Anglican Catholic Church

About the Anglican Catholic Church

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ACC around the World

ACC around the World


The Beginning of the ACC

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The Rt Revd Albert Chambers

The Rt Revd Albert Chambers

Bishop of Springfield,
Illinois (1962-1972)

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The Rt Revd James Orin Mote

The Rt Revd James Orin Mote

On January 28, 1978, in Denver, Colorado, Father Mote was consecrated Bishop. The Rt. Rev. Albert A Chambers, retired Episcopal Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, was chief consecrator.

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The Consecration of Bishop Mote

The Consecration of Bishop Mote


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The Congress of St Louis

The Congress of St Louis


In 1977, following increasing liberalisation of member churches of the Anglican Communion, an international congress of nearly 2,000 Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people met in St. Louis, Missouri.
As a result of this meeting "The Affirmation of St Louis" was issued. You may fiind this document (in pdf format) by clicking on the button below, which will take you to our Resources Page.

In addition many of those present placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the retired bishop of Springfield, Illinois, the Right Reverend Albert Chambers. In October 1978 the Church adopted the name 'ANGLICAN CATHOLIC CHURCH'. The ACC has a presence in North, Central and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and in India you will find the Second Province of the ACC. (Click on the Map above to see the ACC world wide).

Diocese of the United Kingdom

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Diocesan Seal & ACC Shield

Diocesan Seal & ACC Shield


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The Diocese of the United Kingdom

The Diocese of the United Kingdom

The geographical area of the Diocese covers the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which encompasses England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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Diocesan Council of Advice

Diocesan Council of Advice

2016

In 1992 the Diocese of the United Kingdom was formally established after the Church of England broke with catholic faith and tradition by admitting women to the priesthood. In August 1992 The Right Revd Leslie Hamlett was consecrated as the first Bishop Ordinary for the Diocese, in 1997 Bishop Hamlett left the ACC.

On 20th September 2008 Father Damien Mead, who was Vicar General, was consecrated as 2nd Bishop Ordinary.

View a short clip of Bishop Mead's Consecration Service (via Youtube)

The Succession of Bishops in the Anglican Catholic Church can be traced here:

The Chambers Succession

The Bishop is assisted in the administration of the Diocese by his Council of Advice which is appointed annually at the Diocesan Synod. The Diocese of the United Kingdom is divided into two Deaneries; North and South and each has a Dean appointed by the Bishop for a three year term. In addition the Diocese also has an Arcdeacon who is, after the Bishop, the senior clergyman, also appointed for a three year term.

Diocesan Bishops 1992 - 1997 & 2008 -

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The Right Revd Leslie Hamlett

The Right Revd Leslie Hamlett

1st Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the United Kingdom Consecrated 1st August 1992 - left the ACC in 1997

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The Right Revd Damien Mead,

The Right Revd Damien Mead,

2nd Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the United Kingdom, consecrated 20th September 2008 -

Our Episcopal Visitors 1997 - 2008

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Most Rev John T Cahoon Jnr

Most Rev John T Cahoon Jnr

Episcopal Visitor 1997 - 2001

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Most Rev Mark Haverland

Most Rev Mark Haverland

Episcopal Visitor 2001 - 2004

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Right Rev Rommie M Starks

Right Rev Rommie M Starks

Episcopal Visitor 2004 - 2008

From 1997 until 2008 the Diocese of the United Kingdom was looked after by Episcopal Visitors appointed by the Archbishop of the Original Province from Bishops overseas. (pictured above)

Why Anglican & Catholic?

The Anglican Catholic Church is Anglican, which means 'English'. In other words, we are Christians who have an English liturgical and theological heritage and a spiritual heritage and an ancestral connection to the Church in England. The Anglican Catholic Church is Catholic, because it accepts the doctrine of the ancient Church, which has been "believed everywhere, always, and by all".

But aren't you Protestants?

The terms 'Protestant' and 'Catholic' are often used and very often misunderstood!

Firstly one must understand that to be 'Catholic' one doesn't necessarily have to be 'Roman' Catholic despite what some in the Roman Church may claim. The Orthodox Churches of the East and in other places are Catholic Churches but not in communion with the Pope. The term protestant is equally often misunderstood.

The Catholic Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the sixteenth century. However, although a Protestant Reformation was taking place on the Continent the English Reformation was fundamentally different in nature and intention. Primarily the reasons for its formation were political. King Henry VIII, whilst wanting to be independent of Rome, was not a Protestant in intention, although his reasons for separation were not especially honourable.

Of course there are Anglicans who have wanted to be Protestant (in the way that continental reformers meant), just as there are Anglicans who want complete union with Rome. However, the Church of England was not formed in the same way as the Continental Protestant Churches. The Continental Reformation was primarily German, under the leadership of Martin Luther; French, under John Calvin and Swiss, under Ulrich Zwingli. The Continental Reformers accepted the principle called Sola Scriptura, that is, Scripture alone as the basis for faith and practice. However, the English Reformers appealed to Scripture as interpreted by the ancient Church, especially through the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church. The Continental Reformers also almost unanimously rejected or dropped the principle of apostolic succession. That is, bishops, by virtue of their consecration, being successors of the apostles, tracing a straight link back to them through history. But the English Reformation retained apostolic succession.

Since the Continental Reformers rejected the apostolic succession of bishops and indeed developed a different understanding of the priesthood, they lost a 'valid' ordained priesthood. But at the English Reformation, the Church of England deliberately retained the title 'priest', because it contained a real truth and intention. Christ is the perfect priest. The Church is His body. The organ of a priestly body cannot be less than priestly.

The Church of England maintained its apostolic ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. Its form of worship, though translated into English and somewhat reformed, nonetheless stood in continuity with the Church's historical worship. The goal of the English Reformation was to reform the practice of the Church and return to the ancient and Catholic faith of the Undivided Church.

(Click on the individual pictures for information about each notable Anglican)

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Richard Hooker

Richard Hooker

1553-1600

Richard Hooker studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford until 1577, and became a fellow of the college in the same year. He became assistant professor of Hebrew at the University, and took holy orders, becoming a clergyman in the Church of England in 1581. Hooker was Master of the Temple in 1585-1591. Thereafter he lived in London. He died at Bishopsbourne, in Kent, where he had become vicar.
Hooker's masterpiece is a long work in eight books called Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. The first four books were published together in 1593, the fifth was published in 1597, and the rest appeared after his death. Although the last three volumes were Hooker's work, they seem to have been heavily edited. The work represents one of the most distinguished examples of Elizabethan literature. King James I is quoted by Izaak Walton, Hooker's biographer, as saying, "I observe there is in Mr. Hooker no affected language; but a grave, comprehensive, clear manifestation of reason, and that backed with the authority of the Scriptures, the fathers and schoolmen, and with all law both sacred and civil."

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William Laud

William Laud

1573 – 1645
William Laud was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 to 1645. He pursued a High Church course and opposed radical forms of Puritanism. This and his support for King Charles I resulted in his beheading in the midst of the English Civil War.

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Lancelot Andrewes

Lancelot Andrewes

1555 – 1626
Lancelot Andrewes was an English clergyman and scholar, who held high positions in the Church of England during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. During the latter's reign, Andrewes served successively as Bishop of Chichester, Ely and Winchester and oversaw the translation of the Authorized Version (or King James Version) of the Bible.

His services to his church have been summed up thus: (1) he has a keen sense of the proportion of the faith and maintains a clear distinction between what is fundamental, needing ecclesiastical commands, and subsidiary, needing only ecclesiastical guidance and suggestion; (2) as distinguished from the earlier protesting standpoint, e.g. of the Thirty-nine Articles, he emphasized a positive and constructive statement of the Anglican position.

His best-known work is the Manual of Private Devotions, edited by the Revd Dr Whyte (1900), which has widespread appeal. Andrewes's other works occupy eight volumes in the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology (1841–1854). Ninety-six of his sermons were published in 1631 by command of King Charles I.

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George Herbert

George Herbert

1593 – 1633
George Herbert was a Welsh poet, orator and priest. Being born into an artistic and wealthy family, he received a good education which led to his holding prominent positions at Cambridge University and Parliament. As a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, George Herbert excelled in languages and music. He went to college with the intention of becoming a priest, but his scholarship attracted the attention of King James I. Herbert served in parliament for two years. After the death of King James and at the urging of a friend, Herbert's interest in ordained ministry was renewed. In 1630, in his late thirties he gave up his secular ambitions and took holy orders in the Church of England, spending the rest of his life as a rector of the little parish of St. Andrew Bemerton, near Salisbury. He was noted for unfailing care for his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill, and providing food and clothing for those in need. Throughout his life he wrote religious poems characterized by a precision of language, a metrical versatility, and an ingenious use of imagery.

From the time of Henry VIII there has always been a theological position within Anglicanism which has sought to stress the continuing Catholic nature of the Church of England. Through the reign of his daughter Elizabeth I this was championed by the Elizabethan divine, Richard Hooker. Then later by Archbishop Laud and the Caroline divines including George Herbert and Lancelot Andrews (pictured above), up to the time of the Oxford Movement, Tractarians, and the Anglo-Catholic Congresses, notables include John Henry Newman, Edward Bouverie Pusey, John Keble and John Mason Neale (pictured below).

