- History of the Anglican Communion
The History of the
Anglican Communionmay be attributed mainly to the worldwide spread of British cultureassociated with the British Empire. Among other things, the Church of Englandspread around the world, and, gradually developing autonomy in each region of the world, became the communion as it exists today.
The only provinces of the Anglican Communion with unbroken history stretching back to the pre-reformation Catholic church are to be found in
Great Britain: the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Church of Ireland, and the Scottish Episcopal Church. As its name suggests, the Scottish situation is unique; the national Church of Scotlandis Presbyterianand for some years in the late 17th and early 18 centuries the Scottish Episcopal Church, despite its similarities to the Church of England, was regarded with some suspicion because of its occasional associations with Jacobite opposition to the House of Hanover.
Henry VIIIbroke with the Church of Rome in the 1530s, he strongly resisted thereafter associating the English Church with the Continental Protestant Reformation. [ cite book |last= MacCulloch |first= Diarmaid |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title= Reformation; Europe's House Divided 1490-1700 |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year= 2003|month= |publisher= Allen Lane |location= London |language= |isbn=0-7139-9370-7 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= 198 |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] Henry's position was however, reversed in the brief reign of his young son Edward VI1547-1553; when the leaders of the Church of England, especially Thomas Cranmer, actively sought to establish England in the centre of evolving Reformed churches. [cite book |last= MacCulloch |first= Diarmaid |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title= Reformation; Europe's House Divided 1490-1700 |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year= 2003|month= |publisher= Allen Lane |location= London |language= |isbn=0-7139-9370-7 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= 258 |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] Cranmer's ambitions, however, were not widely shared amongst the bulk of laity and clergy; and accordingly, the return to the religious forms of traditional Roman Catholicism under Queen Mary was widely welcomed.
Elizabethan Settlementredirected that the Church of England again broke with Rome's authority and communion was broken in 1570 with the excommunication of Elizabeth; [cite book |last= MacCulloch |first= Diarmaid |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title= Reformation; Europe's House Divided 1490-1700 |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year= 2003|month= |publisher= Allen Lane |location= London |language= |isbn=0-7139-9370-7 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= 288 |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] but, although few, if any, concessions were made to the Papacy or to Roman Catholic doctrine, a small number of changes were then made to the Articles of Religion and to the Prayer Book, especially in relation the Real Presenceand to the continuation of worship in more traditional forms. [ cite book |last= MacCulloch |first= Diarmaid |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title= Reformation; Europe's House Divided 1490-1700 |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year= 2003|month= |publisher= Allen Lane |location= London |language= |isbn=0-7139-9370-7 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= 289 |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] Only one of Mary's English and Welsh bishops conformed to the Elizabethan settlement, though all save 300 of the parish clergy subscribed. In Irelandthe position was reversed; all bishops save two accepted the Elizbethan Settlement, but the bulk of parish clergy and laity remained loyal to the pope. In the period since 1553, Continental Reformed Protestantism had itself continued to develop, especially in Genevaand Heidelberg, but English divines who wished the Elizabethan church to take part in these developments were to be bitterly disappointed; as Elizabeth refused any further change to the forms or structures of religion established in 1559. [cite book |last= MacCulloch |first= Diarmaid |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title= Reformation; Europe's House Divided 1490-1700 |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year= 2003|month= |publisher= Allen Lane |location= London |language= |isbn=0-7139-9370-7 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= 291 |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] In particular, Protestant controversialists began to attack the episcopal polity, and the defined liturgyof the Elizabethan Church as incompatible with the true Reformed tradition; and, in response, defenders of the established church began, from the early 17th Century onwards, to claim these specific features as positively desirable, or indeed essential. [cite book |last= MacCulloch |first= Diarmaid |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title= Reformation; Europe's House Divided 1490-1700 |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year= 2003|month= |publisher= Allen Lane |location= London |language= |isbn=0-7139-9370-7 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= 509 |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ]
The attempt to impose in Scotland a Prayer Book on the English model, drove the three kingdoms into civil war. However, the Puritan sympathies of the victorious Parliamentary armies in the English Civil War, and the consequential abolition during the
Commonwealthof English bishoprics and cathedral chapters with the suppression of the Book of Common Prayer, resulted in English churchmen beginning to recognise Anglican identity as being distinct from and incompatible with the traditions of PresbyterianProtestantism. This distinction was formalised at the Restorationof Charles II, when the proposals of Puritan divines for further reform of the Prayer Book were thoroughly rejected; and 1,760 clergymen were deprived of their livings for failing to subscribe to the 1662 Book. From this date onwards dissentingProtestant congregations were to be found throughout England, and the established church no longer claimed or sought to comprehend all traditions of Protestant belief. In Irelandand in many of England's American Colonies, the numbers who subscribed to Presbyterian congregations formed the majority of the Protestant population; while in Scotland from 1689, following the accession of William and Mary, Presbyterian church polity was revived, and constituted in that kingdom, the established church; so that those ministers and congregations who continued to subscribe to the Anglican Episcopalian traditions eventually became a dissenting minority.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, divines of the Church of England increasingly differentiated their faith from that of the Protestant churches. Controversy broke out into the open after 1829, with the removal of religious restrictions on political rights in the United Kingdom, following which elected members of the UK Parliament (the legal authority in England for definitions of religious faith), might include both Roman Catholics and Dissenters. The
Tractariansundertook a re-examination of Anglican traditions of the 17th century; developing these into the general principle that Anglicanism represented a " via media" between Protestantism and Catholicism; or otherwise, that the Church of England together with the Roman Catholicand Greek Orthodoxchurches, represented three 'branches' of the Universal Church, whose faith derived from Scripture and Tradition independent of legislative formulae. The issue was more pressing in so far as Anglican societies were engaging actively in missionary work, often in conjunction with Christians of other traditions; resulting in the foundation of new churches, especially in Africa. Anglican traditions implied an expectation that these churches should develop self-government and a locally-based episcopacy; but it was unclear who had legal power to create such bishoprics, who had the authority to appoint to them, and what discretion such bishops would have to define local statements of faith and forms of worship. Matters came to a head with the case of John William Colensoappointed to the Bishopric of Natal in 1853. When Bishop Colenso published commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans and on the Pentateuch that questioned traditional teachings, he was deprived of his see by the bishops of the South African church in 1863; but then re-instated on appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Councilin 1866. Whatever the merits of the Colenso case, the implied action of a British court in constraining matters of faith and discipline in a church outside the United Kingdom was instrumental in the decision to summon the first Lambeth Conferencein 1867.
As Britain's worldwide colonial empire grew, the Church of England began to spread with it. But at first no bishops were sent overseas; all colonial churches reported back to the
Bishop of London. At the time of the American Revolution, there had already been considerable American demand for a local bishop; and after that event the Church of England in the new United Statescertainly needed to organize itself on a local basis — after all, the earthly head of the Church of England was (and remains) the British monarch.
= The first Anglican service in North America was conducted in California in 1579 by the chaplain accompaning Sir Francis Drake on his voyage around the globe. The first baptisms were held in Roanoke, North Carolina by the ill-fated Roanoke colony. The continuous presence of the Anglican Church in North America, however, begins in 1607 with the founding of Jamestown, Virginia. By 1700 there were more than 100 Anglican parishes in British colonies in the mainland of North America, the largest number in Virginia and Maryland. The American War for Independence resulted in the formation of the first independent national church in the Anglican tradition. The parish of St. John the Baptist in the city of St. John's, Newfoundland (part of the
Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador) is the oldest in Canada, founded in 1699 in response to a petition drafted by the Anglicantownsfolk of St. John's and sent to the Bishop of London, the Rt. Rev. Henry Compton. In this petition, the people also requested help in the rebuilding of their church, which had been destroyed, along with the rest of the city, in 1696 by the French under the command of Gen. Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville.
August 12 1787Dr. Charles Ingliswas consecrated bishop of Nova Scotia, with jurisdiction over all the British possessions in North America. In 1793 the see of the Québecwas founded; Jamaicaand Barbadosfollowed in 1824, and Torontoand Newfoundland in 1839. Meanwhile the needs of Indiawere met, on the urgent representations in Parliamentof William Wilberforceand others, by the consecration of Dr. T. F. Middletonas bishop of Calcutta, with three archdeacons to assist him. In 1829, on the nomination of the Duke of Wellington, William Broughton was sent out to work as archdeaconof Australia.
