Building church in community
St Martin's Church is part of a team of four local Anglican churches, known as the Worcester South East Team. This team, in turn, is contained within the Worcester East Deanery, a segment of the wider Diocese of Worcester, which is itself contained within the Church of England. And like a Russian doll, the Church of England is one part of the global Anglican Communion (which contains about 85 million people spread across 165 countries), which is itself a strand of the one, worldwide church of Jesus Christ.
THE DIOCESE OF WORCESTER
Serving the community since 679 AD
The Diocese of Worcester is one of forty-one that make up the Church of England. The diocese covers an area of 670 square miles and includes the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south-east Wolverhampton, and Sandwell.
The diocese was founded in around 679 by St Theodore of Canterbury for the tribe of the Hwicce. Today the diocese covers a population of 890,000. We have 93 benefices, 169 parishes, and 276 churches.
HOLY TRINITY AND ST MATTHEW'S CHURCH
ST PHILIP AND ST JAMES CHURCH
ST MARK'S CHURCH
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
catholic and reformed
The Church of England is an ancient yet reformed church. Its roots go deep into the past, when Christianity came to Britain. However, during the sixteenth-century reign of Henry VIII, it experienced a major transformation as it took part in the Protestant Reformation. The English church broke away from the Roman Catholic church, rejecting some of its teachings and arguing that the pope had no jurisdiction in England. From that point on, the Church of England entered a phase of its story that we could call ‘Anglican’. Anglicans often consider themselves both ‘catholic’ and ‘reformed’. By ‘catholic’ they don’t mean ‘Roman Catholic’ but rather that they share in the heritage of the catholic (meaning ‘whole’/‘universal’) church. In other words, they hold fast to the core beliefs and practices of the church of the early centuries, maintaining the use of ancient creeds, prayers, and rituals, and continuing the traditional orders of bishops, priests, and deacons. Yet at the same time, they are Protestant, affirming core Reformation teachings—such as salvation in Christ alone, by grace alone, though faith alone—and taking the Bible as the central guide for faith.
THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION
A Global Family
The Anglican Communion is one of the world’s largest Christian communities. It has tens of millions of members in more than 165 countries around the globe. Anglicanism is one of the traditions or expressions of Christian faith. (Others include Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal.)
The Communion is organised into a series of provinces. The provinces are subdivided into dioceses, and the dioceses into parishes. There are forty provinces. Some provinces are national, others are regional. All are in a reciprocal relationship and recognize the Archbishop of Canterbury as the Communion’s spiritual head. But there is no central authority in the Anglican Communion. All of the provinces are autonomous and free to make their own decisions in their own ways.