12 Facts About The Church Of England

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The Church of England

The Church of England, or Anglican Church, is the established or state church in England. It is the primary state church in England, where the concepts of church and state are linked. The Church of England is considered the original church of the Anglican Communion, which represents over 85 million people in more than 165 countries. While the Church upholds many of the customs of Roman Catholicism, it also embraces fundamental ideas adopted during the Protestant Reformation. The CoE is known for its relatively liberal policies, such as allowing the ordination of women and gay priests.

Here Are 12 Facts You Should Know About The Church Of England

Who Founded The Church Of England?

King Henry VIII started the process of creating the Church of England after his split with the Pope in the 1530s. Henry was anxious to ensure a male heir after his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had borne him only a daughter. He wanted his marriage annulled in order to remarry. In 1534 after several attempts to persuade the Pope to grant an annulment, Henry passed the Act of Succession and then the Act of Supremacy. These recognised that the King was “the only supreme head of the Church of England called Anglicana Ecclesia”.

The Church of England was founded by Henry VIII.

When Was The Church Of England Founded?

The Church of England was officially founded in 1534, at England, United Kingdom, by King Henry VIII. In 1534 after several attempts to persuade the Pope to grant an annulment, Henry passed the Act of Succession and then the Act of Supremacy. These recognised that the King was “the only supreme head of the Church of England called Anglicana Ecclesia”.

Who Is The Supreme Governor Of The Church Of England?

Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarch which signifies titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch’s authority over the Church of England is largely ceremonial, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly observed in a symbolic capacity. As the Supreme Governor, the monarch formally appoints high-ranking members of the church on the advice of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who is in turn advised by church leaders.

The current Supreme Governor of the Church of England is Queen Elizabeth.

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Who Is The Official Head Of The Church Of England?

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby, who was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013.

Who Owns The Church Of England?

The land and property belonging to the Church of England is owned and managed by 41 dioceses, which makes it difficult to provide a detailed picture. Its assets include 16,000 churches in England and 105,000 acres of land across England and Wales.

Is The Church Of England Protestant Or Catholic?

The Church of England is considered the original church of the Anglican Communion, which represents over 85 million people in more than 165 countries. While the Church upholds many of the customs of Roman Catholicism, it also embraces fundamental ideas adopted during the Protestant Reformation. The Church claims to be both Catholic and Reformed. It upholds teachings found in early Christian doctrines, such as the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. The Church also reveres 16th century Protestant Reformation ideas outlined in texts, such as the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer. The Church of England also sustains a traditional Catholic order system that includes ordained bishops, priests and deacons.

What Does The Church Of England Believe?

The Doctrine, Belief And Practice Of The Church Of England

The canon law of the Church of England identifies the Christian scriptures as the source of its doctrine. In addition, doctrine is also derived from the teachings of the Church Fathers and ecumenical councils (as well as the ecumenical creeds) in so far as these agree with scripture. This doctrine is expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal containing the rites for the ordination of deacons, priests, and the consecration of bishops

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The Church of England is a broad church, representing a wide spectrum of theological thought and practice. However, as part of the Anglican Communion there are some distinctively Anglican ideas which can be identified in the Church of England. They are:

  • a belief that the Bible contains the core of all Christian faith and thought
  • a loyalty to a way of worship and life that was first set out in the Book of Common Prayer
  • celebration of the sacraments ordained by Jesus – that of Baptism and Eucharist or Holy Communion
  • a system of Church order that stems from ancient times and is focused in the ordained ministry of Bishop, Priest and Deacon
  • a firm commitment to the ministry of the whole people of God, lay and ordained together
  • a way of Christian thinking that involves Scripture, Tradition and Reason held together in creative tension.

How Many People Attend The Church Of England?

The Church of England is responsible for more than 16,000 churches and 42 Cathedrals in England, yet the number of people attending services has been in decline in recent decades. In 2002 the average number of people attending church on Sundays declined by 4% to just over a million. If you include those who attended during the week, the number rises to approximately 1.2 million.

Many of those attending are of the older generations, with statistics showing that few 15 to 30 year olds go to church.

Despite the slow decline in average attendance, giving to parish churches continues to increase by more than inflation every year. Individual congregations themselves are responsible for the financial maintenance of the church, despite its national church status.

Homosexuality And The Church Of England.

Many of the headlines regarding the Church of England since 2002 have regarded the rights of homosexual priests. The Church of England allows for the ordination of gay priests as long as they are celibate.

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In 2003 Canon Jeffrey John was appointed as Bishop of Reading. Despite his pro-gay views (he’s written articles and pamphlets outlining why gay couples should live in faithful, permanent, stable relationships) he made it clear that he was celibate. His appointment, and the subsequent election of an openly gay bishop in America, prompted a national and international examination on the rights of homosexual clergy. Canon Jeffrey John stood down as Bishop-elect of Reading but has subsequently been installed as Dean of St Albans.

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