The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the mother church of the worldwideAnglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishmentprincipally to the mission to England by Saint Augustine of Canterbury in AD 597.
As a result of Augustine’s mission, the church in England came under the authority of the pope. Initially prompted by a dispute over the annulment of the marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon, the Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534 and became the established church by an Act of Parliament in the Act of Supremacy, beginning a series of events known as the English Reformation. During the reign of Queen Mary I and King Philip, the church was fully restored under Rome in 1555. The pope’s authority was again explicitly rejected after the accession of Queen Elizabeth I when the Act of Supremacy of 1558was passed. Catholic and Reformed factions vied for determining the doctrines and worship of the church. This ended with the 1558Elizabethan Settlement, which developed the understanding that the church was to be both Catholic and Reformed:
- Catholic in that it views itself as a part of the universal church of Jesus Christ in unbroken continuity with the early apostolicchurch. This is expressed in its emphasis on the teachings of the early Church Fathers, as formalised in the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds.
- Reformed in that it has been shaped by some of the doctrinal principles of the 16th century Protestant Reformation, in particular in the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer.
Since the Reformation, the Church of England has used an English liturgy. During the 17th century, political and religious disputes raised the Puritan and Presbyterian faction to control of the church, but this ended with the Restoration.
This post is provides material from Wikipedia with links to articles and information on English History which forms the background for the development of Methodism. While it is lightly edited, the source is Wikipedia unless noted below. Major articles quoted have links, but can be found here: