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Anglican Communion
Canterbury Cathedral - Portal Nave Cross-spire.jpeg
Organisation

Archbishop of Canterbury
Rowan Williams
Primates' Meeting
Lambeth Conferences
Anglican Consultative Council
Bishops, Dioceses, and
Episcopal polity

Background

Christianity • Christian Church
Anglicanism • History
Jesus Christ • St Paul
Catholicity and Catholicism
Apostolic Succession
Ministry • Ecumenical councils
Augustine of Canterbury • Bede
Medieval Architecture
Henry VIII • Reformation
Thomas Cranmer
Dissolution of the Monasteries
Church of England
Edward VI • Elizabeth I
Matthew Parker
Richard Hooker • James I
Authorized Version • Charles I
William Laud • Nonjuring schism
Ordination of women
Homosexuality • Windsor Report

Theology

Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
Theology • Doctrine
Thirty-Nine Articles
Caroline Divines
Oxford Movement
Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral
Sacraments • Mary • Saints

Liturgy and Worship

Book of Common Prayer
Morning and Evening Prayer
Eucharist • Liturgical Year
Biblical Canon
Books of Homilies
High Church • Low Church
Broad Church

Anglican Topics

Ecumenism • Monasticism
Prayer • Music • Art

Anglican rose.PNG Anglicanism Portal

The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional 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 Communion is an association of these churches in full communion with the Church of England (which may be regarded as the mother church of the worldwide communion) and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury.[1] The status of full communion means, ideally, that there is mutual agreement on essential doctrines, and that full participation in the sacramental life of each national church is available to all communicant Anglicans.

With approximately 77 million members, the Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.[2][3] Some of these churches are known as Anglican, explicitly recognising the historical link to England (Ecclesia Anglicana means "Church of England"); others, such as the American and Scottish Episcopal churches, or the Church of Ireland, prefer a separate name. Each church has its own doctrine and liturgy, based in most cases on that of the Church of England; and each church has its own legislative process and overall episcopal polity, under the leadership of a local primate.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, religious head of the Church of England, has no formal authority outside that jurisdiction, but is recognised as symbolic head of the worldwide communion. Among the other primates he is primus inter pares, which translates "first among equals".

The Anglican Communion considers itself to be part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and to be both Catholic and Reformed. For some adherents it represents a non-papal Catholicism, for others a form of Protestantism though without a dominant guiding figure such as Luther, Knox, Calvin, Zwingli or Wesley.[4] For others, their self-identity represents some combination of the two. The communion encompasses a wide spectrum of belief and practice including evangelical, liberal, and catholic.

Contents

Ecclesiology, polity, ethos

The Anglican Communion has no official legal existence nor any governing structure which might exercise authority over the member churches. There is an Anglican Communion Office in London, under the aegis of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but it only serves a supporting and organisational role. The Communion is held together by a shared history, expressed in its ecclesiology, polity and ethos and also by participation in international consultative bodies.

Three elements have been important in holding the Communion together: First, the shared ecclesial structure of the component churches, manifested in an episcopal polity maintained through the apostolic succession of bishops and synodical government; second, the principle of belief expressed in worship, investing importance in approved prayer books and their rubrics; and third, the historical documents and standard divines that have influenced the ethos of the Communion.

Originally, the Church of England was self-contained and relied for its unity and identity on its own history, its traditional legal and episcopal structure and its status as an established church of the state. As such Anglicanism was, from the outset, a movement with an explicitly episcopal polity, a characteristic which has been vital in maintaining the unity of the Communion by conveying the episcopate's role in manifesting visible catholicity and ecumenism.

Early in its development, Anglicanism developed a vernacular prayer book, called the Book of Common Prayer. Unlike other traditions, Anglicanism has never been governed by a magisterium nor by appeal to one founding theologian, nor by an extra-credal summary of doctrine (such as the Westminster Confession of the Presbyterian Church). Instead, Anglicans have typically appealed to the Book of Common Prayer and its offshoots as a guide to Anglican theology and practice. This had the effect of inculcating the principle of lex orandi, lex credendi ("the law of prayer is the law of belief") as the foundation of Anglican identity and confession.

Protracted conflict through the seventeenth century with more radical Protestants on the one hand and Roman Catholics who still recognised the primacy of the Pope on the other, resulted in an association of churches that were both deliberately vague about doctrinal principles, yet bold in developing parameters of acceptable deviation. These parameters were most clearly articulated in the various rubrics of the successive prayer books, as well as the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. These Articles, while never binding, have had an influence on the ethos of the Communion, an ethos reinforced by their interpretation and expansion by such influential early theologians as Richard Hooker, Lancelot Andrewes, John Cosin, and others.

With the expansion of the British Empire, and hence the growth of Anglicanism outside Great Britain and Ireland, the Communion sought to establish new vehicles of unity. The first major expression of this were the Lambeth Conferences of the communion's bishops, first convened by Archbishop of Canterbury Charles Longley in 1867. From the outset, these were not intended to displace the autonomy of the emerging provinces of the Communion, but to "discuss matters of practical interest, and pronounce what we deem expedient in resolutions which may serve as safe guides to future action."

Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral

One of the enduringly influential early resolutions of the conference was the so-called Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1888. Its intent was to provide the basis for discussions of reunion with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, but it had the ancillary effect of establishing parameters of Anglican identity. It establishes four principles with these words:

That, in the opinion of this Conference, the following Articles supply a basis on which approach may be by God's blessing made towards Home Reunion:
(a) The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as "containing all things necessary to salvation," and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
(b) The Apostles' Creed, as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.
(c) The two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself - Baptism and the Supper of the Lord - ministered with unfailing use of Christ's Words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him.
(d) The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church.

Instruments of Communion

As mentioned above, the Anglican Communion has no international juridical organisation. The Archbishop of Canterbury's role is strictly symbolic and unifying; and the Communion's three international bodies are consultative and collaborative, their resolutions having no legal effect on the independent provinces of the Communion. Taken together, however, the four do function as "instruments of communion", since all churches of the communion participate in them. In order of antiquity, they are:

  1. The Archbishop of Canterbury (ab origine) functions as the spiritual head of the Communion. He is the focus of unity, since no church claims membership in the Communion without being in communion with him. The present incumbent is Dr Rowan Williams.
  2. The Lambeth Conference (first held in 1867) is the oldest international consultation. It is a forum for bishops of the Communion to reinforce unity and collegiality through manifesting the episcopate, to discuss matters of mutual concern, and to pass resolutions intended to act as guideposts. It is held roughly every ten years and invitation is by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  3. The Anglican Consultative Council (first met in 1971) was created by a 1968 Lambeth Conference resolution, and meets usually at three year intervals. The council consists of representative bishops, clergy, and laity chosen by the thirty-eight provinces. The body has a permanent secretariat, the Anglican Communion Office, of which the Archbishop of Canterbury is president.
  4. The Primates' Meeting (first met in 1979) is the most recent manifestation of international consultation and deliberation, having been first convened by Archbishop Donald Coggan as a forum for "leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation."

Since there is no binding authority in the Communion, these international bodies are a vehicle for consultation and persuasion. In recent years, persuasion has tipped over into debates over conformity in certain areas of doctrine, discipline, worship, and ethics. The most notable example has been the objection of many provinces of the Communion (particularly in Africa and Asia) to the changing role of homosexuals in the North American churches (e.g., by blessing same-sex unions and ordaining and consecrating gays and lesbians in same-sex relationships), and to the process by which changes were undertaken. Those who objected condemned these actions as unscriptural, unilateral, and without the agreement of the Communion prior to these steps being taken. In response, the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada answered that the actions had been undertaken after lengthy scriptural and theological reflection, legally in accordance with their own canons and constitutions and after extensive consultation with the provinces of the Communion.

The Primates' Meeting voted to request the two churches to withdraw their delegates from the 2005 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, and Canada and the United States decided to attend the meeting but without exercising their right to vote. They have not been expelled or suspended, since there is no mechanism in this voluntary association to suspend or expel an independent province of the Communion. Since membership is based on a province's communion with Canterbury, expulsion would require the Archbishop of Canterbury's refusal to be in communion with the affected jurisdiction(s). In line with the suggestion of the Windsor Report, Dr Williams has recently established a working group to examine the feasibility of an Anglican covenant which would articulate the conditions for communion in some fashion.[5]

Provinces of the Anglican Communion

All thirty-eight provinces of the Anglican Communion are independent, each with its own primate and governing structure. These provinces may take the form of national churches (such as in Canada, Uganda, or Japan) or a collection of nations (such as the West Indies, Central Africa, or Southeast Asia). They are, in alphabetical order:

A world map showing the Provinces of the Anglican Communion (Blue). Also shown are the Churches in full communion with the Anglican Church: The Nordic Lutheran churches of the Porvoo Communion (Green), and the Old Catholic Churches in the Utrecht Union (Red).

In addition, there are six extraprovincial churches, five of which are under the metropolitical authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

History

The Anglican Communion is a relatively recent concept. The Church of England (which until the 20th century included the Church in Wales) initially separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1538 in the reign of King Henry VIII, reunited in 1555 under Queen Mary I and then separated again in 1570 under Queen Elizabeth I (the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated Elizabeth I in 1570 in response to the Act of Supremacy 1559). The Church of England has always thought of itself not as a new foundation but rather as a reformed continuation of the ancient "English Church" (Ecclesia Anglicana) and a reassertion of that church's rights. As such it was a distinctly national phenomenon. The Church of Scotland separated from the Roman Catholic Church with the Scottish Reformation in 1560, and the split from it of the Scottish Episcopal Church began in 1582, in the reign of James VI of Scotland, over disagreements about the role of bishops.

The oldest-surviving Anglican church outside of the British Isles (Britain and Ireland) is St. Peter's Church, in St. George's, Bermuda, established in 1612 (though the actual building had to be rebuilt several times over the following century). This is also the oldest surviving Protestant church in the New World. It remained part of the Church of England until 1978, when the Anglican Church of Bermuda separated. The Church of England was the state religion not only in England, but in her trans-Oceanic colonies.

Thus the only member churches of the present Anglican Communion existing by the mid-18th century were the Church of England, its closely-linked sister church, the Church of Ireland (which also separated from Roman Catholicism under Henry VIII), and the Scottish Episcopal Church which for parts of the 17th and 18th centuries was partially underground (it was suspected of Jacobite sympathies).

However, the enormous expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries of the British Empire brought the church along with it. At first all these colonial churches were under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. After the American Revolution, the parishes in the newly independent country found it necessary to break formally from a church whose Supreme Governor was (and remains) the British monarch. Thus they formed their own dioceses and national church, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in a mostly amicable separation.

At about the same time, in the colonies which remained linked to the crown, the Church of England began to appoint colonial bishops. In 1787 a bishop of Nova Scotia was appointed with a jurisdiction over all of British North America; in time several more colleagues were appointed to other cities in present-day Canada. In 1814 a bishop of Calcutta was made; in 1824 the first bishop was sent to the West Indies and in 1836 to Australia. By 1840 there were still only ten colonial bishops for the Church of England; but even this small beginning greatly facilitated the growth of Anglicanism around the world. In 1841 a "Colonial Bishoprics Council" was set up and soon many more dioceses were created.

In time, it became natural to group these into provinces, and a metropolitan appointed for each province. Although it had at first been somewhat established in many colonies, in 1861 it was ruled that, except where specifically established, the Church of England had just the same legal position as any other church. Thus a colonial bishop and colonial diocese was by nature quite a different thing from their counterparts back home. In time bishops came to be appointed locally rather than from England, and eventually national synods began to pass ecclesiastical legislation independent of England.