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John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman

1801 - 1890
The Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, In early life he was a major figure in the Oxford Movement to bring the Church of England back to its Catholic roots. Eventually his studies in history persuaded him to become a Roman Catholic within which he eventually became a Cardinal. Both before and after his conversion he wrote a number of influential books, including Via Media, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, and the Grammar of Assent.

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Edward Bouverie Pusey

Edward Bouverie Pusey

1800 - 1882
Edward Bouverie Pusey was one of the most prominent figures in the Church of England during the 19th century. At the age of 28, he was appointed Regius Professor of Hebrew and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, positions he held for the rest of his life.
Pusey co-founded the first Anglican sisterhood in 1845, helping to revive monastic life in the Church of England. The practice of confession in the Anglican Church stems from his 1846 sermon “The Entire Absolution of the Penitent“. Later in his life, he fought the growing influence of liberalism in the church and successfully opposed proposals to truncate or omit the Athanasian Creed.
He was known as a wise, humble, and compassionate man, who built a parish church in Leeds at his own expense and served the sick during the cholera epidemic in London in 1866.
Two years after his death, friends and admirers established in his honour Pusey House, an Anglo-Catholic house of worship, prayer, and learning. His personal library formed the basis of Pusey House Library, now one of the leading theological libraries at Oxford.

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John Keble

John Keble

1792 – 1866
John Keble was for some years a tutor and examiner in the University. While at Oxford he took Holy Orders in 1815. In 1833 his famous Assize Sermon on "national apostasy" gave the first impulse to the Oxford Movement, also known as the Tractarian movement. In 1835 he was appointed Vicar of Hursley, Hampshire, where he settled down to family life and remained for the rest of his life as a parish priest at All Saint's Church. Keble College in Oxford was founded in his memory.

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John Mason Neal

John Mason Neal

1818 - 1866,
John Mason Neale was ordained to the Anglican priesthood in 1842. He was offered a parish, but chronic ill health, which was to continue throughout his life, prevented him from taking it. In 1846 he was made warden of Sackville College, a position he held for the rest of his life. Sackville College was not an educational institution, but an almshouse, a charitable residence for the poor.
In 1854 Neale co-founded the Sisterhood of St. Margaret, an order of women in the Anglican Church dedicated to nursing the sick. Once Neale was attacked and mauled at a funeral of one of the Sisters. From time to time unruly crowds threatened to stone him or to burn his house. However, his basic goodness eventually won the confidence of many who had fiercely opposed him, and the Sisterhood of St. Margaret survived and prospered.
Neale translated the Eastern liturgies into English, and wrote a mystical and devotional commentary on the Psalms. However, he is best known as a hymn writer and translator, having

What do Anglican Catholics believe?

The Anglican Catholic Church accepts the teachings of the Undivided Church, the Church of the first millennium of Church history. From the Day of Pentecost, when the Church was born, to the Great Schism in A.D. 1054, the Church was truly Catholic: one in faith and doctrine, even though there were differences between the way Eastern and Western Churches worshipped. Therefore, the Anglican Catholic Church claims, in essence, to be both an English Catholic Church and a Western Orthodox Church.

The Anglican Catholic Church is part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, faithfully continuing the English Catholic tradition. We practice and uphold the historic Catholic Faith, with Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship, and Evangelical Witness.

We believe that there is one true and eternal God in Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality, Consubstantial, Undivided and of one Essence in Three Divine Persons through whom all that is, was and ever shall be, was created and has its being.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the unique and final revelation of the Person and Purpose of God, in whom alone is the fullness of God's truth and grace, and that there is no other through whom salvation may be obtained.

Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition & the Holy Spirit

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Holy Scripture

Holy Scripture


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Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit


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Holy Tradition

Holy Tradition


We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be Inspired by the Holy Ghost as the authentic record of the revelation of God, and as conveying His saving Word to us. We believe in the holy Tradition of the Church as set forth by the ancient catholic bishops and doctors, as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church.
We believe that the Holy Spirit gives life to and inspires and guides the Church.

We believe in Seven Sacraments

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Baptism

Baptism

Baptism, whereby the forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ and membership into His Mystical Body the Church is proclaimed and that this sacrament is generally necessary for Salvation.

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Confirmation

Confirmation

Confirmation as the "seal of the Holy Spirit" in completion of Baptism.

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Holy Communion (The Mass)

Holy Communion (The Mass)

The Mass, as the sacrifice whereby our Lord, Jesus Christ, unites us to His all-sufficient Sacrifice, once made, to bestow on us "remission of sins, and all other benefits of His Passion", whereby He is truly present under the forms of bread and wine, and gives Himself to us in His Body and Blood, to be our heavenly food and to unite us to Himself and to all in His Sacred Body the Church.

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Matrimony

Matrimony

Holy Matrimony, which is a mystical bond of one man and one woman together in lifelong commitment and unity.

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Penance (or Confession)

Penance (or Confession)

Confession, through which the faithful are called to conversion of life, confession of sins and reconciliation with God, and through which we are called to forgive others.

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Holy Orders

Holy Orders

Holy Orders, which is the perpetuation of the sacred and apostolic ministry in accordance with the will of Christ established for the Government of His Church as the ministers of His Gospel and Sacraments; and that the three orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons by Christ's institution are to be confined to the male sex; and that Bishops alone possess the fullness of apostolic authority as Overseers of the faithful and conveyers of Holy Orders.

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Holy Unction

Holy Unction

Holy Unction, whereby the healing power and consolation of God is specifically bestowed upon the faithful who are sick in body, mind or soul.

We believe in the Seven Sacraments as outward, visible symbols of the inward, spiritual Grace, Presence and working of our Lord Jesus Christ. In accordance with the faith and practice of Holy Mother Church, We declare these Sacraments to be:

Baptism, whereby the forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ and membership into His Mystical Body the Church is proclaimed and that this sacrament is necessary for Salvation.

Confirmation as the "seal of the Holy Spirit" in completion of Baptism.

The Mass, as the sacrifice whereby our Lord, Jesus Christ, unites us to His all-sufficient Sacrifice, once made, to bestow on us "remission of sins, and all other benefits of His Passion", whereby He is truly present under the forms of bread and wine, and gives Himself to us in His Body and Blood, to be our heavenly food and to unite us to Himself and to all in His Sacred Body the Church.

Holy Matrimony, which is a mystical bond of one man and one woman together in lifelong commitment and unity.

Holy Orders, which is the perpetuation of the sacred and apostolic ministry in accordance with the will of Christ established for the Government of His Church as the ministers of His Gospel and Sacraments; and that the three orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons by Christ's institution are to be confined to the male sex; and that Bishops alone possess the fullness of apostolic authority as Overseers of the faithful and conveyers of Holy Orders.

Confession, through which the faithful are called to conversion of life, confession of sins and reconciliation with God, and through which we are called to forgive others.

Holy Unction, whereby the healing power and consolation of God is specifically bestowed upon the faithful who are sick in body, mind or soul.

The Communion of Saints

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The Church Triumphant

The Church Triumphant


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The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary


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The Church Militant

The Church Militant


We believe in the Communion of Saints, which is the blessed company of all faithful people both living and departed.
Traditionally the Universal Church has been considered to comprise of the Church Triumphant (those Christians who are in Heaven), The Church Militant (those Christians who are living) and the Church at Rest (Those Christians who are dead but who are not yet in Heaven).

Furthermore we believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, and that she is preeminent above all others as the first-fruits of those who are saved by Him.

The prayers of the saints in heaven assist the faithful on earth according to the Revelation of St John (Revelation 5:8 and 8:3-4 in the light of 6:9-11). The Saints are not to be given worship or adoration that belongs to God alone, but their prayers support Christians on earth just as the prayers of Christians on earth support one another in prayer).

Sanctity of Human Life

We believe in the sanctity of human life; that life begins at the moment of conception; and that the willful taking of that life in the womb by abortion to be a grave sin.

Furthermore we believe that the wilful, intentional, and direct taking of any innocent human life is murder, whether disguised as "euthanasia", "mercy-killing" or "assisted suicide".

We believe that all men will appear before Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate Judge and Ruler of all Mankind to receive the due recompense of their faith and works.

But didn't the Pope declare Anglican Holy Orders null and void?

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Pope Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII

1810 -1903
Leo XIII, born Gioacchino Pecci, was pope from 1878 to 1903,

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Frederick Temple

Frederick Temple

1821 – 1902 was an English academic, teacher, churchman and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1896 until his death.

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William Dalrymple Maclagan

William Dalrymple Maclagan

1826 - 1910
A Scotsman, who was Archbishop of York from 1891 to 1908, when he resigned his office in 1909.

In response to Pope Leo XIII's Apostolicae Curae of 1896, which declared the Anglican apostolic succession invalid, the Anglican Archbishops of Canterbury, Frederick Temple and York, William D Maclagan, (pictured above) made an official response, Saepius Officio, stating that there is an unbroken apostolic succession in the Anglican priesthood, and that the historical episcopate has been in the British Isles from the earliest days of the Church.