Soon afterwards, in 1835 and 1837, the sees of
Madrasand Bombay were founded; whilst in 1836 Broughton himself was consecrated as first bishop of Australia. Thus down to 1840 there were but ten colonial bishops; and of these several were so hampered by civil regulations that they were little more than government chaplains in episcopal orders. In April of that year, however, Bishop Blomfield of London published his famous letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, declaring that "an episcopal church without a bishop is a contradiction in terms," and strenuously advocating a great effort for the extension of the episcopate.
The plan was taken up with enthusiasm, and in 1841 the bishops of the
United Kingdommet and issued a declaration which inaugurated the Colonial Bishoprics Council. Subsequent declarations in 1872 and 1891 have served both to record progress and to stimulate to new effort. The diocese of New Zealandwas founded in 1841, being endowed by the Church Missionary Societythrough the council, and George Augustus Selwynwas chosen as the first bishop. Moreover, in many cases bishops have been sent to inaugurate new missions, as in the cases of the Universities' Mission to Central Africa, Lebombo, Corea and New Guinea; and the missionary jurisdictions so founded develop in time into dioceses.
It was only very gradually that these dioceses acquired legislative independence and a determinate organization. At first, sees were created and bishops were nominated by the crown by means of letters patent; and in some cases an income was assigned out of public funds. Moreover, for many years all bishops alike were consecrated in England, took the customary "oath of due obedience" to the archbishop of Canterbury, and were regarded as his extra-territorial suffragans. But by degrees changes have been made on all these points.
The American Church
In 1783 the parishes of
Connecticutelected Samuel Seaburyas their bishop and sent him to Englandfor ordination. However John Moore, Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, found that he had the authority neither to create new bishops without legislation nor to dispense with the Oath of Allegianceto the Crown which formed part of the ordination ceremony. Seabury then proceeded to Scotlandwhere, free from these legal difficulties, he was ordained in 1784. Eventually, with new legislation in place, the Archbishop of Canterbury was able to consecrate William White and Samuel Provoostbishops for the new Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in 1787 and James Madison of Virginia in 1790.
The Protestant Episcopal Church held its first General Convention in 1785, and organized using a system of state conventions in place of dioceses. They adopted a constitution and canons and approved an American version of the Book of Common Prayer in 1789 in
Philadelphia. William White, who had served as presiding officer of General Convention in 1785 and 1786, also was elected presiding office of the 1789 convention. He was the first bishop to preside over the convention. When in a second session of that 1789 convention, Bishop Seabury was seated and the New England churches acceded to the constitution. The bishops then withdrew and Bishop Seabury became the first bishop to preside over a separate House of Bishops. The American Church officially adopted the term "diocese" in 1839 with the formation of a second diocese in the state of New York.
Local conditions soon made a provincial organization necessary, and it was gradually introduced. The bishop of Calcutta received letters patent as metropolitan of
Indiawhen the sees of Madras and Bombay were founded; and fresh patents were issued to Bishop Broughton in 1847 and Bishop Gray in 1853, as metropolitans of Australiaand South Africarespectively. Similar action was taken in 1858, when Bishop Selwyn became metropolitan of New Zealand; and again in 1860, when, on the petition of the Canadian bishops to the Crown and the colonial legislature for permission to elect a metropolitan, letters patent were issued appointing Bishop Fulford of Montrealto that office. Since then metropolitans have been chosen and provinces formed by regular synodical action, a process greatly encouraged by the resolutions of the Lambeth Conferenceson the subject. The constitution of these provinces was not uniform. In some cases, as South Africa, New South Wales, and Queensland, the metropolitan see was fixed. Elsewhere, as in New Zealand, where no single city can claim pre-eminence, the metropolitan is either elected or else is the senior bishop by consecration. Two further developments must be mentioned:
* The creation of diocesan and provincial synods, the first diocesan synod to meet being that of New Zealand in 1844, while the formation of a provincial synod was foreshadowed by a conference of Australasian bishops at
* Towards the close of the 19th century the title of "
archbishop" began to be assumed by the metropolitans of several provinces. It was first assumed by the metropolitans of Canadaand Rupert's Land, at the desire of the Canadian general synod in 1893; and subsequently, in accordance with a resolution of the Lambeth Conference of 1897, it was given by their synods to the bishop of Sydney as metropolitan of New South Wales and to the bishop of Cape Townas metropolitan of South Africa. Civil obstacles have hitherto delayed its adoption by the metropolitan of India.
