The Episcopal Church


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The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion

The beginnings of the Church of England, from which The Episcopal Church derives, date to at least the second century, when merchants and other travelers first brought Christianity to England. It is customary to regard St. Augustine of Canterbury’s mission to England in 597 as marking the formal beginning of the church under papal authority, as it was to be throughout the Middle Ages.

In its modern form, the church dates from the English Reformation of the 16th century, when royal supremacy was established and the authority of the papacy was repudiated. With the advent of British colonization, the Church of England was established on every continent. In time, these churches gained their independence but retained connections with the mother church in the Anglican Communion.


The Anglican Communion

The Anglican Communion comprises 38 self-governing Member Churches or Provinces which hold in common ways of worshipping, commitment to mission,  and a focus of unity in the Archbishop of Canterbury. Formal mechanisms for meeting include the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates’ Meeting, together known as the Instruments of Communion.

Most Communion life, however, is found in the relationships between Anglicans at all levels of church life and work around the globe; dioceses linked with dioceses, parishes with parishes, people with people, all working to further God’s mission. There are around 85 million people on six continents who call themselves Anglican (or Episcopalian), in more than 165 countries. These Christian brothers and sisters share prayer, resources, support and knowledge across geographical and cultural boundaries.

As with any family, the Anglican Communion’s members have a range of differing opinions. This means that the Anglican Christian tradition has always valued its diversity, and has never been afraid to publicly tackle the hard questions of life and faith.

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Here are some links to resources that may help you learn more about the Episcopal Church:

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles  St. James’ is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Here is a link to our diocese’s home page.

The Episcopal Church  The website of the Episcopal Church, uniting 109 dioceses in 16 countries around the world, including the United States of America.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
  Here you’ll find information about the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, who retires this year. On All Saints’ Day 2015, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry will succeed Jefferts Schori as the next Presiding Bishop.

The Daily Office
  This is a website that gives the full text of the Daily Office for each day. The Office is an ancient way of prayer, with readings from Scripture and prayers from the Book of Common Prayer for every morning, noon, evening, and late night. It’s a terrific way to begin or deepen your life of prayer.

The Book of Common Prayer  The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer.

Episcopal Relief and Development  Episcopal Relief & Development is the compassionate response of The Episcopal Churchto human suffering in the world. Hearing God’s call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to respect the dignity of every human being, Episcopal Relief & Development serves to bring together the generosity of Episcopalians and others with the needs of the world.

Episcopal News Service News from around the Episcopal Church and the world.

Project Canterbury  Primary source materials of the Anglican tradition. Here are the complete texts of Anglican thinkers of the past 500 years.

Liturgical Calendar  The best site to track the Bible readings for the Sunday liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church.

New Tracts for our Times   Informative and accessible You-Tube videos by renowned priests and scholars on topics, which include “Scripture” and “Eucharist”, written and produced by The Scholar-Priest Initiative.