However, the Roman Catholic Church maintains that this apostolic succession was broken by the use of the Ordination Rite of King Edward VI, which deletes all reference to the central priestly function and was deliberately designed to contain no indication of the "fullness of the ministry", specific tasks of the Catholic bishop or the "high priesthood", which the Holy See considers essential. The Romans assume that their point of view, based on Late Medieval sacramental theory, is valid for all periods of church history.

In their refutation the Archbishops pointed out, amongst other matters, that no such priestly functions or sacramental theology were evident in the Papal ordination rites of the 9th and 10th centuries, which would render their ordinations invalid as well, using the same criteria aimed at the Anglicans.

English Translation of "Saepius Officio"

Apostolic Succession in the Anglican Catholic Church

Apostolic Succession in the Anglican Catholic Church

What about the authority of the Pope?

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HH Pope Francis

HH Pope Francis


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Vatican II

Vatican II


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St Peters, Rome

St Peters, Rome


Since we have stated that the Anglican Catholic Church is not a 'Roman' but an 'English' Catholic Church it will come as no surprise that we do not consider ourselves to be under the Bishop of Rome's 'Universal Jurisdiction'. Again our position is comparable to the practice of the Undivided Church. Furthermore the Pope claims to be infallible in certain matters. Anglican Catholics believe in infallibility, but they believe that it is found not within the Office of the Pope, but within the Church itself, and that this is best expressed when it is acting as an undivided unity through the medium of the Ecumenical Councils. But since A.D. 1054 this hasn't happened. As a result the pronouncements and decisions of Church Council's within the Roman Catholic Church, such as the Council of Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II are not considered to have the same authority.
We do however recognise and give due honour to the Pope as Bishop of Rome and as Patriarch of the West on the ancient principle of primus inter pares. He is the 'first among equals' in the episcopate and has a special role and responsibility because of this.

Recently there has been much in the media about Rome's Offer to receive Former Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church. Please click on the link below to read the ACC's Response to this offer.

ACC Response to Rome's Offer to Former Anglicans

What are 'Continuing' Anglicans?

There are several present-day bodies, often described collectively as 'Continuing Anglicans' or the 'Anglican Continuum', some which claim and some which do not claim (or possess) descent from the 1977 Congress of St Louis. However, we believe that, strictly speaking, it is only within the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), The Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK), and The United Episcopal Church of North America (UECNA) that one finds the 'legitimate' continuation of traditional Anglican Catholicism.

These three all share a common origin, stemming from the same apostolic succession - via The Right Revd Albert Chambers and bear the same responsibility for preserving apostolic order and for being custodians of faith and morals as envisaged by the Congress of St Louis. A recent, exciting development, in terms of Church unity, is a reaffirmation of the mutual recognition and inter-communion between these jurisdictions.

Click this link for the main Anglican Catholic Church website

Click this link for the Province of Christ the King website

Click this link for the United Episcopal Church website

Which Liturgy?

As you will see from this website, at the time of writing the Diocese of the United Kingdom has only a small number of Parishes and Missions. In the Anglican Catholic Church there are a number of different Liturgies (Orders of Service) for celebrating Holy Communion.

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is used for the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer. The Order for Holy Communion (Commonly called 'The Mass') is from either the 'English Missal' or the 'Anglican Missal'. The Order in the 'English Missal' uses the Eucharistic Prayer known as the 'Gregorian (or sometimes called the 'Roman') Canon'. The Anglican Missal may be found to be celebrated with either the '1549 BCP Canon', the 'American 1928 BCP Canon' or the 'Gregorian Canon'.

All of our services are conducted in 'traditional english' and the liturgical readings from Holy Scripture are taken from the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible. Hymns are sung at some of our services and these are usually taken from the English Hymnal.

Sometimes our liturgical use in this Diocese - being predominantly 'High Church' or 'Anglo Catholic', is suggested to be off putting to those who come from a more 'middle of the road' or from a 'Low Church' Anglican liturgical tradition.

It would be true to say that we are representitive of the people who have taken the step to commit themselves and join us. We are, however, very much open to the establishment of new Missions using other ACC authorised liturgies in the Diocese.

It is our faith that unites us and if you share that faith, or seek to, you are welcome.

The future?

To all, and especially those of you who having waded through this page of text, we extend a hand of friendship and Christian Love and offer you an alternative - Please consider seriously the challenges presented to you and we hope that you will join us.

Join us ...

In the ACC we have the essentials. We have, as the Affirmation of St Louis puts it, Orthodox Catholic Faith, Orthodox Anglican Worship, Apostolic Catholic Order in order to grow we need also Evangelical Witness.