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Welcome to Anglicanism.org a depository of papers and articles related to the generic theme of Anglicanism.

This website contains a free-to-use library for the study of Anglicanism. The site started life in 2009 as a specialist online vehicle for the publication of pre-doctoral papers but it has long since outgrown that rather narrow definition and (we like to think) become something much more accessible without surrendering academic integrity.

You are welcome to browse, to read and to download. Perhaps you may like to submit a paper, letter or comment as well? Additionally, we also have linked Facebook and Twitter pages, which we hope you will find both interesting and informative.

Editor: The Rev’d Dr. Nicholas Henderson
Email:  info@anglicanism.org

Latest Additions:

Towards a Radical Theology of Lay Ministry

The Rev'd Canon Dr. Hayley Matthews writes:Having been in lay leadership for over two decades, I clearly recall the moment I reverenced the altar, glanced up at Jesus wrought in stunning stained glass and turned to walk towards my stool. Be-robed, cope and all, I turned to see two hundred+ laity in the congregation before me, Servers to left and right, vergers standing stall, all eyes on me as I took my first steps towards inhabiting my priesthood. The words ‘this is what I was born to do’ appeared in my mind like a ray of sunshine through a steel-grey sky. Just as quickly, I was unexpectedly flooded with a sense of God’s Spirit and I had an almost ominous sense that all are called towards ‘this point’ of commitment in our discipleship which shifted the focus from all eyes on me, to my eyes on all of them. Certain that we aren’t all called to ordination, but equally bemused by the experience, in those five long meters between altar and nave I had come to the fullness of entering my priesthood along with a blinding revelation that all laity should reach the point of knowing the fullness of their own vocations in Christ. Every baptised Christian should reach pivotal moments of discipleship that required as full a commitment, dedication and public affirmation as those surrendering to the priesthood, each equally celebrated by the Church.

Be careful what you venerate

Editorial - Kingdom Season November 2022. The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson (Editor) writes: The arrival in Lichfield Cathedral, England, of a fragment of a bone of St Chad (died 672) will be marked by the recreation of a shrine in his name and the opportunity for pilgrims to donate a much-needed £10.00 by texting. After centuries following the original shrine’s destruction, more protestant precursors may be turning in their respective graves but this exercise is a sign of a human tendency to venerate and cherish worthies of bygone ages who may easily be recreated in the image of the pilgrims of the present. ...

Dear Heart-broken, Dear Confused: Agony Aunts and Problem Pages as Implicit Religion

The Very Rev'd Professor Martyn Percy writes: Such is the extent of secularization in modern Britain, it will now come as a surprise to quite a number of folk that modern hospitals have religious foundations – St. Thomas or St. Bartholomew come to mind. Also, Halloween seems to have morphed into a secular celebration of light-hearted horror-genres, replete with pumpkins. For most, the remembrance of all souls has become quite detached. The religious origins of Oxbridge Colleges and other educational establishments are perhaps easier to grasp. Though I do recall interviewing a student for entry into Cambridge some decades ago, who had declined Jesus, Christ’s, Trinity and other colleges because of their religious names but had chosen Emmanuel. I truly wish this were an urban myth, but it isn’t. ...

Did we die without noticing it?

Canon Rosie Harper writes: When I was a teenager growing up in Norwich, prayer meetings were a very significant part of life. Looking back, I wish I’d spent more time with boys and less time in my non-conformist church. It’s a bit late now! Even at the time I realised that those meetings revealed far more about what folk really believed than the fine Sunday words. People prayed about what mattered to them. They were a lovely bunch, mostly, and talked to God about the people they loved, about missionaries in far flung countries, about homeless people. The prayers were also sometimes unknowingly racist and sexist. A very common theme was revival. By this they meant not so much that the power of the spirit would sweep across the country, rather that there would be revival in the Church of England. It was impossible for them to conceive of an authentic church that ran on different software from theirs. Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour was the bottom line and with it came the whole substitutionary atonement script.

SYNODALITY AND TOGETHERNESS IN THE ANTIOCHIAN, SYRIAC MARONITE CHURCH

Maronite Archbishop Paul Sayah writes: One of the important theological developments brought about by Vatican II is the emphasis on the concept of Synodality and Communion in the theology of the Church and its evangelizing Mission. Lumen Gentium defined the Church first of all as the community of the baptized, the “People of God”, and then it talked about the hierarchy. The Church is not a democracy, but it is not a monarchy either, nor is it an oligarchy, nor an autocracy. It is the community of believers journeying, together under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Are we heading for World War III?

The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson (Editor: Anglicanism.org) writes: Amongst the many crises currently gripping the world a good number are linked directly or indirectly to the unprovoked disastrous invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin. It is important to attribute the onslaught on Ukraine to one man as, despite the existence of ultra-nationalists of a fascist disposition in Russia, broadly speaking the invasion does not seem to have universal enthusiastic support on the part of the people. Moreover, in a country starved of non-state impartial media many seem simply to have accepted (but little more) the official line. Of course, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what is going on and the famous dictum of Churchill in 1939 that Russian is “a riddle, wrapped inside a mystery, inside an enigma” still stands.

Anglicanism traces its antecedents back to the independent Romano-British Church during the first few centuries of Christianity, the arrival of St Augustine of Canterbury at the behest of Pope Gregory the Great in the late sixth century, a replacement of indigenous Celtic/Irish traditions with Latin oversight in the seventh century and then onwards to the tumultuous sixteenth century the Reformation and the break with Rome. Subsequently modern Anglicanism has slowly emerged, at times almost accidentally, at first in the English speaking world and then as a worldwide denomination.

To describe Anglicanism in a paragraph scarcely does it justice but being in communion with the see of Canterbury has come to define a type of Christianity with a wide range of liturgical practice, a spectrum of theological interpretation and the inevitable tensions that exist in a body that spans countries and cultures. Not strictly speaking a Church, although the term ‘Anglican Church’ is frequently used, the Anglican Communion is now represented in some 144 countries.

The Compass Rose is the emblem of the Anglican Communion. It was originally designed by the late Canon Edward West of New York. The Greek inscription ‘The Truth Shall Make You Free’ (John 8:32) surrounds the cross. The compass points to Anglican/Episcopal Christianity throughout the world with the mitre on the top indicating the role of episcopacy and apostolic order that is characteristic of churches of the Communion.

The modern design is by Giles Bloomfield and the symbol was set in the nave of the mother church of the Anglican Communion, the Cathedral Church of Christ in Canterbury, founded 597 – (photograph above). It was dedicated by Archbishop Robert Runcie at the final Eucharist of the Lambeth Conference in 1988. A similar Compass Rose was dedicated in Washington National Cathedral in 1990 to encourage worldwide use. The official Anglican Communion flag with the emblem was designed by the Rev’d Bruce Nutter of Australia.

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