Church of England; but even this small beginning greatly facilitated the growth of Anglicanism around the world. In 1841 a "Colonial Bishoprics Council" was set up and soon many more dioceses were created.
In time, it became natural to group these into provinces and a metropolitan was appointed for each province. Although it had at first been somewhat established in many colonies, in 1861 it was ruled that, except where specifically established, the Church of England had just the same legal position as any other church. Thus a colonial bishop and colonial diocese was by nature quite a different thing from their counterparts back home. In time bishops came to be appointed locally rather than from England and eventually national synods began to pass ecclesiastical legislation independent of England.
A crucial step in the development of the modern communion was the idea of the Lambeth Conferences (discussed above). These conferences demonstrated that the bishops of disparate churches could manifest the unity of the church in their episcopal collegiality despite the absence of universal legal ties. Some bishops were initially reluctant to attend, fearing that the meeting would declare itself a council with power to legislate for the church; but it agreed to pass only advisory resolutions. These Lambeth Conferences have been held roughly every 10 years since 1878 (the second such conference) and remain the most visible coming-together of the whole Communion.
The Lambeth Conference of 1998 included what has been seen by Philip Jenkins and others as a "watershed in global Christianity". The 1998 Lambeth Conference considered the issue of the theology of same-sex attraction in relation to human sexuality. At this 1998 conference for the first time in centuries the Christians of developing regions, especially, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, prevailed over the bishops of more prosperous countries (many from the US, Canada, and the UK) who supported a redefinition of Anglican doctrine. Seen in this light 1998 is a date that marked the shift from a West-dominated Christianity to one wherein the growing churches of the two-thirds world are predominant, [ citation needed ]but the gay bishop controversy in subsequent years led to the reassertion of Western dominance, this time of the liberal variety.
The churches of the Anglican Communion have traditionally held that ordination in the historic episcopate is a core element in the validity of clerical ordinations.The Roman Catholic Church, however, does not recognise Anglican orders (see Apostolicae curae ). Some Eastern Orthodox churches have issued statements to the effect that Anglican orders could be accepted, yet have still reordained former Anglican clergy; other Eastern Orthodox churches have rejected Anglican orders altogether. Orthodox bishop Kallistos Ware explains this apparent discrepancy as follows:
Anglican clergy who join the Orthodox Church are reordained; but [some Orthodox churches hold that] if Anglicanism and Orthodoxy were to reach full unity in the faith, perhaps such reordination might not be found necessary. It should be added, however, that a number of individual Orthodox theologians hold that under no circumstances would it be possible to recognise the validity of Anglican Orders.
One effect of the communion's dispersed authority has been that conflict and controversy can arise over the effect divergent practices and doctrines in one part of the Communion have on others.Disputes that had been confined to the Church of England could be dealt with legislatively in that realm, but as the Communion spread out into new nations and disparate cultures, such controversies multiplied and intensified. These controversies have generally been of two types: liturgical and social.
The first such controversy of note concerned that of the growing influence of the Catholic Revival manifested in the tractarian and so-called ritualism controversies of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.This controversy produced the Free Church of England and, in the United States and Canada, the Reformed Episcopal Church.
Later, rapid social change and the dissipation of British cultural hegemony over its former colonies contributed to disputes over the role of women, the parameters of marriage and divorce, and the practices of contraception and abortion.[ citation needed ] In the late 1970s, the Continuing Anglican movement produced a number of new church bodies in opposition to women's ordination, prayer book changes, and the new understandings concerning marriage.
More recently, disagreements over homosexuality have strained the unity of the communion as well as its relationships with other Christian denominations, leading to another round of withdrawals from the Anglican Communion.Some churches were founded outside the Anglican Communion in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, largely in opposition to the ordination of openly homosexual bishops and other clergy and are usually referred to as belonging to the Anglican realignment movement, or else as "orthodox" Anglicans. These disagreements were especially noted when the Episcopal Church (US) consecrated an openly gay bishop in a same-sex relationship, Gene Robinson, in 2003, which led some Episcopalians to defect and found the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA); then, the debate re-ignited when the Church of England agreed to allow clergy to enter into same-sex civil partnerships in 2005. The Church of Nigeria opposed the Episcopal Church's decision as well as the Church of England's approval for civil partnerships.
