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Anglican/Episcopal Denomination

Overview of the Anglican/Episcopalian Church


Anglican Church
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Number of Worldwide Members:

The Anglican Church Communion consists of nearly 77 million members worldwide in 164 countries.

Anglican Church Founding:

Founded in 1534 by King Henry's Act of Supremacy, the roots of Anglicanism go back to one of the main branches of Protestantism that came about after the 16th century Reformation. For more about Anglican history visit Anglican Denomination - Brief History.

Prominent Anglican Church Founders:

Thomas Cranmer, Queen Elizabeth I.


In the United States the denomination is called Episcopal, and in most of the rest of the world it is called Anglican. There are 38 churches in the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church in Wales, and the Church of Ireland. Anglican churches are primarily located in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Canada, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Anglican Church Governing Body:

The Church of England is headed by the king or queen of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Outside of England, Anglican churches are led on the national level by a primate, then by archbishops, bishops, priests and deacons. The organization is "episcopal" in nature with bishops and dioceses, and similar to the Catholic Church in structure.

Sacred or Distinguishing Text:

The Bible, The Books of Common Prayer.

Notable Anglicans:

Desmond Tutu, Bishop of Durham Tom Wright, and the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury.

Anglican Church Beliefs and Practices:

Anglicanism is characterized by a middle ground between Catholicism and Protestantism. Due to significant freedom and diversity allowed by the Anglican churches in the areas of Scripture, reason and tradition, there are many differences in doctrine and practice among the churches within the Anglican Communion. For more about what Anglicans believe visit Anglican Denomination - Beliefs and Practices.

Anglican Resources:

Top 5 Books About Anglicanism
More Anglican Resources

(Sources: ReligiousTolerance.org, ReligionFacts.com, AllRefer.com, and the Religious Movements Web site of the University of Virginia.)

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