The Church of England

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The Church of England is the principal religious institution of the global Anglican Communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury is in charge of the “C of E” (the Church of England is also referred to by this abbreviation). The church counts both conservative and liberal members and clergy as its adherents. As of 2015, there were nearly 26 million followers who abide by the tenets of the Church of England. The origin of this Christian religious institution can be traced back to 6th century AD when Augustine of Canterbury spearheaded the Gregorian mission in Kent.

Henry VIII, the English monarch was in dire need of a male descendent or heir to the throne as his first wife, Catherine of Aragon had given birth to a daughter. He wanted a separation or divorce from Catherine but the Roman Catholic Church’s Pope was vehemently against it. Therefore, he decided to separate the English church (which would go on to become the Church of England) from the Roman Catholic Church and formally announced the renunciation in the 1530s. The transformation and evolution of this church in England saw a steady progress under regents appointed by King Edward VI.

However, Queen Mary and King Philip somewhat revived the amalgamation back with Catholicism. Nevertheless, the ‘supremacy act of 1558’ again a fresh lease of life back into the breakaway movement with the consequence that the subsequent Elizabethan Settlement aimed at retaining the catholic character of the church albeit with ‘reformations’. The Church of England was to be catholic in considering itself as an offshoot of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. At the same, it was to be considered to be reformed and refined or rather redefined following the Protestant Reformation Movement that originated in 16th cent Germany.



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