Anglicanism, an explanation

Who Are the Anglicans?

Christianity was organized throughout the British Isles by the end of the second century. In 596 a.d. Pope Gregory dispatched St Augustine to Canterbury, to establish the authority of the Roman see. Although there was growing tension between England and Rome from the 14th century, King Henry VIII rejected the tenets of the early Reformation, and only broke with Rome in 1533. Anglicanism was established outside of England during the period of colonialism. As each colony became independent, it established its own Anglican church, usually with its own version of the Book of Common Prayer.

Today the Anglican Communion consists of nearly 70 million members in 35 self-governing Churches in more than 160 countries. These Churches share the same core beliefs as the Church of England, and the Archbishop of Canterbury remains the focus of Anglican unity. Though each Church is governed in all matters of doctrine, liturgy, and policy by its own Council of Bishops, they all remain "In Communion" with one another, as well as with the Old Catholics and the Scandinavian Lutheran Churches.

Who Was St. Edward The Confessor?

Edward the Confessor (1003-66) was king of England. His reputation for holiness, which began during his life, was based on his accessibility to his subjects, his generosity to the poor, and his supposedly unconsummated marriage with Edith, the daughter of Godwin, earl of Wessex. He was also reputed to have seen visions and cured scrofula (the King's Evil) by his touch.

He strengthened the close links between the Old English Church and the Papacy. He promoted secular clercks, sometimes from abroad, to bishoprics, thus diminishing the near-monopoly of monastic bishops. This did not imply lack of esteem for monasticism. On the contrary he was the virtual founder of Westminster Abbey, to which he devoted at one time as much as one-tenth of his income. He was buried there and his relics are undisturbed to this day. He was canonized in 1161 by Alexander III who conferred on him the title of 'Confessor'. Edward's feast day is observed on October 13, the day in 1162 his relics were enshrined.

In the Middle Ages Edward was a very popular saint.

(from the Oxford Dictionary of Saints) For more information about St. Edward The Confessor and Westminster Abbey click on the links below:

St. Edward the Confessor
Westminster Abbey