6 January 2017

When did the Church of England finally come to an end?

A dodgy question ... which I only revisit because Rowan Williams (for whom, to the surprise of many of my friends, I still retain a very friendly respect), in effect, raised it recently. These were his words:
"The Anglican Church no longer shows so clearly the same combination of rootedness in the early Christian tradition and unfussy, prayerful pragmatism".

This is is very much the conclusion to which Gary Bennett came in his Preface to the 1987 Crockfords (for which the Great and the Good, the Liberal Men of Mercy, hounded him to suicide). He wrote of the demise of "the usual Anglican assumptions about the authority of Scripture and the normative character of patristic usage".

Yes, I know that many of you, with justice, might assign the demise of the Ecclesia Anglicana to the year 1559. But you know what I mean ... or, if you don't, don't bother further with this.

For what it's worth, I think I might pick on the date 2008, the year Henry Chadwick died. Readers who know anything about him will understand why I do this.

4 comments:

William Tighe said...


I agree with your choice of date. I thought, of course, of Eric Mascall (whose grave lies so close to Henry Chadwick's) and his death in 1993; but I think it would be fair to say that while Chadwick was both in and of the Church of England, Mascall, while "in," was not wholly "of" it.

Valdemar said...

1930, Father. Before that date there might have been hope, but borrowing the false but in this case useful progressive method of dividing the doctrinal from the pastoral, that date brought a close to the possibility that the main thing that divided us could be repaired. For the disagreement over papal authority {a contentious issue to be sure} could, in fact, have been settld with a "mere" theological handshake. After 1930, right became wrong and wrong became right even in the moral sphere with the opening up of artificial contraception to the Christian world. Indeed, in quick time, AC became a virtue!

The rest of the collapse was just the top bricks falling into the cavity made when the foundation was removed.

Which actually, was 1559, but for the sake of discussion, well, see the above. ;)

William Tighe said...


"1930, Father. Before that date there might have been hope ..."

When did the Church of England accept, or endorse, the volte-face executed by the 1930 Lambeth Conference? After all, since the 1998 Conference Anglican homosexualists have been loudly proclaiming that Lambeth Conference resolutions bind no one, neither churches nor individuals.

Doodler said...

It came to an end on Maundy Thursday 2011 when I was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in preparation to Ordination to the Priesthood the following Pentecost. Deo gratias!