"The more liberal provinces that are open to changing Church doctrine on marriage in order to allow for same-sex unions include Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, South India, South Africa, the US and Wales".The Church of England does not allow same-gender marriages or blessing rites, but does permit special prayer services for same-sex couples following a civil marriage or partnership. The Church of England also permits clergy to enter into same-sex civil partnerships. The Church of Ireland has no official position on civil unions, and one senior cleric has entered into a same-sex civil partnership. The Church of Ireland recognised that it will "treat civil partners the same as spouses." The Anglican Church of Australia does not have an official position on homosexuality.
The conservative Anglican churches, encouraging the realignment movement, are more concentrated in the Global South. For example, the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Church of Nigeria and the Church of Uganda have opposed homosexuality.GAFCON, a fellowship of conservative Anglican churches, has appointed "missionary bishops" in response to the disagreements with the perceived liberalisation in the Anglican churches in North America and Europe.
Debates about social theology and ethics have occurred at the same time as debates on prayer book revision and the acceptable grounds for achieving full communion with non-Anglican churches.
The term Old Catholic Church was used from the 1850s by groups which had separated from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with papal authority; some of these groups, especially in the Netherlands, had already existed long before the term. These churches are not in full communion with the Holy See. Member churches of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU) are in full communion with the Anglican Communion, and some are members of the World Council of Churches.
Full communion is a communion or relationship of full understanding among different Christian denominations that share certain essential principles of Christian theology. Views vary among denominations on exactly what constitutes full communion, but typically when two or more denominations are in full communion it enables services and celebrations, such as the Eucharist, to be shared among congregants or clergy of any of them with the full approval of each.
The Church of Nigeria is the Anglican church in Nigeria. It is the second-largest province in the Anglican Communion, as measured by baptized membership, after the Church of England. It gives its current membership as "over 18 million", out of a total Nigerian population of 190 million. Other statistics reveal that the Church of Nigeria has 2 million active attendees on a Sunday.
Since the 1990s, the Anglican Communion has struggled with controversy regarding homosexuality in the church. In 1998, the 13th Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops passed a resolution "rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture". However, this is not legally binding. "Like all Lambeth Conference resolutions, it is not legally binding on all provinces of the Communion, including the Church of England, though it commends an essential and persuasive view of the attitude of the Communion." "Anglican national churches in Brazil, South Africa, South India, New Zealand and Canada have taken steps toward approving and celebrating same-sex relationships amid strong resistance among other national churches within the 80 million-member global body. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has allowed gay marriage since 2015." "Church of England clergy have appeared to signal support for gay marriage after they rejected a bishops’ report which said that only a man and woman could marry in church." The Church of England's General Synod is set to discuss a diocesan motion "to create a set of formal services and prayers to bless those who have had a same-sex marriage or civil partnership". At General Synod in 2019, the Church of England announced that same-gender couples may remain married and recognised as married after one spouse experiences a gender transition provided that the spouses identified as opposite genders at the time of the marriage.
The Church of South India (CSI) is the second largest Christian church in India based on the number of members and is result of union of Anglican and number of Protestant churches in South India. The Church of South India is the successor of a number of Anglican and Protestant denominations in India, including the Church of England, the British Methodist Church and the Church of Scotland after Indian Independence. It combined the South India United Church ; the then 14 Anglican Dioceses of South India and one in Sri Lanka; and the South Indian District of the Methodist church. With a membership of nearly four million, CSI is one of four united churches in the Anglican Communion, the others being the Church of North India, the Church of Pakistan and the Church of Bangladesh.
The history of the Anglican Communion may be attributed mainly to the worldwide spread of British culture associated with the British Empire. Among other things the Church of England spread around the world and, gradually developing autonomy in each region of the world, became the communion as it exists today.
The Anglican Consultative Council or ACC is one of the four "Instruments of Communion" of the Anglican Communion. It was created by a resolution of the 1968 Lambeth Conference. The council, which includes Anglican bishops, other clergy, and laity, meets every two or three years in different parts of the world.
The Anglican Communion Primates' Meetings are regular meetings of the primates in the Anglican Communion, i.e. the principal archbishops or bishops of each ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion. There are currently 38 primates of the Anglican Communion. The primates come together from the geographic provinces around the world. As primus inter pares of the communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury chairs the meetings, with the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) serving as secretary.
