Friday, November 30, 2007


Serge has a Field Guide to Anglican Churchmanship that I have found to be somewhat helpful in articulating the vagaries of churchmanship. Because it is somewhat polemical in nature, I have adapted it here to better reflect the self-identification of the groups themselves. (For example Open Evangelicals do not consider themselves "former" Evangelicals, nor AffCaths "former Catholics").

For the evangelical section, instead of Serge's original categories, I have drawn on Stephen Bates's taxonomy from A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality, which differs slightly.

I have omitted the "Anglo-Orthodox" category, since I have only ever encountered isolated individuals using it. (I call myself an "Affirming Anglo-Lefebvrist" but I am certainly a party of one). I have also inserted English Use as a subcategory, since it still has some currency in some circles in the CofE.

1. Anglo-Catholic
a. Anglo-Tridentine (Predominately North American).
b. Modern Anglo-Papalist (UK only).
c. Prayer Book Catholic. Considers the classical line of the Book of Common Prayer (1549-1962) a sufficient expression of Catholic faith. Eschews “Italianate” liturgical norms.
d. Modern “Prayer Book” Catholic. Non-Papalist, uses contemporary worship book of his/her Province. Most (but not all) Anglo-Catholics who hold liberal views on women clergy and homosexuality fall within this category.
e. English Use. Looks to pre-Reformation English ceremonial, often as adapted by the The Parson’s Handbook.

2. Central
a. High Central – Similar to 1c or 1d but with less “localised” view of the Eucharist.
b. Middle of the road
c. Low Central – Protestant, into emotive worship, sometimes charismatic. Shies away from Calvinism and believes in the necessity of the historic episcopate.

(Traditional and modern streams with regards to the ordination of women).

3. Evangelical
a. Conservative Evangelical. Biblically inerrantist and literalist. Opposes “headship” of women. Often Calvinist.
b. Charismatic. Conservative view of Scripture, but open to continued revelation by the Holy Spirit.
c. Open. Most theologically liberal strand, and least "Romophobic". Higher view of sacraments and liturgy. Accepts women in positions of leadership. Some are also more progressive than other Evangelicals with respect to homosexuality.


Paul Goings said...

If you could expand this, it could serve a similar purpose to the "Goth Code" and other geeky taxonomies. That would make me a "1a" but you'd have to include more detail at some point.

The young fogey said...

Glad you found it helpful and if I wrote it today it'd probably be less polemical in tone. Thanks for including English Use.