|Church of England|
The Church of England logo since 1996.
|Classification||Anglican (1534- ), Roman Catholic (597-1534)|
|Separations||Congregationalism, Methodist Episcopal Church, other Methodist denominations|
|Associations||Anglican Communion, Porvoo Communion|
|Geographical Area||England, Isle of Man, Channel Islands|
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England, the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the oldest among the communion's thirty-eight independent national churches. Anglicanism is a tradition of Christian faith Churches in this tradition either have historical connections to the Church of England or have similar beliefs Christian Theology is discourse concerning Christian faith Christian theologians use biblical Exegesis, rational analysis and argument for other uses see Mainline (disambiguation The mainline (also sometimes called Mainstream) or mainline Protestant denominations Ecclesiastical polity is the operational and governance structure of a Church or Christian denomination. Episcopal polity is a form of church governance which is hierarchical in structure with the chief authority over a local Christian church resting in a Bishop (Greek Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently For individual churches named Methodist Episcopal Church, see Methodist Episcopal Church (disambiguation The Methodist Episcopal Church, sometimes Methodism is a movement within Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations See also Anglicanism The Anglican Communion is an international association of national Anglican churches The Porvoo Communion is the community formed through an agreement between twelve European churches none of which are in communion with the Roman Catholic Church or England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland The Isle of Man (Ellan Vannin ˈɛlʲən ˈvanɪn or Mann (Mannin) is a self-governing Crown dependency, located in the Irish Sea at the geographical The Channel Islands ( Norman: Îles d'la Manche, French: Îles Anglo-Normandes or Îles de la Manche) are a group of Islands In Christian churches, a minister is someone who is authorized by a church or religious organization to perform clergy functions such as teaching of beliefs A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or Creed officially Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland See also Anglicanism The Anglican Communion is an international association of national Anglican churches
The Church of England considers itself to be both Catholic and reformed:
The Church of England traces its formal corporate history from the 597 Augustinian mission, stresses its continuity and identity with the primitive universal Western church, and notes the consolidation of its particular independent and national character in the post-Reformation events of Tudor England. This article is an expansion of a section entitled '''History''' from within the main article Church of England The history Augustine of Canterbury OSB (born c first third of the 6th century - died 26 May 604 was a Benedictine Monk who became the first Archbishop The Protestant Reformation was a reform movement in Europe that began in 1517 though its roots lie further back in time The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was an English royal Dynasty that lasted 118 years from 1485 to 1603 a period known as the Tudor period
According to tradition, Christianity arrived in Britain in the first or second century (probably via the tin trade route through Ireland and Iberia), and existed independently of the Church of Rome, as did many other Christian communities of that era. Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe, and includes modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra Records note British bishops, such as Restitutus in attendance at the Council of Arles in 314, and, even more significantly, Britain was the home of Pelagius, who nearly defeated Augustine of Hippo's doctrine of original sin. Restitutus ( fl. 314 was an archbishop of London in the early 4th century Arles (aʁl̥ Provençal Occitan: Arles in both classical and Mistralian norms is a City in the south of France, Pelagius (ca 354 &ndash ca 420/440 was an ascetic monk who denied the doctrine of Original sin, later developed by Augustine of Hippo, and Original sin is according to a doctrine in Catholic theology, humanity's state of Sin resulting from the Fall of Man.
