A is for Anglican: The Anglican Story

by Rene Jamieson

Introduction to the Series:

The Anglican Story

The Act of Supremacy, 1534

The real story of how the Anglican Church came about is far more complex than Henry and his many marriages!

One of the activities I enjoy most at the Cathedral is conducting tours. I take groups of visitors around the Cathedral and, if the weather is clement, the cemetery and relate our history to them. The visitors ask a lot of questions, but those questions are usually about our building and our history, and very seldom about Anglican doctrine, teaching and practice.

The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton seems to have sparked an interest in Anglicanism, and during the tours I have conducted since April 29th, 2011, I have been peppered with questions about the Anglican Church. Invariably, the subject of King Henry VIII comes up, because most people (including many Anglicans!) believe that Anglicanism came about because Henry wanted to divorce the wife who had failed to give him a male heir to secure the Tudor dynasty in order to marry a young, nubile Anne Boleyn and get him a son.

I love that kind of opening! It means I get to tell the real story. And the real story is far more complex than Henry and his many marriages!  The story is relatively long, so this ‘A is for Anglican’ information piece will be broken into several parts:

Part One: A Brief Background
Part Two: Henry, the Religious Man
Part Three: Henry, the Married Man