Christian denomination; branch of Christianity
(Redirected from Church of England)
The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country. ~ Queen Elizabeth II

Anglicanism most commonly refers to the beliefs and practices of the Anglican Communion, a world-wide affiliation of Christian Churches, most of which have historical connections with the Church of England .


  • God be thanked we were not bred up in that communion but are of a Church that is pious and sincere, and conformable in all its principles to the Scriptures. ... [T]he Church of England is, without all doubt, the only true Church.
  • I have been baptised and educated in the Church of England; and have seen no cause to abandon that communion. ... I think that Church harmonises with our civil constitution, with the frame and fashion of our Society, and with the general Temper of the people. I think it is better calculated, all circumstances considered, for keeping peace amongst the difference sects, and of affording to them a reasonable protection, than any other System. Being something in a middle, it is better disposed to moderate.
    • Edmund Burke, letter to an unknown correspondent (26 January 1791), quoted in Alfred Cobban and Robert A. Smith (eds.), The Correspondence of Edmund Burke, Volume VI: July 1789–December 1791 (1967), p. 215
  • A wise Government, allying itself with religion, would, as it were, consecrate society and sanctify the State. But how is this to be done? It is the problem of modern politics which has always most embarrassed statesmen. No solution of the difficulty can be found in salaried priesthoods and complicated concordats. But by the side of the State in England there has gradually arisen a majestic corporation wealthy, powerful, independent with the sanctity of a long tradition, yet sympathising with authority, and full of conciliation, even deference, to the civil power. Broadly and deeply planted in the land, mixed up with all our manners and customs, one of the main guarantees of our local government, and therefore one of the prime securities of our common liberties, the Church of England is part of our history, part of our life, part of England itself.
    • Benjamin Disraeli, speech in Aylesbury (14 November 1861), quoted in William Flavelle Monypenny and George Earle Buckle, The Life of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield. Volume II. 1860–1881 (1929), p. 96
  • The Church of England depends, for its existence, almost entirely on the solidarity and conservatism of the English ruling class. Its strength is not in anything supernatural, but in the strong social and racial instincts which bind the members of this caste together; and the English cling to their Church the way they cling to their King and to their old schools: because of a big, vague, sweet complex of subjective dispositions regarding the English countryside, old castles and cottages, games of cricket in the long summer afternoons, tea-parties on the Thames, croquet, roast-beef, pipe-smoking, the Christmas panto, Punch and the London Times and all those other things the mere thought of which produces a kind of warm and inexpressible ache in the English heart.
  • Perhaps one explanation of the sterility and inefficacy of Anglicanism in the moral order is, besides its lack of vital contact with the Mystical Body of the True Church, the social injustice and the class oppression on which it is based: for, since it is mostly a class religion, it contracts the guilt of the class from which it is inseparable.

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