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Christianity reached England by the middle of the second century. As St. [[Bede]] relates in his ''Ecclesiastical History of the English People'', in 156 a British King by the name of Lucius wrote to Eleutherus, bishop of Rome, asking to be made a Christian. (Bk 1, Chap 4) With the work of missionaries throughout the first few centuries AD, Christianity spread and took root.
In 596 Pope [[Gregory the Great]] decided to send a mission to the Anglo-Saxons in the British Isles. He chose a to send a group of Benedictine monks, under the leadership of St. [[Augustine of Canterbury]] (not to be confused with [[Augustine of Hippo]]). Augustine and his fellow monks arrived in Kent in 597 and eventually a see city was set up in Canterbury, Augustine being the first Archbishop. It is said that that when they arrived they were "carrying a silver cross and an image of Jesus Christ painted on a board, which thus became, so far as we know, 'Canterbury's first icon.'" (''Lesser Feasts and Fasts'' p. 252)
With Augustine and those who came after him, the British Isles were slowly put under the authority of the Church of Rome. As with the rest of the Western Church, this authority increased over the next 500 years.
In the 16th century, as Western Continental Europe was struggling with the Protestant Reformation, the winds of change would eventually sweep England as well. However, as the Continental Reformation would begin in matters of religion and lead to matters of politics, the English Reformation would begin in matters of politics and end in matters of faith.
==Relationship with Orthodox Christians==
In the 1960s, largely through the ecumenical work of Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey and Patriarch Athanagoras of Constantinople, both the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Churches established commissions to consider Anglican-Orthodox relations. Between 1973 and 1976 an "Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Commission" met which led to the '''Moscow Agreed Statement''' which dealt with "the Knowledge of God, the Inspiration and Authority of Holy Scripture, Scripture and Tradition, the Authority of the Councils, the ''Filioque'' Clause, the Church as the Eucharistic Community, and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit in the Eucharist."
In 1984 the Commission again produced a joint docrinal work entitled the '''Dublin Agreed Statement'''. This one dealt with the Mystery of the Church, the Holy Trinity and worship and tradition.
At the time of the first agreed statement, the hope of the Commission had been for the eventual reunion of the Anglican and Orthodox Churches. However, in between the two, a major development in Anglicanism changed the direction of the Commission. In 1978 both the [[Episcopal Church U.S.A.]] and the Lambeth Conference put forth positions accepting the ordination of women. This drastically changed the understanding of the Commission. Following the Lambeth Conference in 1978, it had now come to be seen, in the words of co-chairman Archbishop Athanagoras, "simply as an academic and informative exercise, and no longer as an ecclesial endeavour aiming at the union of the two churches."
==Current Issues Within Anglicanism==
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