Church of England

Church of England

The Church of England is the state church of England and “mother church” to the “Anglican Communion”, which encompasses Anglican and Episcopal churches globally.   The church separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the reign of King Henry VII after the King was unable to secure an annulment of his marriage from Catherine of Aragon.  The Church of England traces its roots back to the early Christian church in England dating to the 3rd century.

It describes itself as both catholic and reformed.  Catholic in that it is part of the universal church with continuity to the teachings of the early church fathers and reformed in being influenced by the Protestant Reformation.  Key doctrine is expressed in the “Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion” and “Book of Common Prayer.”

Global expansion of the church has been facilitated by Anglican missionary organizations including the “Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge” (SPCK), founded in 1698 and dedicated to production and distribution of Christian literature; Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG), now United Society Partners in the Gospel, founded 1701 as an overseas missionary organization; and the Church Mission Society (CMS) founded 1799.

The Anglican Church’s efforts in Southern Rhodesia began with an exploratory trip of Mashonaland in 1888 by G.W.H. Bishop Knight-Bruce from Bloemfontein, South Africa.  Mashonaland was formed into an Anglican diocese in 1891 and Bishop Knight-Bruce appointed as its head.  He made Umtali (Mutare) the center of the church’s activities in the territory.  The bishop was greatly aided by “African catechists” he brought along with him from South Africa, including Bernard Mizeki, who would later be considered a martyr for his death during the Shona rebellion in 1896.  Bishop Knight-Bishop was forced to return to England in 1895 due to poor health.  After his departure, archdeacons William Gaul and James Upcher continued the process of establishing Anglican missions in Southern Rhodesia.

The dioceses of Matabeleland and Mashonaland, along with Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland were formed into “The Church of the Province of Central Africa” in 1952.  Currently there are five Anglican dioceses in Zimbabwe: Central Zimbabwe, Harare, Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland.

Missions

  • 1891 – St. Augustine’s Mission
  • 1891 – St. Faith’s Mission
  • 1891 – Epiphany Mission
  • 1891 – St. Bernard’s Mission
  • 1897 – St. Columba’s Mission
  • 1899 – All Saint’s Mission (Wreningham)
  • 1902 – St. Alban’s Mission
  • 1905 – St. Mary’s Mission (Hunya)
  • 1907 – St. David’s Mission
  • 1925 – St. Patrick’s Mission
  • 1939 – Cyrene Mission

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis