A-Z: General definitions: Anglican


The 'Established' or state church of England, the result of a break with the Catholic church under Henry VIII and further developments in the reign of Elizabeth I. The Church of England retained a large amount of continuity with the pre-Reformation Catholic Church in terms of its creeds, pattern of ministry, buildings and some aspects of its worship but it also incorporated important Protestant emphases, including making the Bible available in English. It has been described as 'both Catholic and reformed'. Together with the Authorised Version of the Bible, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer has had a profound impact on English language and literature. Important poets and writers such as John Donne and George Herbert were Anglican priests. The Anglican Church has members worldwide, many in the two-thirds world.

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