Freedom from state control
By degrees, also, the colonial churches have been freed from their rather burdensome relations with the state. The
Church of the West Indieswas disestablished in 1868. Other colonial churches followed suit over the next few decades.
In 1857 it was decided, in "Regina v. Eton College", that the Crown could not claim the presentation to a living when it had appointed the former incumbent to a colonial bishopric, as it does in the case of an English bishopric. In 1861, after some protest from the crown lawyers, two missionary bishops were consecrated without letters patent for regions outside British territory:
C. F. Mackenziefor the Zambeziregion and J. C. Pattesonfor Melanesia, by the metropolitans of Cape Town and New Zealand respectively.
In 1863 the privy council declared, in "Long v. The Bishop of Cape Town", that "the Church of England, in places where there is no church established by law, is in the same situation with any other religious body."
In 1865 it adjudged Bishop Gray's letters patent, as metropolitan of Cape Town, to be powerless to enable him "to exercise any coercive jurisdiction, or hold any court or tribunal for that purpose," since the Cape colony already possessed legislative institutions when they were issued; and his deposition of Bishop Colenso was declared to be "null and void in law" ("re The Bishop of Natal"). With the exception of Colenso the South African bishops forthwith surrendered their patents, and formally accepted Bishop Gray as their metropolitan, an example followed in 1865 in the province of New Zealand.
In 1862, when the
Diocese of Ontariowas formed, the bishop was elected in Canada, and consecrated under a royal mandate, letters patent being by this time entirely discredited. And when, in 1867, a coadjutor was chosen for the bishop of Toronto, an application for a royal mandate produced the reply from the colonial secretary that "it was not the part of the Crown to interfere in the creation of a new bishop or bishopric, and not consistent with the dignity of the Crown that he should advise Her Majesty to issue a mandate which would not be worth the paper on which it was written, and which, having been sent out to Canada, might be disregarded in the most complete manner."
And at the present day the colonial churches are entirely free in this matter. This, however, is not the case with the Church in India. Here the bishops of sees founded down to 1879 receive a stipend from the revenue (with the exception of the bishop of
Ceylon, who no longer does so). They are not only nominated by the crown and consecrated under letters patent, but the appointment is expressly subjected "to such power of revocation and recall as is by law vested" in the crown; and where additional oversight was necessary for the Church in Tinnevelly, it could only be secured by the consecration of two assistant bishops, who worked under a commission for the Archbishop of Canterburywhich was to expire on the death of the bishop of Madras. Since then, however, new sees have been founded which are under no such restrictions.
By degrees, also, the relations of colonial churches to the Archbishop of Canterbury have changed. Until 1855 no colonial bishop was consecrated outside the
British Isles, the first instance being Dr. MacDougall of Labuan, consecrated in India under a commission from the Archbishop of Canterbury; and until 1874 it was held to be unlawful for a bishop to be consecrated in England without taking the suffragan's Oath of Due Obedience. This necessity was removed by the Colonial Clergy Actof 1874, which permits the Archbishop of Canterbury at his discretion to dispense with the oath.
But the most complete autonomy does not involve isolation. The churches are in full communion with one another, and act together in many ways; missionary jurisdictions and dioceses are mapped out by common arrangement, and even transferred if it seems advisable; "e.g.", the diocese of Honolulu (Hawaii), previously under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, was transferred in 1900 to the
Episcopal Church in the United States of Americaon account of political changes. Missionary activity of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America resulted in creation of other provinces of the communion, including Brazil, Mexico, Central America, the Phillipines and Japan. In Brazil and Japan the Church of England also had a presence, but the Episcopal Church work was more extensive and the Episcopal Church consecrated the first bishops.
Though the See of Canterbury claims no primacy over the Anglican Communion analogous to that exercised over the
Roman Catholic Churchby the Pope, it is regarded with a strong affection and deference, which shows itself by frequent consultation and interchange of greetings. By this the Archbishop of Canterbury is held as the titular and spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, but his role is strictly an honorary one.
The Lambeth Conference
The conference of Anglican bishops from all parts of the world, instituted by Archbishop Longley in 1867, and known as the
Lambeth Conferences, though even for the Anglican Communion they have not the authority of an ecumenical synod, and their decisions are rather of the nature of counsels than commands, have done much to promote the harmony and co-operation of the various branches of the Church.
An even more imposing manifestation of this common life was given by the great
Pan-Anglican Congressheld in Londonbetween June 12and June 24, 1908, which preceded the Lambeth conference opened on the July 5. The idea of this originated with Bishop Montgomery, secretary to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and was endorsed by a resolution of the United Boards of Mission in 1903.
As the result of negotiations and preparations extending over five years, 250 bishops, together with delegates, clerical and lay, from every diocese in the Anglican Communion, met in
Lambeth, the opening service of intercession being held in Westminster Abbey. In its general character, the meeting was but a Church congress on an enlarged scale, and the subjects discussed, e.g.. the attitude of churchmen towards the question of the marriage lawsor that of socialism, followed much the same lines. The conference, of course, had no power to decide or to legislate for the Church, its main value being in drawing its scattered members closer together, in bringing the newer and more isolated branches into consciousness of their contact with the parent stem, and in opening the eyes of the Church of England to the point of view and the peculiar problems of the daughter-churches.
The Bonn Agreement
In 1931 the Anglican Communion and the
Old Catholicsof the Union of Utrecht enter into full communion in the Bonn Agreement. Both the Old Catholics and the Anglicans agree on several key points:
# Each Communion recognizes the catholicity and independence of the other, and maintains its own.
# Each Communion agrees to permit members of the other Communion to participate in the Sacraments.
# Inter-communion does not require from either Communion the acceptance of all doctrinal opinion, sacramental devotion, or liturgical practice, characteristic of the other, but implies that each believes the other to hold all the essentials of the Christian faith.
With this new inter-communion cross-episcopal ordinations begin, further endorsing the
apostolic successionwithin Anglicanism.
Meetings began in 1937 about inter-communion between the Episcopal Church and the
Presbyterians.Fact|date=October 2007 After two years these talks arrived at no concrete conclusion because the Episcopalians insisted on the historic episcopate. The Presbyterians backed out of the talks in 1940.Fact|date=October 2007
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Ordination of women in the Anglican Communion — The ordination of women in the Anglican Communion has become increasingly accepted in recent years. Contents 1 Introduction 2 First ordinations 3 First woman bishop and primate 4 … Wikipedia
Anglican Communion — The Anglican Communion is an international association of national Anglican churches. There is no single Anglican Church with universal juridical authority as each national or regional church has full autonomy. As the name suggests, the Anglican… … Wikipedia
History of the Scottish Episcopal Church — The history of the Scottish Episcopal Church ( gd. Eaglais Easbaigeach na h Alba) is traced by the church to ancient times. The Church today is a Christian denomination in Scotland and a member of the Anglican Communion. It has enjoyed a distinct … Wikipedia
History of the Episcopal Church — of the Episcopal Church includes both the cross of St. George and a St. Andrew s cross.] Anglican PortalThe Episcopal Church traces its history from its origins in the Church of England. It stresses its continuity with the early universal Western … Wikipedia
History of the Church of England — This article is an expansion of a section entitled History from within the main article: Church of England The history of the Church of England has its origins sometime in the late 6th century in the Anglo Saxon Kingdom of Kent, and the mission… … Wikipedia
History of the Puritans — The history of the Puritans can be traced back to the Vestments Controversy in the reign of Edward VI ending in a decline in the mid 1700s. Background, to 1559 The English Reformation, begun his reign in the reign of Henry VIII of England, was… … Wikipedia
History of the Roman Catholic Church — The History of the Catholic Church from apostolic times covers a period of nearly 2,000 years, [August Franzen, Kleine Kirchengeschichte Neubearbeitung, Herder,Freiburg,1988, p.11] making it the world s oldest and largest institution. It dates… … Wikipedia
History of the Papacy — The History of the Papacy is the history of both the spiritual role and the temporal role over a timespan of almost 2,000 years from the arrival of Peter in Rome to the present day. The office of the Pope is called the Papacy. In addition to his… … Wikipedia
History of the creation-evolution controversy — The creation evolution controversy has a long history, beginning with challenges made by various naturalists to biblical accounts of creation. In response to theories developed by scientists, some religious persons and organizations, questioned… … Wikipedia
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada — The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada (referred to in older documents as the Primate of All Canada) is elected by the General Synod of the Church from among a list of five bishops nominated by the House of Bishops. The role of diocesan (or … Wikipedia