A crucial step in the development of the modern communion was the idea of the Lambeth Conferences, as discussed above. These conferences demonstrated that the bishops of disparate churches could manifest the unity of the church in their episcopal collegiality, despite the absence of universal legal ties. Some bishops were initially reluctant to attend, fearing that the meeting would declare itself a council with power to legislate for the church; but it agreed to pass only advisory resolutions. These Lambeth Conferences have been held roughly decennially since 1878 (the second such conference) and remain the most visible coming-together of the whole Communion.

Ecumenical relations

Apostolic Succession

The Anglican Communion hold that Apostolic Succession is a core element of the validity of clerical ordinations. The Roman Catholic Church does not recognise most Anglican orders (see Apostolicae Curae). Some Eastern Orthodox Churches have issued statements to the effect that Anglican orders could be accepted, yet still have reordained converts from the Anglican clergy; other Orthodox Churches have rejected Anglican orders altogether. Orthodox bishop Kallistos Ware explains this apparent discrepancy as follows:

Anglican clergy who join the Orthodox Church are reordained; but [some Orthodox Churches hold that] if Anglicanism and Orthodoxy were to reach full unity in the faith, perhaps such reordination might not be found necessary. It should be added, however, that a number of individual Orthodox theologians hold that under no circumstances would it be possible to recognise the validity of Anglican Orders.[6]

Controversies

One effect of the Communion's dispersed authority has been that conflict and controversy regularly arise over the effect divergent practices and doctrines in one part of the Communion have on others. Disputes that had been confined to the Church of England could be dealt with legislatively in that realm, but as the Communion spread out into new nations and disparate cultures, such controversies multiplied and intensified. These controversies have generally been of two types: liturgical and social.

The first such controversy of note concerned that of the growing influence of the Catholic Revival manifested in the tractarian and so-called ritualism controversies of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Later, rapid social change and the dissipation of British cultural hegemony over its former colonies contributed to disputes over the role of women, the parameters of marriage and divorce, and the practice of contraception and abortion. More recently, disagreements over homosexuality have strained the unity of the Communion as well as its relationships with other Christian denominations. Simultaneous with debates about social theology and ethics, the Communion has debated prayer book revision and the acceptable grounds for achieving full communion with non-Anglican churches.

See also

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ANGLICAN COMMUNION, the name used to denote that great branch of the Christian Church consisting of the various churches in communion with the Church of England. The necessity for such a phrase as "Anglican Communion," first used in the 19th century, marked at once the immense development of the Anglican Church in modern times and the change which has taken place in the traditional conceptions of its character and sphere. The Church of England itself is the subject of a separate article (see Church of England); and it is not without significance that for more than two centuries after the Reformation the history of Anglicanism is practically confined to its developments within the limits of the British Isles. Even in Ireland, where it was for over three centuries the established religion, and in Scotland, where it early gave way to the dominant Presbyterianism, its religious was long overshadowed by its political significance. The Church, in fact, while still claiming to be Catholic in its creeds and in its religious practice, had ceased to be Catholic in its institutional conception, which was now bound up with a particular state and also with a particular conception of that state. To the native Irishman and the Scotsman, as indeed to most Englishmen, the Anglican Church was one of the main buttresses of the supremacy of the English crown and nation. This conception of the relations of church and state was hardly favourable to missionary zeal; and in the age succeeding the Reformation there was no disposition on the part of the English Church to emulate the wonderful activity of the Jesuits, which, in the 16th and 17th centuries, brought to the Church of Rome in countries beyond the ocean compensation for what she had lost in Europe through the Protestant reformation. Even when English churchmen passed beyond the seas, they carried with them their creed, but not their ecclesiastical organization. Prejudice and real or imaginary legal obstacles stood in the way of the erection of episcopal sees in the colonies; and though in the 17th century Archbishop Laud had attempted to obtain a bishop for Virginia, up to the time of the American revolution the churchmen of the colonies had to make the best of the legal fiction that their spiritual needs were looked after by the bishop of London, who occasionally sent commissaries to visit them and ordained candidates for the ministry sent to England for the purpose.

The change which has made it possible for Anglican churchmen to claim that their communion ranks with those of Rome and the Orthodox East as one of the three great historical divisions of the Catholic Church, was due, in the first instance, to the American revolution. The severance of the colonies from their allegiance to the crown brought the English bishops for the first time face to face with the idea of an Anglican Church which should have nothing to do either with the royal supremacy or with British nationality. When, on the conclusion of peace, the church-people of Connecticut sent Dr Samuel Seabury to England, with a request to the archbishop of Canterbury to consecrate him, it is not surprising that Archbishop Moore refused. In the opinion of prelates and lawyers alike, an act of parliament was necessary before a bishop could be consecrated for a see abroad; to consecrate one for a foreign country seemed impossible, since, though the bestowal of the potestas ordinis would be valid, the crown, which, according to the law, was the source of the episcopal jurisdiction, could hardly issue the necessary mandate for the consecration of a bishop to a see outside the realm (see Bishop). The Scottish bishops, however, being hampered by no such legal restrictions, were more amenable; and on the 11th of November 1784 Seabury was consecrated by them to the see of Connecticut. In 1786, on the initiative of the archbishop, the legal difficulties in England were removed by the act for the consecration of bishops abroad; and, on being satisfied as to the orthodoxy of the church in America and the nature of certain liturgical changes in contemplation, the two English archbishops proceeded, on the 14th of February 1787, to consecrate William White and Samuel Prevoost to the sees of Pennsylvania and New York (see Protestant Episcopal Church).

This act had a significance beyond the fact that it established in the United States of America a flourishing church, which, while completely loyal to its own country, is bound by special ties to the religious life of England. It marked the emergence of the Church of England from that insularity to which what may be called the territorial principles of the Reformation had condemned her. The change was slow, and it is not yet by any means complete.

Since the Church of England, whatever her attitude towards the traditional Catholic doctrines, never disputed the validity of Catholic orders whether Roman or Orthodox, nor the jurisdiction of Catholic bishops in foreign countries, the expansion of the Anglican Church has been in no sense conceived as a Protestant aggressive movement against Rome. Occasional exceptions, such as the consecration by Archbishop Plunket of Dublin of a bishop for the reformed church in Spain, raised so strong a protest as to prove the rule. In the main, then, the expansion of the Anglican Church has followed that of the British empire, or, as in America, of its daughter states; its claim, so far as rights of jurisdiction are concerned, is to be the Church of England and the English race, while recognizing its special duties towards the non-Christian populations subject to the empire or brought within the reach of its influence. As against the Church of Rome, with its system of rigid centralization, the Anglican Church represents the principle of local autonomy, which it holds to be once more primitive and more catholic. In this respect the Anglican communion has developed on the lines defined in her articles at the Reformation; but, though in principle there is no great difference between a church defined by national, and a church defined by racial boundaries, there is an immense difference in effect, especially when the race - as in the case of the English - is itself ecumenical.

The realization of what may be called this catholic mission of the English church, in the extension of its organization to the colonies, was but a slow process.

On the 12th of August 1787 Dr Charles Inglis was consecrated bishop of Nova Scotia, with jurisdiction over all the British possessions in North America. In 1793 the see of Quebec was founded; Jamaica and Barbados followed in 1824, and Toronto and Newfoundland in 1839. Meanwhile the needs of India has been tardily met, on the urgent representations in parliament of William Wilberforce and others, by the consecration of Dr T. F. Middleton as bishop of Calcutta, with three archdeacons to assist him. In 1817 Ceylon was added to his charge; in 182 3 all British subjects in the East Indies and the islands of the Indian Ocean; and in 1824 "New South Wales and its dependencies"! Some five years later, on the nomination of the duke of Wellington, William Broughton was sent out to work in this enormous jurisdiction as archdeacon of Australia. Soon afterwards, in 1835 and 1837, the sees of Madras and 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. It was not in vain. The plan was taken up with enthusiasm, and on Whitsun Tuesday of 1841 the bishops of the United Kingdom met and issued a declaration which inaugurated the Colonial Bishoprics Council. Subsequent declarations in 187 2 and 1891 have served both to record progress and to stimulate to new effort. The diocese of New Zealand was founded in 1841, being endowed by the Church Missionary Society through the council, and George Augustus Selwyn was chosen as the first bishop. Since then the increase has gone on, as the result both of home effort and of the action of the colonial churches. 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. Thus, instead of the ten colonial jurisdictions of 1841, there are now about a hundred foreign and colonial jurisdictions, in addition to those of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States.

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.

(r) Local conditions soon made a provincial organization necessary, and it was gradually introduced. The bishop of Calcutta received letters patent as metropolitan of India when 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 Australia and South Africa respectively. 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 Montreal to 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 conferences on the subject. The constitution of these provinces is not uniform. In some cases, as South Africa,New South Wales,and Queensland,the metropolitan see is 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: (a) The creation of diocesan and provincial synods, the first diocesan synod to meet being that of New Zealand in 1844, whilst the formation of a provincial synod was foreshadowed by a conference of Australasian bishops at Sydney in 1850; (b) towards the close of the r9th century the title of archbishop began to be assumed by the metropolitans of several provinces. It was first assumed by the metropolitans of Canada and 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 Town as metropolitan of South Africa. Civil obstacles have hitherto delayed its adoption by the metropolitan of India.

(2) By degrees, also, the colonial churches have been freed from their rather burdensome relations with the state. The church of the West Indies was disestablished and disendowed in 1868. In 1857 it was decided, in Regina v. Eton College, that the crown could not claim g 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. Mackenzie for the Zambezi region and J. C. Patteson for 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 Ontario was 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 Canterbury which 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 the creation of dioceses either in native states (Travancore and Cochin), or out of the existing dioceses (Chota Nagpur, Lucknow, &c.). In the latter case there is no legal subdivision of the older diocese, the new bishop administering such districts as belonged to it under commission from its bishop, provision being made, however, that in all matters ecclesiastical there shall be no appeal but to the metropolitan of India.

(3) 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, con- autoitual g g ? autonomy. secrated in India under a commission from the arch bishop 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 Act of 1874, which permits the archbishop at his discretion to dispense with the oath. This, however, has not been done in all cases; and as late as 1890 it was taken by the metropolitan of Sydney at his consecration. Thus the constituent parts of the Anglican communion gradually acquire autonomy: missionary jurisdictions develop into organized dioceses, and dioceses are grouped into provinces with canons of their own. 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 Honolulu (Hawaii), previously under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Canterbury, was transferred in 1900 to the Episcopal Church in the United States on account of political changes. Though the see of Canterbury claims no primacy over the Anglican communion analogous to that exercised over the Roman Church by the popes, it is regarded with a strong affection and deference, which shows itself by frequent consultation and interchange of greetings. There is also a strong common life emphasized by common action.

