Church of England
Church of England, national church of England and parent church of the Anglican Communion. Its doctrine is basically Protestant and its hierarchy and ceremony are rooted in Catholic tradition. The church broke with Rome in 1534 when Henry VIII assumed the title of the head of the church. In the 16th and 17th centuries the church was troubled by Puritan agitation and later by nonconformity. But it remains the established state church and its 26 senior bishops (lords spiritual) sit in the House of Lords, led by the archbishop of Canterbury.
See also: Anglicans.