The Pope sent Saint Augustine from Rome in the 6th century to evangelise the Angles in 597. History See also History of the Papacy Catholics recognize the Pope as a successor to Saint Peter, who Jesus named as the "shepherd" and Augustine of Canterbury OSB (born c first third of the 6th century - died 26 May 604 was a Benedictine Monk who became the first Archbishop The 6th century is the period from 501 to 600 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. The Angles is a modern English word for a Germanic-speaking people who took their name from the cultural ancestral region of Angeln, a modern district located in With the help of Christians already residing in Kent he established his church in Canterbury, the former capital of Kent (it is now Maidstone), and became the first in the series of Archbishops of Canterbury. KENT (1400 AM) is a Radio station broadcasting a Adult Standards/MOR format Canterbury ( ˈkæntəbɹ̩i is a City in eastern Kent in the South East region of England. Maidstone is the County town of Kent, England, south-east of London. Later archbishop, the Greek Theodore of Tarsus, also contributed to the organisation of English Christianity. Theodore (602&ndash19 September 690 was the eighth Archbishop of Canterbury, best known for his reform of the English Church and establishment of a school in Canterbury
Simultaneously, the Celtic Church of St Columba continued to evangelise Scotland. Celtic Christianity, or Insular Christianity (sometimes called the Celtic Church or the British Church) broadly refers to the Early Medieval WikipediaPersondata --> See Columba (disambiguation and St Columb for other uses Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. The Celtic Church of North Britain submitted in some sense to the 'authority' of Rome at the Synod of Whitby in 664. The Synod of Whitby was a seventh century Northumbrian Synod where King Oswiu of Northumbria ruled that his kingdom would calculate Easter and Over the next few centuries, the Roman system introduced by Augustine gradually absorbed the pre-existing Celtic Christian churches. Celtic Christianity, or Insular Christianity (sometimes called the Celtic Church or the British Church) broadly refers to the Early Medieval
The English Church was under papal authority for nearly a thousand years, before separating from Rome in 1534 during the reign of King Henry VIII. Henry VIII (28 June 1491 &ndash 28 January 1547 was King of England and Lord of Ireland, later King of Ireland and claimant to the Kingdom of A theological separation had been foreshadowed by various movements within the English Church such as the Lollards, but the English Reformation gained political support when Henry VIII wanted an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, so he could marry Anne Boleyn. Lollardy was the political and religious movement of the Lollards from the mid- 14th century to the English Reformation. The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th century England by which the Church of England first broke away from the authority of the Pope Annulment in the Catholic Church See also Annulment (Catholic Church In the Roman Catholic Church, a marriage is considered to be a valid contract Catherine of Aragon (16 December 1485 – 7 January 1536 also known as Catharine, Katherine or Katharine ( Castilian Infanta Catalina Anne Boleyn (1501 or 1507 – 19 May 1536 was the Queen of England as the second wife of Henry VIII of England. Under pressure from Catherine's nephew, the Emperor Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Pope Clement VII refused the annulment, and, eventually, Henry, although theologically a doctrinal Catholic, took the position of Supreme Head of the Church of England to ensure the annulment of his marriage. Charles V (24 February 1500 &ndash 21 September 1558 was For the Antipope (1378&ndash1394 see Antipope Clement VII. Pope Clement VII ( May 26, 1478 &ndash September The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British Monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. He was excommunicated by Pope Paul III. Excommunication is a religious Censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community Pope Paul III ( February 29, 1468 &ndash November 10, 1549) born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman
Henry maintained a strong preference for the traditional Catholic practices and, during his reign, Protestant reformers were unable to make many changes to the practices of the Church of England. Protestantism refers to the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Indeed, this part of Henry's reign saw the trial for heresy of Protestants as well as Roman Catholics.
Under his son, Edward VI, however, the Church became theologically more radical, before legislatively rejoining the Roman church during the reign of Queen Mary I, in 1555. Edward VI (12 October 1537 &ndash 6 July 1553 became King of England and Ireland on 28 January 1547 and was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine Mary I (18 February 1516 &ndash 17 November 1558 was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 19 July 1553 until her death The settlement under Elizabeth I (from 1558) of a mildly reformed, Catholic, apostolic, and established church (i. e. , subject to and part of the state) led to great civil strife in the following century.
For the next century, through the reigns of James I and Charles I, and culminating in the English Civil War and the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, there were significant swings back and forth between two factions: the Puritans (and other radicals) who sought more far-reaching Protestant reforms, and the more conservative churchmen who aimed to keep closer to traditional beliefs and Catholic practices. James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625 was King of Scotland as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James Charles I, (19 November 1600 &ndash 30 January 1649 was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution. The English Civil War (1642-1651 was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists. Oliver Cromwell (25 April 1599 Old Style &ndash 3 September 1658 Old Style) was an English military and political leader best known A Puritan of 16th and 17th century England was an associate of any number of religious groups advocating for more "purity" of Worship and Doctrine, The failure of political and ecclesiastical authorities to submit to Puritan demands for more extensive reform was one of the causes of open warfare. By Continental standards, the level of violence over religion was not high, but the casualties included a king, Charles I, and an Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud. Under the Protectorate of the Commonwealth of England from 1649 to 1660, Anglicanism was disestablished and outlawed, and in its place, presbyterian ecclesiology was introduced in place of the episcopate. In addition, the Articles were replaced with the Westminster Confession, and the Book of Common Prayer was replaced by the Directory of Public Worship. Despite this, about one quarter of English clergy refused to conform to this form of State Presbyterianism.
