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Portal:Anglicanism

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A map showing the provinces of the Anglican Communion (blue). Also shown are the churches in full communion with the Anglicans: The churches of the Porvoo Communion (green) and the Union of Utrecht (red)

Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that evolved out of the practices, liturgy and identity of the Church of England following the Protestant Reformation.

Adherents of Anglicanism are called "Anglicans". The majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international Anglican Communion, which forms the third-largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They are in full communion with the See of Canterbury, and thus the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom the communion refers to as its primus inter pares (Latin, "first among equals"). He calls the decennial Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates, and the Anglican Consultative Council.[not in citation given] Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion also consider themselves Anglican, including those that are part of the Continuing Anglican movement.

Anglicans base their Christian faith on the Bible, traditions of the apostolic Church, apostolic succession ("historic episcopate"), and writings of the Church Fathers. Anglicanism forms one of the branches of Western Christianity, having definitively declared its independence from the Holy See at the time of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century corresponded closely to those of contemporary Protestantism. These reforms in the Church of England were understood by one of those most responsible for them, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism.

In the first half of the 17th century, the Church of England and its associated Church of Ireland were presented by some Anglican divines as comprising a distinct Christian tradition, with theologies, structures, and forms of worship representing a different kind of middle way, or via media, between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism – a perspective that came to be highly influential in later theories of Anglican identity and expressed in the description of Anglicanism as "Catholic and Reformed". The degree of distinction between Protestant and Catholic tendencies within the Anglican tradition is routinely a matter of debate both within specific Anglican churches and throughout the Anglican Communion. Unique to Anglicanism is the Book of Common Prayer, the collection of services that worshippers in most Anglican churches have used for centuries, and is thus acknowledged as one of the ties that bind the Anglican Communion together.

After the American Revolution, Anglican congregations in the United States and British North America (which would later form the basis for the modern country of Canada) were each reconstituted into autonomous churches with their own bishops and self-governing structures; these were known as the American Episcopal Church and the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada. Through the expansion of the British Empire and the activity of Christian missions, this model was adopted as the model for many newly formed churches, especially in Africa, Australasia, and Asia-Pacific. In the 19th century, the term Anglicanism was coined to describe the common religious tradition of these churches; as also that of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which, though originating earlier within the Church of Scotland, had come to be recognised as sharing this common identity.

Selected article

St Mary's Church, Acton
St Mary's Church, Acton is in Acton, a village to the west of Nantwich, Cheshire, England. It is a Grade I listed building. A church has been present on this site since before the time of the Domesday Survey. The tower is the oldest in Cheshire, although it had to be largely rebuilt after it fell in 1757. One unusual feature of the interior of the church is that the old stone seating around its sides has been retained. In the south aisle are some ancient carved stones dating back to the Norman era. Clifton-Taylor includes the church in his list of 'best' English parish churches. In the churchyard is a tall 17th century sundial. The church continues to be active as an Anglican parish church.

St Mary's continues to be active as an Anglican parish church. It is the most active member of the Cross Country Group of Parish Churches which comprises St Mary's, St Bartholomew's, Church Minshull, St Oswald's, Worleston and St David's, Wettenhall. The churches share a vicar and three licensed readers. The current vicar is Rev. Peter Lillicrap. St Mary's holds two or three services each Sunday and a service of Holy Communion each Wednesday. The group of churches is also involved with community activities including Praise & Play for pre-school children and their carers, the Holy Disorder youth club and the 1st Darnhall Guides and Brownies. The church is open for visits and private prayers on Wednesday mornings.

Selected picture

Gustave Doré - The Holy Bible - Plate CXLI, The Judas Kiss.jpg
Credit: Gustave Doré

"The Judas Kiss" illustration by Gustave Doré, from a Victorian edition of the Church of England's Authorized Version of the Bible.

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Isabella Gilmore

Selected biography

Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI. He helped build a favourable case for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See. During Cranmer's tenure as archbishop, he was responsible for establishing the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the Church of England. Under Henry's rule, he succeeded in publishing the first officially authorised vernacular service, the Exhortation and Litany. Later, he wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, a complete liturgy for the English Church. Cranmer promulgated reformed doctrines through the Prayer Book, the Homilies and other publications. Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy when Mary I came to the throne. Imprisoned for over two years, he made several recantations and reconciled himself with the Roman Catholic faith. However, on the day of his execution, he dramatically withdrew his recantations and died as a martyr. His legacy lives on within the Church of England through the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles.

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