The Church of England

The Church of England, as a religious institution, is supposed to encompass everyone in England who is not a meddling and loud Puritans or the small number of welcome Jews; since if you were none of those, you would clearly be an even dirtier and filthier heretic (or possible Catholic). The members of the Church of England include both the lay (i.e. everyone not ordained) and the clergy; the latter are supposed to minister while the former attend Church every Sunday and try to prove themselves an upright Christian (and then get on with the killing, stealing, speculating, or whatever it is you do).

So the Church includes a rather broad spectrum of believers, both earnest and not. There are the borderline Catholics who find it convenient to be a little more free in their actions than their distrusted and hated brethren (indeed many Catholics have found it prudent to keep largely Catholic beliefs but in a Church of England structure and save them some worry and their head). There are those who fight for the middling ground in the Church and work to make Anglicanism acceptable to as many people as possible so that all Albion might share in a common belief. And there are those who don't believe in any of the institution's regulations, canons or prayers and merely attend the Eucharist weekly so that they aren't accused of being heretics.

There are of course a few who do refuse to attend either the Anglican Church or the Synagogue and are open heretics - these are the people you should probably hate.

Why the Church of England?

It is possible to get the occasional snippet of information from the higher-ranking Bishops and Archbishops if you're into fighting the Papist plots and generally dislike their continued presence in England. It's a way to co-ordinate the defences agains their fiendish plans!

If you're to be a priest or Bishop then you will have a certain amount of respect in the court and country and even some sway over the good Anglicans of the Kingdom. A Bishop's authority goes a long way even in non-religious matters, too.


Attitudes to Magic

The Anglican Church have mixed views about magic, though on the whole magicians are left alone. Most Bishops consider it to be meddlesome and Theurgy or Sorcery thrusting too much into the realm they are supposed to know the most about. This has naturally led to a few Bishops being practicioners of these arts, in a search for more information regarding their beliefs and doing good in the name of Christ. One of the most famous being Mary, Bishop of Leicester, who was in charge of King Henry IX's personal protective spell in court sessions. King Matthew employs a group of Anglican Theurgists for this purpose.

Witchcraft is naturally frowned upon, and sermons regularly teach of the evils of the art. Alchemy, Invention and Conjuration are only ever of concern to the clergy when anything with demons or what is seen as the darker arts is tried. The occasional priest is himself a Conjurer or Alchemist.

More enthusiastic or Protestant/Puritan members of the congregation or clergy have called for more burning of witches and magicians as always. Fears that this may once again become a major issue never cease.


Membership in the Church of England, the Protestant state religion which does its best to blend Protestantism with Catholicism (but not too much), represents ordination or particularly enthusiastic lay worship; all PCs are assumed to be Anglican by default, but not necessarily to take more part than is generally expected in CofE business.

In addition, one of the duties of Ordained Priests within England is to give (or attempt to give) communion to those Creatures deemed Animate (possessing souls) under the law of Albion - or at least to attempt to. The duty is generally extremely arduous, and there is often quite vicious political infighting to ensure that the least popular or astute priests are lumbered with it.


Although officially the head of state is the head of the Church, the running of the Church has long been in the hands of the Archbishops at the head of the body of Bishops convening as the General Synod. The King can in theory appoint Bishops, but this is now done relatively rarely with the Monarch approving the choice of the Church.

Practically the Church is run by the Archbishop of Canterbury although the energetic and impressive ministry of His Grace Archbishop Frewen in King Henry IX reign has given the northern Archbishopric a far more important role in the Church. Primacy has not been disputed but the Archbishops of York have good cause for wresting control of more diocese to their control.


The Archbishop of Canterbury is far more mobile and all-seeing than before since Canterbury Cathedral and Canterbury Isle float at his will across Albion's seas. This makes his control over the Anglican Church significantly firmer and the less adept parish priests are ever in fear of spotting the floating isle on the horizon.


Since 1584 the Church of England has allowed the ordination of women as priest and eleven years later consecrated the first woman Bishop. Since then equality has generally been accepted as a permanent part of Church organisation.

The Anglican Church Abroad

The influence of the particular brand of Protestantism as exemplified in the Church of England has been very attractive to many believers on the continent. The adherence to Papal verdicts and the cruel methods of the Inquisition and the Roman Church's many instruments has tempted people away from Rome, but the extreme beliefs of the seemingly chaotic Puritans is even less savoury - Anglicanism seems to offer solution.

Originally the concept grew from the Dutch Anglican Church, set up under Royal patronage in the Netherlands by the former (and, it is usually believed, disgraced) Bishop of Hereford Augustus Wells-Lacy. As the Archbishop of Schjindel, the Anglican Church in the Netherlands slowly grew and attracted Church of England clergy for some time. As the Netherlands disappeared, the idea of Anglicanism abroad did not. With the tenacious support of the Church of England in Albion enclaves of Anglican believers formed across France and the German Principalities of the North and new Bishoprics sprung up.

The expansion has not been without tensions and Puritans, Catholics and some Protestants resent the Anglicans who they see as lackeys of Albion. This is very rarely the case and Anglicans abroad tend to be loyal to their Kings and Lords and their Bishops constantly seek larger degrees of autonomy from Canterbury, York or Schjindel.

You may be a non-Albion Anglican, either ordained or un-ordained, if you wish.


Affiliation: Affiliation to the Church of England is Public.

Lay Worshipper (Rank 0)

Requirements: None.

This rank (essentially rank 0) represents a particularly enthusiastic worshipper. You may be tasked with some minor jobs by the superior clergy, but in return they may entrust you with some of the Church's more delicate information.

Rector (Rank 1)

Requirements: The Ordained quirk.

You are a local priest somewhere, or serve in the entourage of a Bishop or Archbishop, assisting in their services or administration. You command respect locally, and are expected to have command of the scriptures, but this is rarely a requirement.

Deacon (Rank 2)

Requirements: The Ordained quirk, Doctrine or Organisation (2)

You have more responsibilities and power within the Church, perhaps attached to a large town church or Cathedral. This will occasionally require helping or advising a Bishop beyond your normal priestly duties.

Archdeacon (Rank 3)

Requirements: The Ordained quirk, Doctrine or Organisations (3) or Diplomacy (4)

You command respect within the Church and even outside it. You may be in charge of a town church or be a senior aide to a Bishop or Archbishop and are required to be relatively competant and able to deal with delicate situations that may arise in the broad church. You may also be entrusted with information the common clergy are not privy to.

Bishop (Rank 4)

Requirements: The Ordained quirk, Landed Title (3), Organisation, Doctrine or Diplomacy (2)

As a Bishop, your main job is in running your locality, or perhaps even getting profit out of it. The land and tithes you own allow for comfortable living and maintenance of the Church structure, a job you are expected to do.

Archbishop (Rank 4.5)

Requirements: The Ordained quirk Landed Title (4), Organisation, Doctrine or Diplomacy (4).

As an Archbishop you command enormous respect even beyond the Church structure and may be called on to advise on matters of state occasionally. This is not without its burdens, since you are also expected to administer the Church and run it in all its corners of operation.

The players cannot begin as The Archbishop of Canterbury (the head of the organisation), but can, with GM consultation, start as another Archbishop. This will make your move to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury unlikely, but obviously gives the chance to start very near the top.

church_of_england.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/04 11:28 by helen