History of The Church of England

The history of the Church of England has its origins in the last five years of the 6th century in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent, and the Gregorian mission of Saint Augustine. The Church of England emphasises continuity through apostolic succession and traditionally looks to these early events for its origins rather than to the changes brought about by the English Reformation. Events such as Henry VIII's schism with the Roman Catholic Church or the excommunication of Elizabeth I or the wider Reformation in mainland Europe all contributed to the development of the Church of England as it is now established, but are regarded as a continuation of the arrival of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church to the British Isles.

Christianity arrived in the British Isles around 47 AD during the Roman Empire according to Gildas's De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae. Archbishop Restitutus and others are known to have attended the council of Arles in 314. Christianity developed roots in Sub-Roman Britain and later Ireland, Scotland and Pictland. The Anglo-Saxons (Germanic pagans who progressively seized British territory) during the 5th, 6th and 7th centuries, established a small number of kingdoms and evangelisation of the Anglo-Saxons was carried out by the successors of the Gregorian mission and by Celtic missionaries from Scotland. The church in Wales remained isolated and was only brought within the jurisdiction of English bishops several centuries later.

Read more about History Of The Church Of EnglandRoman and Sub-Roman Christianity in The British Isles, Augustine and The Anglo-Saxon Period, Medieval Consolidation, Separation From Papal Authority, Reunion With Rome, Second Schism

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