THE RELIGION OF ENGLAND
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
1) In the Reformation movement the people of the country became divided into two groups:
The Catholics – remain loyal to the Pope
(Catholics were persecuted and diminish gradually in the course of eighteenth century in England.)
The Protestants – protested against the authority of the Pope
(The Protestants were willing to accept the King as the head of the newly started Church of England).
2) Roman Catholics in the British Isles were relieved of civil disabilities which culminated in the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829.
3) The Oxford movement in the Church of England was started by John Henry Newman.
4) The Roman Catholic hierarchy was revived in England in the year 1850.
5) This hierarchy consisted of the Archbishopric of Westminster and twelve other suffragan dioceses.
6) Every successive Archbishop of Westminster made a Cardinal, a member of the Pope’s Council.
THE NATIONAL RELIGION:
1) The national religion in England is Anglicanism or the Church of England.
2) It was started by Henry VIII and established by Queen Elizabeth I.
3) Its principles are clearly defined in Thirty-nine Articles published in 1563.
4) Anglicanism differs from Catholicism chiefly on two points:
It does not accept the supremacy of the Pope and
It does not give such high honour to the Virgin Mary.
5) There are two Archbishops having supervisory power:
The Archbishop of Canterbury in the South and
The Archbishop of Yorks in the North
6) The Archbishop is appointed by the real head of the Church of England, the King or the Queen.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND:
1) In seventeenth century there was a division within the Church of England into two groups:
The High Church and
The Low Church
2) This division is the result of introducing more Roman Catholic rituals into Anglican Church by Archbishop William Laud.
3) The High Church consists of members who give a high place to the authority and claims of the Episcopate and priesthood, the saving grace of sacraments and other points of doctrine and discipline.
4) The Low Church consists of members who do not give a high place to the authority and claims of the Episcopate and priesthood, the inherent grace of the sacraments and to matters of ecclesiastical organization.
5) Within the High church there has been a small group of people known as the Anglo- Catholics.
6) There is no difference between the rituals of the Roman Catholics and Anglo Catholics.
7) But the only difference between these two groups is that the latter does not concede to the supremacy of the pope.
8) These three groups have separate places of worship.
9) All Christian denominations believe in the doctrine of Trinity (Three person in one God)
God the Father
God the Son
God the Holy Spirit
1) Puritans were too eager to purify the Church of England of all Roman Catholic practices.
2) They were not satisfied with the Church reform effected by Queen Elizabeth.
3) They thought that the Church of England was not distinct enough from the Roman Catholic, church.
4) Their descendants were known as Dissenters.
5) They were shut out of the Anglican Church under the Clarendon Code.
6) These Dissenters were the parent body of what are now called Non-Conformists or the Free Churches.
7) The most important of them are:
Quakers or the Society of Friends
8) There are also smaller bodies like the Unitarians and the Adventists.
1. This movement started in 1729 with the preaching of John Wesley.
2. Wesley believed in Armenianism
3. Armenianism is the doctrine taught by Armenius, the Dutch theologian.
4. It says that Jesus died not only for the ‘elect’ but for all men, that man by his free will can accept or reject the offer of divine grace.
5. George Whitefield, the other leader believed in Calvin’s doctrine of Predestination.
6. It says that God’s inscrutable will has chosen men and women for eternal salvation, irrespective of their personal merits (that these ‘elect’ cannot fall from grace).
7. In spite of this doctrinal differences as long as Wesley was alive, they remained within the fold of the Church of England.
8. In 1795 the Methodists broke off from the official church of the country.
9. It became an independent body.
10. Better sense prevailed with the result of Methodist bodies became united.
11. Pope John XXIII convenes an ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church.
12.The pope hoped to bring spiritual rebirth to Catholicism and cultivate greater unity with other branches of Christianity.
1. The Baptists is a distinct Protestant sect.
2. It came into existence in the middle of the seventeenth century.
3.They maintain that baptism should be administered only to adults and that by immersion.
4. Strict Baptists admit to holy-communion.
5. The most famous of English Baptists was John Bunyan.
6. He wrote the famous book “The Pilgrim’s Progress”.
7. Baptist belief was introduced into America in 1639 by Roger Williams.
8. He was the founder of the smallest American colony, Rhode Island.
9. The Baptists Missionary Society founded in 1792
10. It was the first English organization for foreign missions.
1. Congregationalist or congregationalism began with the Protestant Reformation.
2. When the Anglican Settlement under Elizabeth I proved to be unacceptable to the puritans, there was a division among them.
3. The one group wished to reform the Church from within.
4. The other group of people wished to separate themselves completely from the Anglican Church.
5. The latter came to be known as the Congregationalists.
6. They believe that Christ is the only head of the Church.
7. They also believed that the Bible is a sufficient rule of faith and practice.
8. Considered Christian character is the measure for membership in the Church.
9. The final say in the matters of Church Government rests with the congregation itself.
1. They are a group of Protestant Christians without bishops.
2. The Church Government is managed by Presbyters or elders, both cleric and lay.
3. Sacraments are administered only by clerics or ministers.
4. Preaching is done by elders also.
5. Following Calvin’s doctrine of predestination the Presbyterians became predominant in the Reformation period and in the middle of the seventeenth century.
6. It even displaced the Church of England at least for a time.
1. Quakerism or the Society of Friends was established during the short period between 1648 and 1650 by George Fox.
2. George Fox was the son of Leicestershire weaver.
3. They were called Quakers because they quaked or trembled as they spoke under the alleged divine inspiration.
4. Their peaceful principles and plainness of dress and manners distinguishes them from all others.
5. The cardinal doctrine of this faith is that every man is guided by God.
6. They are against all dogma, formalism, sacraments and priesthood.
7. Their form of worship is simple and to a large extent silent.
8. The habit of swearing oaths and use of force are abhorrent to them.
9. They refused to take part in war.
10. They believe in mitigating the suggestions of their less privileged fellowmen by social and charitable work.
11. William Penn, the founder of the settlement of Pennsylvania in America, was a wealthy Quaker.
12. Elizabeth Fry in England was also a benevolent Quaker.
13. Many influential and affluent Quakers played a prominent part in the abolition of slavery both in England and elsewhere.
1. It upholds the doctrine that God is one person.
2. This creed was spread in European countries like Poland and Hungary by Fautus Socinus.
3. In England it was first taught by John Biddle in the first half of the seventeenth century.
4. In the eighteenth century the teaching was resumed by Theophilus Lindsay.
5. He formed it into a denomination.
6. Many Englishmen like Presbyterians became attached to it in subsequent years.
7. Coleridge became a Unitarian and for a short time acted as a Minister at Shrewsbury.
1. These people believed that the second coming of Christ is imminent, the first coming of Christ was as the Saviour of the world.
2. The second was expected to be as Judge of Mankind.
3. Their origin is usually ascribed to William Miller (1782 – 1849)
4. He prophesied the end of the world in 1843.
5. The most active group of them are the Seventh Day Adventists.
6. They keep Saturday as their day of rest.
7. They undertake wide scale missionary work both religious and social, especially in Africa.
8. They claim about 10,000 members in Britain and 3,50,000 in USA.