"Images" ordered removed from all churches by the council of regents. This also means no vestments, ashes, palms, holy water, or crucifixes. This causes so much resentment that an order suppressing all preaching follows.
Edward VI dies. People are tired of Protestant looting of churches. Mary Tudor ("Bloody Mary"), a militant Roman Catholic, becomes queen, she returned the English church to communion with Rome. She was Popular at first, but soon marries the hated Philip II of Spain. Persecution of Protestants begins; Mary appoints new bishops and fires all married priests. During her reign, about 300 Protestants were burned, including 5 bishops, 100 priests, and 60 women. An attempt by Cardinal Pole (Mary's archbishop of Canterbury) to restore monasticism fizzles when, among 1500 surviving monks, nuns, and friars, fewer than 100 are willing to return to celibacy. All this ensures Roman Catholics will remain unpopular in England.
Mary dies. Elizabeth I, (a Protestant), becomes queen. Despite many problems (including frequent assassination plots from Roman Catholics), she supports the enterprising middle class and England prospers. With her accession an independent church was restored and steered along a middle ground between Roman Catholicism and Calvinism.
Since 1564 the Era of Puritanism had began. The word "Puritan" appears for the first time. It was biblically based on Calvinistic Protestantism - with emphasis upon the "purification" of church and society of the remnants of "corrupt" and "unscriptural" "papist" ritual and dogma. The characteristics of their movement were the following: a disciplined, godly life, and the energetic evangelical activities. They want:
a skilled, educated preaching ministry, based on the Bible
as few ceremonies in church as Biblically possible (no surplice, no signing of the cross)
abolition of the traditional role of bishop, and replacement of the episcopate by a presbyterian system
one legal government church, controlled by Puritans.
By the 1660s Puritanism was firmly established amongst the gentry and the emerging middle classes of southern and eastern England, and during the Civil Wars the Puritan "Roundheads" fought for the parliamentary cause and formed the backbone of Cromwell's forces during the Commonwealth period. After 1646, however, the Puritan emphasis upon individualism and the individual conscience made it impossible for the movement to form a national Presbyterian church, and by 1662, when the Anglican church was re-established, Puritanism had become a loose confederation of various Dissenting sects. The growing pressure for religious toleration within Britain itself was to a considerable degree a legacy of Puritanism, and its emphasis on self-discipline, individualism, responsibility, work, and asceticism was also an important influence upon the values and attitudes of the emerging middle classes.
Thirty-Nine Articles(1571) drafted as a doctrinal statement by a convocation of the Church of England. The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, along with the historic Creeds, are the doctrinal standard for Anglicanism. They are printed in the back of most editions of the Prayer Book and tell us not only about the main postulates (e.g. Of faith in the Holy Trinity, Of the Word, or Son of God, which was made very man; Of Original or Birth Sin; Of Free Will etc.), but also about Sin after Baptism, Of the Church, Of the Authority of the Church, Of the authority of General Councils, Of speaking in the Congregation in such a tongue as the people understandeth etc.
With accession of Charles II in 1660 the Restoration of the monarchy began. Everyone is tired of Puritan rule. Puritan laws and censorship are repealed; the theaters re-open. The "Declaration of Breda" results in tolerance for Puritan views within the Anglican fold. The conflict with Puritanism leaves distrust for religious individualism and emotionalism ("enthusiasm") among Anglicans. This will continue through the "Great Awakening" (1738-1784: Christian revival in England and America). This coincides with the Enlightenment, or Age of Reason, during which many educated people cease to consider themselves Christians.
Act of Toleration (1689), partially restores civil rights to Roman Catholics and Dissenters. The events since the Reformation have finally convinced most Anglicans of the virtues of tolerance and mutual forbearance.
The trend during this period will be rediscovery of liturgy and church history - High church - and spreading Christianity – Low сhurch.
The Evangelical branch of the Anglican Church coincided very nearly with the "Low Church" party. Evangelical, a term literally meaning "of or pertaining to the Gospel," designated the school of theology adhered to by those Protestants who believed that the essence of the Gospel lay in the doctrine of salvation by faith in the death of Christ, which atoned for man's sins. Evangelicalism stressed the reality of the "inner life," insisted on the total depravity of humanity and on the importance of the individual's personal relationship with God and Savior. They put particular emphasis on faith, denying that either good works or the sacraments (which they perceived as being merely symbolic) possessed any salvational efficacy. Evangelicals, too, denied that ordination imparted any supernatural gifts, and upheld the sole authority of the Bible in matters of doctrine
High church was associated with the Tractarianmovement began about 1833 and ended in 1845 with John Henry Newman's conversion to Roman Catholicism. It was also called the Oxford Movement because Newman, a fellow of Oriel College (part of Oxford University) and vicar of St. Mary's, the University church, and others were based there when they began the Tracts for the Times in 1833. There were exactly 90 Tracts, the majority written by Newman, arguing in general that the truth of the doctrines of the Church of England rested on the modern church's position as the direct descendant of the church established by the Apostles. Pretty obviously, such an argument was a conservative answer to the various contemporary challenges to the authority of religion in general, Christianity in particular, and specifically Anglicanism Catholicism, fueled by the same need for reassurance as was the Evangelical revival. Since the 16th century the Church of England had prided itself on being the via media, or middle road, between Roman Catholicism and a more radical Protestantism.
The Church of England has, in its several ways, been the Church to uphold the dignity of the individual. It gave the lead, for example, not only in the abolition of slavery but it played a critical role in stopping the slave trade itself. Today, of course, it is a Church at the forefront of the practical fight to right injustices, restore the dignity of people everywhere and put the world on a sustainable economic footing without ruining the planet upon which God put us.
II. The Church of England today
We are now in what many call the post-modern era and the Church of England is experiencing a resurgence of interest in matters of faith as well as in the Church itself. Calls to the ministry are up, giving for the Church's work is up and the Church is confident that, with and by God's grace, it can make an increasingly valuable contribution to the life of the nation, its people, and do so far beyond its borders as well.
Anglicans are numerous on every continent and constitute the principal Christian community in many areas, notably in Africa.The Book of Common Prayer exists in 170 languages. There are about 45 million Anglicans worldwide. There are three million Episcopalians in the US.At least one survey indicates that, among all denominations in this country, we have the highest percentage of members who take time for daily prayer.There is little doubt that, among all groups of Christians, we Anglicans are the most diverse and the most tolerant. Anglicans are still facing persecution in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, Communist China, the Soviet bloc nations, Central Africa, and Central America.Throughout the world, over one thousand new Christian churches open their doors each Sunday. As always, Christianity flourishes wherever it shows people its highest ideals.
1) The essence of being an Anglican
The Scriptures and the Gospels, the Apostolic Church and the early Church Fathers, are the foundation of Anglican faith and worship. The basic tenets of being an Anglican are:
* They view the Old and New Testaments 'as containing all things necessary for salvation' and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
* They understand the Apostles' creed as the baptismal symbol, and the Nicene creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.
* The two sacraments ordained by Christ himself - Baptism and the Supper of the Lord - are administered with unfailing use of Christ's words of institution, and the elements are ordained by him.
* The historic episcopate is locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of his Church.
Anglicans uphold the Catholic and Apostolic faith. Following the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Churches are committed to the proclamation of the good news of the Gospel to the whole creation. In practice this is based on the revelation contained in Holy Scripture and the Catholic creeds, and is interpreted in light of Christian tradition, scholarship, reason and experience.