The origins of Anglicanism Although Christianity arrived in Britain in Roman times, Anglicanism traces its roots to St Augustine’s mission to England in 597 AD. At that time the church in England came under the authority of the Pope but in 1534 Henry VIII split the church from Rome. In the period that followed known as the English Reformation, which was associated with the Protestant Reformation in Europe, the Church of England was formally inaugurated as the nation’s established church and has been ever since.
The spread of Anglicanism Anglicans began to worship outside Britain as early as 1578 but the worldwide network grew vigorously during the 18th and 19th centuries through mission organisations sending workers throughout the globe, particularly to British colonies. Soon bishops from the British Isles were leading dioceses in national churches and over time these became autonomous member churches united in one Anglican Communion.