A branch of christianity, originally established out of political motives rather than religious ones, by the English king Henry VIII.

It is much like catholicism, but doesn't recgnise the pope.

The Church of England is the eponymous member of the Anglican Communion, and is headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church is considered 'Reformed and Catholic', rather than 'Protestant', although the reforms of the chuch in the early days of its separation from Rome were certainly informed by the Protestant movement. It is true that political motivations resulted in the creation of the C of E - however, this does not invalidate it as a church, since most of its active members sincerely believe in the philosophical and theological principles which define it as a separate church. A similar political schism occurred in Sweden, and there, as in the UK, the state church is noticably more like the Roman Catholic church than other Protestant and Reformed denominations. As a result of the Porvoo agreement, the Anglican Communion is in full communion with the Swedish church and other Lutheran and Reformed churches in northern Europe.

The British monarch is the titular head of the Church of England, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is selected by the monarch's prime minister. However, the monarch never intervenes in the day-to-day running of the church. In fact, when the monarch visits Scotland she (or he) is considered to be part of the presbyterian Church of Scotland, rather than of the Scottish Episcopalian church.

Like all churches, it is only as good or bad as its members - and thus has done both very good and very bad things down the years. Anglican Priests can marry, and nowadays, may be of either sex. Not only have many women now taken holy orders within the church, there is at least one case of a male priest undergoing a 'sex change' operation and continuing her ministry almost without interruption. The Anglican church has produced many great theologians, including C S Lewis - and some, like Cardinal John Henry Newman, who eventually became Roman Catholics.

An"gli*can (#), a. [Angli the Angles, a Germanic tribe in Lower Germany. Cf. English.]

1.

English; of or pertaining to England or the English nation; especially, pertaining to, or connected with, the established church of England; as, the Anglican church, doctrine, orders, ritual, etc.

2.

Pertaining to, characteristic of, or held by, the high church party of the Church of England.

 

© Webster 1913.


An"gli*can (#), n.

1.

A member of the Church of England.

Whether Catholics, Anglicans, or Calvinists. Burke.

2.

In a restricted sense, a member of the High Church party, or of the more advanced ritualistic section, in the Church of England.

 

© Webster 1913.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.