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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:

Proclaiming the gospel of salvation

In a 'Letter to the Editor', Vivienne Hayward responds to The Rev'd Dr. Canon Hayley Matthews' recently published paper 'Towards a radical theology of lay ministry': As a cradle Anglican and a lay woman I strongly affirm Canon Hayley Matthew’s post Towards a Radical Theology of Lay Ministry in which she describes ‘disciples mak[ing] disciples, through service to their communities, exemplary work ethics, pastoral care, lunchtime conversations about where we went last weekend, seasons of invitation and kindly cards of condolence—nothing ground breaking at all, in fact, just the gentle lapping of a love that will not let us go.’ ‘This is the essence of Lay Ministry,’ she says, ‘to bring the Gospel to wherever we are ... by being the Good News wherever we are placed.’ As a teacher I also strongly affirm that ‘it is vitally important to develop a solid foundation for our faith internally if we are to express it externally, but equally important that we are then disciples with a confident grasp of the Gospel. Consequently, we can have those awkward conversations over the water cooler about why someone’s parent is suffering so as their life nears its end, or how God can let their colleague’s child succumb to cancer.’ No Anglican that I know would dispute this. The question is, though, ‘to what end?’ about which there is certainly no consensus. Central to this difference of understanding is the meaning of ‘salvation’. ...

Dreaming of World Peace

Bishop Trevor Mwamba writes: In October 1962 the United States and the Soviet Union wobbled dangerously close towards a nuclear war caused by the Cuban Missile crisis. However, because of intelligent leadership the catastrophe was avoided. The Soviet Union had placed missiles in Cuba after the United States had placed Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Italy. To resolve the crisis a secret pact was agreed in which the Soviet Union removed their missiles from Cuba and the United States quietly from Turkey and Italy months later. Being a secret pact many in the West thought the Americans won the confrontation through an unrelenting display of power and the threat of nuclear escalation. To the contrary a nuclear war was prevented because of compromise on both sides. It was possible because both President John F. Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev in good faith were able to negotiate with each. This good faith is reflected in a letter Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy wrote to Chairman Nikita Khrushchev on December 1st 1963. It was one of her last nights in the White House after the assassination of her husband. It’s inspiring, it’s elegant, it’s moving, especially in its idea of big men and little men and the consequences of leadership thereof. ...

That’s one small, timid step for the Church of England.

The Editor: The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson writes - The Church of England has almost concluded a long and at times tedious ‘Living in Love and Faith’ process of discernment and consultation regarding gay relationships and essentially about whether to allow these to be consummated in Christian marriage. Now the House of Bishops have effectively short-circuited the final decision, meant to be decided by the General Synod in February 2023, by pronouncing that they will not change the Church’s fundamental teaching “that holy matrimony is between one man and one woman for life.” Notwithstanding that part of that ‘fundamental teaching’ has long been bypassed in that remarriage in church after divorce is commonplace and permitted, the bishops apparently have felt unable to go further and allow same-sex couples to enjoy the same privilege. ...

… but will it snow this Christmas?

The Rev'd Dr.Nicholas Henderson - Editor writes: ... but will it snow this Christmas? This is … A perennial question, usually on the lips of children but also adults who long for the delight of a seasonal covering - as long as it keeps off the roads. These days it is more often the lack of weather conducive to snowfall that troubles us most. Melting glaciers, droughts, excessive rainfall, storms, heatwaves and slowing ocean currents, all associated indisputably with human induced climate change are more the problem that afflicts us. True there are some still left for whom this can be explained away as anything but our massive despoliation of the planet with excessive emissions largely down to the burning of fossil fuel. There are also those who argue enthusiastically, with great conviction that the earth is flat and for numerous other conspiracy theories, but it still doesn’t snow as often or as much as it used to. Beyond a wistful seasonal and festive Christmas card desire for snow, this winter will be extremely difficult for those suffering bombing and missile attacks in the European backyard of Ukraine. Pictures of families huddled in freezing makeshift shelters are stark evidence of an absence of the angels’ song ‘Peace on Earth, goodwill to all.’ ...

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. ...

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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