Anglican Church of Guelphia
|Anglican Church of Guelphia|
Armorial bearings of the Anglican Church of Guelphia
|Founder||Rt. Rev. Edward Collinson|
|Separated from||Church of England|
The Anglican Church of Guelphia is a major Christian denomination and member of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Church is by far the largest of any Christian denomination in Guelphia, with 2,587,860 adherents or about 78% of the national population. In all parts of the country, Anglicans form a majority over every other denomination and creed by a factor of least 7:1.The Anglican Church is the established state church of the kingdom, and is therefore afforded certain rights and privileges not enjoyed by other denominations. The Church is therefore considered to be one of the key institutions of the nation, and is where the Guelphian Royal Family, senior political leaders, senior members of the military, and captains of industry all choose to worship.
As Sovereign, the Guelphian monarch is considered to be the highest ecclesiastical power in the kingdom, and has supreme authority over the Church, although much of this power is exercised by others. The spiritual leader of the Church is the Archbishop of Kingsbury, who serves as Metropolitan and Primate of the Church. The current Archbishop is the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Basil Sanger. As leader of the Established Church, the Archbishop is also entitled to sit as a member of Senate and any Constitutional Conventions that might be called. Below the hierarchy of the Archbishop, the Church is divided into eight dioceses and two ordinariates, each of which is led by a bishop.
Background and establishment
Anglicanism can trace it's history to the English Reformation, and before that, the arrival of Christianity in England in AD 597.
The establishment of Anglicanism in Guelphia commenced in 1824 with the appointment of the Reverend Thomas Hazlett as a chaplain to the whaling station at Corfe Harbour. Hazlett was also responsible for building the first church in the archipelago, with the Church of St. John the Evangelist dedicated in February 1828. Today, it remains the oldest church building still in use in Guelphia.
The Anglican Church of Guelphia was established in February 1870, with the passage of the Anglican Church of Guelphia Act through the Parliament of Guelphia. The act outlined the separation from the Church of England, and created the framework for dealing with the financial separation of the two bodies. With 85,982 members or around 91% of the national population, the new church was on the small side when compared to other churches within the Anglican Communion. At the time of it's creation, the new Church consisted of a single diocese - Guelphia. With a year however, Parliament voted to establish new bishoprics at Kingsbury and Corfe Harbour, which were formed at the end of 1870. On the day of its creation, the Right Reverend Edward Collinson, formerly Bishop of Guelphia, was consecrated as the first Archbishop of Kingsbury and Primate.
The church enjoyed rapid growth throughout the late nineteenth century, and by the dawn of the twentieth century it had become necessary for the church to investigate the need to erect new dioceses in areas of the largest population growth. The church appointed a boundaries commission whose terms of reference were to assess the current demographics of the church, and where future growth would take place. In February 1906, the commission reported back recommending the erection of new dioceses in Earnestvale and Lunenborough. The proposals were approved by Parliament in June 1906, with the new dioceses erected in June and November of 1907. As per the convention at the time, the establishment of a cathedral within the limits of a municipal borough would led to the sovereign granting status and privilege of city status by way of Letters Patent.
In the years after the Second World War, the church managed to hold its place as the dominant denomination in the country. In the 1946, just over 1.28 million (or 85%) Guelphians had stated in the census that they were Anglican. In 2010, the percentage of Anglicans in Guelphia had fallen slightly (78.42%), even though the national population is just over double what it was in 1946. As a result, there twice as many Anglicans today as there was at the end of the war.
Dioceses and ordinariates
Like many of its sister churches inside (and out) of the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Church of Guelphia has an episcopal system of governance, which is seen by Anglicans as the historic custom of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The diocese is the principal administrative grouping within in the Church, and it is here that many of the key operational decisions are taken that have affect on churchgoers. There are currently eight dioceses within the Church, the oldest of which (Port Frederick) dates back to 1836, while the newest (Langford) was established 1946. Dioceses are formed by an Act of Parliament, and can created by separation of territory from an existing diocese, or by the union of two or more dioceses or parts of dioceses.
