Anglican/Episcopalian Requirements

Dear all,

What are the requirements for those who are to be a member of the Church of England? If you were confirmed in the Catholic Church, or an Orthodox Church – would you get confirmed again?

Also, how does the Church of England see the concept of “No salvation outside the Church”? Because it seems that Anglicans have a different concept of what it means to be a “true Church” given that many of the Episcopal churches around my area will commune anyone as long as they are a Christian, having been baptized in a Trinitarian formula.

I watched “the Tudors” from Showtime once, and I found the Protestant and Catholic influences in the development of the Church of England to be quite fascinating. I know that the show is fictional and events were not always as portrayed on television, but it was interesting to learn of some of the basics which I had no knowledge of previously. It was my understanding that William Tyndale’s Bible was quite popular even among the Royal Court…:shrug:

It is all very fascinating. Religion is infused with politics and politics with religion (as it always is, in my view).

The Anglican view is that Roman Catholic and Orthodox confirmation is valid. Orthodox and Roman Catholic people wishing to be received into the Church of England need only to be ‘received’, which is a very simple process, merely declaring their wish to be received, and then being so.

Roman Catholics and Orthodox who have been confirmed by a Bishop need not be confirmed again. This also applies to Ordination - indeed, we have a Priest at a parish I often visit who came over from the Roman Catholic Church and he was simply given some orientation to adjust himself.

As for ‘open communion’, this is contentious. Canon law says that anyone baptised and subscribing to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and in good standing with his own Church, may receive communion. This is contrary to the rules in the Prayer Book, which states that no-one may be admitted before Confirmation (or desirous for confirmation).

As for the question of ‘salvation outside the Church’, there are about as many views on that matter as you can possibly imagine. The two basic strands are the Evangelical and Catholic view.

The Anglo-Catholics generally subscribe to Branch Theory - that is, that the Catholic Church exists in a number of superficially distinct communions and that the apostolic succession has diffused amongst them - these including Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Anglicanism, chiefly.

The other view is the Evangelical view which involves ‘accepting Jesus as Lord’ with many believing in ‘once saved always saved’ and some believing in predestination/election (something we don’t talk about much these days). Evangelicals see the apostolic succession more a matter of passing on the teachings of the Gospel than the technical aspects which the above mentioned Anglo-Catholics view.

The Church of England is an often frustrating and difficult place to be, but there is something very charming about it.

Tyndale never completed a Bible, but his new Testament and Pentateuch, mostly completed by Myles Coverdale, was published as the “Matthew” Bible. Which, after some correction and clarifying, became the Great Bible used in Henry’s time. And was carried over, in the King James/Authorized, to the extent of around 80+ %. Much of the familiar KJ terminology originated with Tyndale.

Henry was influenced by Tyndale’s OBEDIENCE OF A CHRISTIAN MAN, but turned savagely against Tyndale, when the latter opposed his quest for a decree of nullity, with respect to his first marriage.


From the 39 Articles:

XI. Of the Justification of Man.
WE are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings.
Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine,
and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of

Yet they also kept Reconciliation as one of the Sacraments…

The Articles are not binding. And there are different ways one can view auricular confession. It can certainly, from a more Reformed perspective, be an aid to strengthen faith.

Yeah, exactly.

Religion and politics and the infusion of the 2 is fascinating.

Regarding confirmed Roman Catholics being received and open Communion, I can only speak from my limited knowledge regarding a couple of Episcopal churches in my part of the US. I know they require completing a preparation or foundations class for those confirmed Roman Catholics who desire to be received into the Episcopal Church. At one of the churches the weekly 1 hour class is for 6 wks. Reception into the Episcopal Church then follows when the bishop makes his annual visit to the church.

Both churches have open Communion for those baptized in the Trinitarian formula. This applies to members and visitors. One of the priests, a former Roman priest who is now a priest in the Episcopal Church, explained to me they do believe in the body and blood true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They simply don’t attempt to explain when and how this occurs as do Roman Catholics with their doctrine of transubstantiation. But rather Episcopalians just say that it is.

He said to me however that aside, no one is interrogating anyone when they come forward for Communion and if anyone feels so called to come forward, then so be it. Of the 3 Episcopal priests I’ve corresponded with none said anything about one’s standing in their own church.

I imagine it depends on the priest hopefully most have at least a confession of the Nicene creed.

If you have not been Confirmed, then you would be confirmed and received. If you have been confirmed, then you would simply be received by the Bishop.

The particular courses or preparation one must take would vary from parish to parish.

Communion is open to all the baptized, and in the liberal parishes, is open to anyone.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit