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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Church of England

Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon, but asked the Pope to annul the marriage. When the annulment was refused, the King transferred ecclesiastical jurisdiction and revenues from the Pope to himself and created the Church of England. The English Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy, making the king head of the English church on November 3, 1534.

Henry VIII

Despite Pope Paul III decreeing slavery for all Englishmen who supported Henry VIII, the king’s countrymen were behind their monarch in breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church.

The 1563 Thirty-nine Articles, which combined Catholic organization and Protestant doctrine, were defining statements of Anglican doctrine. They established the Church of England with Elizabeth I its supreme governor.

A coal miner in 1730s England would rise at 3.30 am for breakfast then work in the mine shifts with poor ventilation all day before creeping into bed at nightfall to begin again the next day. On Sunday he was too dirty and to poor to find comfort in the middle class church and if he should turn up he was likely to sent away by an Anglican church officer.

On July 14, 1833 John Keble (1792-1866), a parson's son, and professor of poetry at Oxford preached a sermon on "Natural Apostasy" which sparked off the "Oxford Movement", a revival of Catholic spirituality in the Church of England. For the next eight years a group of Oxford High churchmen including Keble and John Henry Newman sent a series of pamphlets to every parsonage in England warning of the dangers they felt were threatening the church from secular authorities such as the Liberals and Dissenters. They advocated a higher degree of ceremonial worship nearer to that of the Roman Catholic Church. This ceremonial form of worship in the Anglican Church is now known as Anglo-Catholicism.

Bartholomew Edwards, the Rector of St Nicholas, Ashill, Norfolk died at the age of 100 in 1889. He holds the record for the longest ever recorded incumbency having been the vicar of the parish since 1813.

In 1942 the Church of England abolished its rule forcing women to wear hats in church.

In 1980 the modern Alternative Service Book was introduced by the Church of England as an alternative to the 1662 Prayer Book.


The General Synod of the Church of England voted to allow women to become priests on November 11, 1992.

Two years after the Church of England Synod voted in favor of women priests, the first 32 Anglican women priests were ordained on March 12, 1994 at Bristol Cathedral by Bishop Barry Rogerson. However in response, 700 Anglican clergymen threatened to leave the Anglican Church for the Roman Catholic Church.

When John Sentamu was enthroned as Archbishop of York in 2005, he became the first member of an ethnic minority to serve as an archbishop in the Church of England.


In 2010, for the first time in the history of the Church of England, more women than men were ordained as priests (290 women and 273 men).

Elizabeth Jane Holden "Libby" Lane (born 1966) became the first woman to be appointed as a bishop by the Church of England, after its General Synod voted in July 2014 to allow women to become bishops. Her consecration as the Bishop of Stockport took place on January 26, 2015 at York Minster.

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