Each of the dioceses is overseen by a bishop, an ancient office that through the Apostolic succession has a direct historical lineage dating back to the original Twelve Apostles. A bishop may take the style of the Right Reverend, and may be addressed as either My Lord or Bishop.
The eight dioceses of the Anglican Church of Guelphia are:
| Diocese of Corfe Harbour
(Bishop of Corfe Harbour)
|Fitzroyshire||Corfe Harbour Cathedral||1870, from Guelphia|
| Diocese of Earnestvale
(Bishop of Earnestvale)
|Westerland||Earnestvale Cathedral||1907, from Kingsbury|
| Diocese of Kingsbury
(Archbishop of Kingsbury)
|Centralia||Kingsbury Cathedral||1870, from Guelphia|
| Diocese of Langford
(Bishop of Langford)
|Vernonshire||Langford Cathedral||1946, from Kingsbury|
| Diocese of Lunenborough
(Bishop of Lunenborough)
|Isle of Lunenburg||Lunenborough Cathedral||1907, from Corfe Harbour|
| Diocese of Port Frederick
(Bishop of Port Frederick)
|Albanyshire||Port Frederick Cathedral||1842, as Guelphia. Renamed 1870.|
| Diocese of Swanbrook
(Bishop of Swanbrook)
|Deverauxshire||Swanbrook Cathedral||1931, from Earnestvale|
| Diocese of Williamsdene
(Bishop of Williamsdene)
|Beaufortshire||Williamsdene Cathedral||1931, from Corfe Harbour|
The two ordinariates are:
| Military Ordinariate
(Chief of Chaplains for the Forces)
|Guelphian Defence Force personnel and their families||1971|
| Schools Ordinariate
(Chief of Chaplains for Schools)
|All state schools and colleges||1971|
Beliefs and practices
The single biggest influence on the Church has been the Church of England, whose form of worship and many other traditions (such as a Book of Common Prayer) have been sourced. The Church of England is seen as the mother church for Anglicans in Guelphia.
Finances and income
The Church receives funding from a variety of sources. The largest source of funding is the Church rate, followed by donations, income from endowments and investments, and a number of smaller sources; including fees (for weddings, baptisms, and funerals), and government grants for specific projects and initiatives. In the 2011/12 financial year, the Church had a total turnover of £15 million.
The parish remains the essential economic bloc of the Church, and is where the vast majority of funds are raised and spent. The chief source of income is the Church rate, which is used to defray the expenses of carrying on divine service, repairing the fabric of the church, and paying the salaries of the officials connected with it (rector/vicar, deacons, churchwardens, &c). The church rate is a tax of 10% that levied on top of the municipal land rates in the same way the Goods and Services Tax is levied on most goods and services. This money is then dispersed by the municipality back to the parish from which it was collected. Additional sources of income for parishes include voluntary tithes, donations, and bequests; income from property (glebe lands) and other investments, such shares and bonds; fees; and finally grants from government programmes, such as the Heritage Building Fund or the Town Beautiful Programme.
As is found in the parishes, the funding for diocesan organisations is derived from a variety of the sources. The largest source of income for the dioceses comes from its own properties, shares, and bonds. Other major sources include the 'parish share', where parishes give a portion of their money to the diocese.
As well as paying central diocesan expenses such as the running of diocesan offices, these diocesan funds also provide a portion of clergy pay and housing expenses.
References and notes
- Guelphian Census of Population and Housing, 2010. Volume II. Kingsbury: Guelphian Statistics Agency. 2010. pp. 60-61.
- Constitution of Guelphia (1982). §6
- "In depth history of the Church of England". The Church of England. https://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/history/detailed-history.aspx. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- Anglican Church of Guelphia Act (Public Act No. 2 of 1870).