Robert William Duncan is an American Anglican bishop. He was the first primate and archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) from June 2009 to June 2014. In 1997, he was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. In 2008, a majority of the diocesan convention voted to leave the diocese and the Episcopal Church and, in October 2009, named their new church the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Duncan served as bishop for the new Anglican diocese until 10 September 2016 upon the installation of his successor, Jim Hobby.
In 2003, the Lambeth Commission on Communion was appointed by the Anglican Communion to study problems stemming from the consecration of Gene Robinson, the first noncelibate self-identifying gay priest to be ordained as an Anglican bishop, in the Episcopal Church in the United States and the blessing of same-sex unions in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster. The Commission, chaired by Archbishop Robin Eames, published its findings as the Windsor Report on 18 October 2004. The report recommended a covenant for the Anglican Communion, an idea that did not come to fruition.
The Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU) is a federation of Old Catholic churches, nationally organised from 1870 schisms which rejected Roman Catholic doctrines of the First Vatican Council; its member churches are not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The 1889 Declaration of Utrecht is one of three founding documents together called the Convention of Utrecht. The UU is in full communion with the Anglican Communion through the 1931 Bonn Agreement; and, with the Philippine Independent Church, the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church, and the Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church through a 1965 extension of the Bonn Agreement. As of 2016, the UU includes six member churches: the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands (OKKN), the Catholic Diocese of the Old Catholics in Germany, the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland, the Old Catholic Church of Austria, the Old Catholic Church of the Czech Republic, and the Polish Catholic Church in Poland.
The word saint derives from the Latin sanctus, meaning holy, and has long been used in Christianity to refer to a person who was recognized as having lived a holy life and as being an exemplar and model for other Christians. Beginning in the 10th century, the Church began to centralize and formalize the process of recognizing saints; the process whereby an individual was added to the canon (list) of recognized saints became known as canonisation.
The Catholic Church has engaged in the modern ecumenical movement especially since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the issuing of the decree Unitatis redintegratio and the declaration Dignitatis humanae. It was at the Council that the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity was created. Before that time, those outside of the Catholic Church were categorised as heretics or schismatics.
The Convergence Movement is a syncretic movement among evangelical and charismatic churches in the United States to blend charismatic worship with liturgies from the Book of Common Prayer and other liturgical sources. The movement was inspired by the spiritual pilgrimages of modern evangelical writers like Thomas Howard, Robert E. Webber, Peter E. Gillquist, and ancient Christian writers such as the Church Fathers and their communities. These men, along with theologians, scripture scholars, and pastors in a number of traditions, were calling Christians back to their roots in the primitive church.
The Anglican realignment is a movement among some Anglicans to align themselves under new or alternative oversight within or outside the Anglican Communion. This movement is primarily active in parts of the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada. Two of the major events which contributed to the movement were the 2002 decision of the Diocese of New Westminster in Canada to authorise a rite of blessing for same-sex unions, and the nomination of two openly gay priests in 2003 to become bishops. Jeffrey John, an openly gay priest with a long-time partner, was appointed to be the next Bishop of Reading in the Church of England and the General Convention of the Episcopal Church ratified the election of Gene Robinson, an openly gay non-celibate man, as Bishop of New Hampshire. Jeffrey John ultimately declined the appointment due to pressure.
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is a Christian denomination in the Anglican tradition in the United States and Canada. It also includes ten congregations in Mexico, two mission churches in Guatemala, and a missionary diocese in Cuba. Headquartered in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, the church reported 30 dioceses and 1,037 congregations serving an estimated membership of 134,593 in 2017. The first archbishop of the ACNA was Robert Duncan, who was succeeded by Foley Beach in 2014.
The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) is a series of conferences of conservative Anglican bishops and leaders, the first of which was held in Jerusalem from 22 to 29 June 2008 to address the growing controversy of the divisions in the Anglican Communion, the rise of secularism, as well as concerns with HIV/AIDS and poverty. As a result of the conference, the Jerusalem Declaration was issued and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans was created. The conference participants also called for the creation of the Anglican Church in North America, as an alternative to the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada, and declared that recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury is not necessary to Anglican identity.
Anglican–Roman Catholic dialogue is the historical communication between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, through their ecumenical relations. These were notably shaped subsequent to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965).
Much of what we call the Anglican Communion today traces its origins to CMS work.