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 congress held in London between the 12th and 24th of June 1908, which preceded the Lambeth conference opened on the 5th of July. 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 London, 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 laws or that of socialism, followed much the same lines. The congress, 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 Anglican communion consists of the following: - (I) The Church of England, 2 provinces, Canterbury and York, with 24 and II dioceses respectively. (2) The Church of Ireland, 2 provinces, Armagh and Dublin, with 7 and 6 dioceses respectively. (3) The Scottish Episcopal Church, with 7 dioceses. (4) The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, with 89 dioceses and missionary jurisdictions, including North Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, Cape Palmas, and the independent dioceses of Hayti and Brazil. (5) The Canadian Church, consisting of (a)the province of Canada, with to dioceses; (b) the province of Rupert's Land, with 8 dioceses. (6) The Church in India and Ceylon, r province of 11 dioceses. (7) The Church of the West Indies, i province of 8 dioceses, of which Barbados and the Windward Islands are at present united. (8) The Australian Church, consisting of (a) the province of New South Wales, with 10 dioceses; (b) the province of Queensland, with 5 dioceses; (c) the province of Victoria, with 5 dioceses. (9) The Church of New Zealand, i province of 7 dioceses, together with the missionary jurisdiction of Melanesia. (10) The South African Church, I province of 10 dioceses, with the 2 missionary jurisdictions of Mashonaland and Lebombo. (II) Nearly 30 isolated dioceses and missionary jurisdictions holding mission from the see of Canterbury.

Authorities

- Oficial Year-book of the Church of England; Phillimore, Ecclesiastical Law, vol. ii. (London, 1895); Digest of S.P.G. Records (London, 1893); E. Stock, History of the Church Missionary Society, 3 vols. (London, 1899); H. W. Tucker, The English Church in Other Lands (London, 1886); A. T. Wirgman, The Church and the Civil Power (London, 1893).


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Simple English

The Anglican Communion is an association of all Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England. There is no single "Anglican Church" with universal authority, because each national or regional church has full autonomy. With over seventy seven million members, the Anglican Communion is the third largest communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

The status of full communion means that all rites conducted in one church are recognised by the other. Some of these churches are known as Anglican, explicitly recognising the link to England (Ecclesia Anglicana means "Church of England").

The Archbishop of Canterbury, religious head of the Church of England, has no formal authority outside that jurisdiction, but is recognised as symbolic head of the worldwide communion.

Provinces of the Anglican Communion

All thirty-eight provinces of the Anglican Communion are independent, each with its own primate and governing structure. These provinces may take the form of national churches (such as in Canada, Uganda, or Japan) or a collection of nations (such as the West Indies, Central Africa, or Southeast Asia). They are, in alphabetical order:

  • The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia
  • The Anglican Church of Australia
  • The Church of Bangladesh
  • The Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil)
  • The Anglican Church of Burundi
  • The Anglican Church of Canada
  • The Church of the Province of Central Africa
  • The Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central America (Anglican Church in the Central Region of America)
  • The Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo (Province of the Anglican Church of Congo)
  • The Church of England
  • Sheng Kung Hui (Hong Kong Anglican Church (Episcopal))
  • The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
  • The Church of Ireland
  • The Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan)
  • The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
  • The Anglican Church of Kenya
  • The Anglican Church of Korea
  • The Church of the Province of Melanesia
  • The Anglican Church of Mexico
  • The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma)
  • The Church of Nigeria
  • The Church of North India
  • The Church of Pakistan
  • The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
  • The Episcopal Church of the Philippines
  • The Church of the Province of Rwanda
  • The Scottish Episcopal Church
  • The Church of the Province of South East Asia
  • The Church of South India
  • The Anglican Church of Southern Africa
  • Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de las Americas (Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of the Americas)
  • The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
  • The Anglican Church of Tanzania
  • The Church of Uganda
  • The Episcopal Church in the United States of America
  • The Church in Wales
  • The Church of the Province of West Africa
  • The Church in the Province of the West Indies

In addition, there are six extraprovincial churches, five of which are under the metropolitical authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

  • The Anglican Church of Bermuda (extraprovincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury)
  • Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba (Episcopal Church of Cuba) (under a metropolitan council)
  • The Parish of the Falkland Islands (extraprovincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury)
  • The Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church of Portugal (extraprovincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury)
  • The Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church (extraprovincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury)
  • The Church of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) (extraprovincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury)

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