With the Restoration of Charles II, Anglicanism too was restored in a form not far removed from the Elizabethan version. One difference was that the ideal of encompassing all the people of England in one religious organisation, taken for granted by the Tudors, had to be abandoned. The religious landscape of England assumed its present form, with the Anglican Established church occupying the middle ground, and Roman Catholics and those Puritans who dissented from the Anglican Establishment, too strong to be suppressed altogether, having to continue their existence outside the National Church rather than controlling it.
Continuing official suspicion and legal restrictions continued well into the nineteenth century.
In addition to England proper, the jurisdiction of the Church of England extends to the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and a few parishes in Flintshire, Monmouthshire, and in Radnorshire, Wales. The Isle of Man (Ellan Vannin ˈɛlʲən ˈvanɪn or Mann (Mannin) is a self-governing Crown dependency, located in the Irish Sea at the geographical The Channel Islands ( Norman: Îles d'la Manche, French: Îles Anglo-Normandes or Îles de la Manche) are a group of Islands History The current administrative area of Flintshire (a Unitary authority) came into existence in 1996 when the former Administrative county of Clwyd Ancient county See also Monmouthshire (historic The ancient county of Monmouthshire was formed from the Welsh Marches by the Laws in Wales Radnorshire (Sir Faesyfed is one of thirteen ancient and former administrative counties of Wales. Expatriate congregations on the continent of Europe have become the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe. The Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe (also called simply the Diocese in Europe) is geographically the largest Diocese of the Church of England and arguably
According to statistics "1. 7 million people attend Church of England church and cathedral worship each month while around 1. 2 million attend each week – on Sunday or during the week - and just over one million each Sunday. "
The British monarch, at present Queen Elizabeth II, has the constitutional title of "Supreme Governor of the Church of England". For the ship see RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Context States headed by Elizabeth II The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British Monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. The Canons of the Church of England state, "We acknowledge that the Queen’s most excellent Majesty, acting according to the laws of the realm, is the highest power under God in this kingdom, and has supreme authority over all persons in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as civil. " The Church is then structured as follows:
All rectors and vicars are appointed by patrons, who may be private individuals, corporate bodies such as cathedrals, colleges or trusts, or by the bishop or even appointed directly by the crown. In the broadest sense a vicar (from the Latin Vicarius) is a representative anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior For the process for appointing a parish priest in the Church of England see Parish. No clergy can be instituted and inducted into a parish without swearing the Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty, and taking the Oath of Canonical Obedience "in all things lawful and honest" to the bishop. Usually the archdeacon inducts into the actual possession of the benefice property - church and parsonage. Curates are appointed by rectors and vicars, but if priests-in-charge then by the bishop after consultations with the patron. Cathedral clergy are appointed either by the Crown, the bishop, or by the dean and chapter themselves. Clergy officiate in a diocese either because they hold office as beneficed clergy, or are licensed by the bishop when appointed (e. g. curates), or simply with permission.
The most senior bishop of the Church of England is the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the archbishop and primate of the southern province of England, the Province of Canterbury. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the chief bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the He also has the status of Primate of All England and Metropolitan. Primate (from the Latin Primus, "first" is a title or rank bestowed on some Bishops in certain Christian churches In Hierarchical Christian churches the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the Diocesan bishop or He is also the focus of unity for the worldwide Anglican Communion of independent national or regional churches. See also Anglicanism The Anglican Communion is an international association of national Anglican churches The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Rowan Williams has served as Archbishop of Canterbury since 2002. Rowan Douglas Williams, PC, DD, DCL, FBA, (born 14 June 1950 in Swansea, Wales) is an Anglican
The second most senior bishop is the Archbishop of York, who is the archbishop and primate of the northern province of England, the Province of York. For historical reasons he is referred to as the Primate of England. The Most Reverend and Right Honourable John Sentamu has served as the Archbishop of York since 2005. John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu FRSA (born 10 June 1949 in Kampala, Uganda) is the 97th Archbishop of York, Metropolitan
The process of appointing diocesan bishops is complex, and is handled by a body called the Crown Nominations Committee, which submits names to the Prime Minister (acting on behalf of the Crown) for consideration.
The Church of England has a legislative body, the General Synod. The General Synod is the deliberative and legislative body of the Church of England. The General Synod is the deliberative and legislative body of the Church of England. Synod can create two types of legislation, Measures and Canons. This is a list of Church of England Measures, which are the legislation of the Church of England. Canon law is internal ecclesiastical law governing the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Anglican Communion of churches Measures have to be approved but cannot be amended by the UK Parliament before receiving the Royal Assent and becoming part of the law of England. The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which a constitutional monarch completes the legislative process of Lawmaking by formally assenting to an  Canons require Royal Licence and Royal Assent, but form the law of the Church, rather than the law of the land. 
There are also Diocesan Synods and Deanery Synods. In the Anglican Communion, the model of government is the 'Bishop in Synod ' meaning that a diocese is governed by a bishop acting with the advice and consent of representatives
In addition to the Book of Common Prayer the church's other official liturgical book is Common Worship, dating from 2000. The Book of Common Prayer is the common title of a number of prayer books of the Church of England and used throughout the Anglican Communion. A liturgical book is a book published by the authority of a Church, that contains the text and directions for the Liturgy of its official Religious services Common Worship is the name given to the series of services authorised by the General Synod of the Church of England and launched on the first Sunday of Advent Like its predecessor, the 1980 Alternative Service Book, it differs substantially from the Book of Common Prayer, although it does include the Order Two rite of the Eucharist. The Alternative Service Book 1980 (ASB was the first complete prayer book produced by the Church of England since 1662 This is a very slight revision of the prayer book service, altering only a few words and allowing the insertion of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) before communion. Agnus Dei is a Latin term meaning Lamb of God, and was originally used to refer to Jesus Christ in his role of the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God ( Latin: Agnus Dei) is one of the titles given to Jesus in the New Testament and consequently in the Christian The Order One rite follows the pattern of modern liturgical scholarship.
In both beliefs and practices, or forms of churchmanship, the Church of England is mixed: in some of its congregations worship remains closer to Roman Catholicism (see high church) than most Protestant churches, but in others it is difficult to distinguish between the Anglican forms in use and the uses of other Evangelical bodies (see low church). Anglican doctrine (also called Episcopalian doctrine in some countries is the body of Christian teachings used to guide the religious and moral practices of Anglicans Within Anglicanism the term churchmanship is sometimes used to refer to distinct understandings of church Doctrine and Liturgical practice by members " High Church " relates to Ecclesiology and Liturgy in Anglican theology and practice Protestantism refers to the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Evangelicalism is a theological movement tradition and system of beliefs most closely associated with Protestant Christianity, which identifies with the Gospel Low church is a term of distinction in the Church of England or other Anglican churches initially designed to be pejorative Its constitution affirms many relatively conservative theological beliefs, its liturgical form of worship is traditional, and its organisation embodies a belief in the appropriateness of the historical episcopal hierarchy of archbishops, bishops, and dioceses. Theology is the study of a god or the gods from a religious perspective A liturgy is the customary public worship done by a specific religious group according to their particular traditions Episcopal polity is a form of church governance which is hierarchical in structure with the chief authority over a local Christian church resting in a Bishop (Greek In Christianity, an archbishop is an elevated Bishop. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and others this means that they lead A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight In many rites of the Roman Catholic Church and in Anglican churches, a diocese is an administrative territorial unit administered by a Bishop.
In many people's eyes, the Church of England has as its primary distinguishing heritage its breadth and "open-mindedness". Today, beliefs and practices range from those of the Anglo-Catholics, who emphasise liturgy and sacraments, to the far more preaching-centred and less ritual-based services of Evangelicals and gatherings of the Charismatics. The terms Anglo-Catholic and Anglo-Catholicism (or sometimes possibly incorrectly High Church &mdashsee below describe people A sacrament, as defined in Hexam's Concise Dictionary of Religion is "a Rite in which God is uniquely active Evangelicalism is a theological movement tradition and system of beliefs most closely associated with Protestant Christianity, which identifies with the Gospel The term charismatic movement describes the adoption from the early twentieth century onwards of certain beliefs typical of those held by Pentecostal Christians — specifically But this "broad church" faces various contentious doctrinal questions raised by the development of modern society, such as conflicts over the ordination of women as priests (accepted in 1992 and begun in 1994), and the status of non-celibate homosexual clergy (still unsettled today). Broad Church is a term referring to Latitudinarian Churchmanship in the Church of England, in particular and Anglicanism, in general In general religious use Ordination is the process by which a person is consecrated (set apart for the administration of various religious rites the relationship between homosexuality and religion can vary greatly across time and place within and between different Religions and Sects and regarding different In July 2005 the divisions were once again apparent, as the General Synod voted to "set in train" the process of allowing the consecration of women as bishops; in February 2006 the synod voted overwhelmingly for "further exploration" of a scheme that would also allow parishes that did not want a woman bishop to opt for a man instead. The General Synod is the title of the governing body of some church organizations A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight 
The church also has its own system of canon law, and judicial branch, known as the Ecclesiastical courts, which likewise form a part of the UK court system. The Church of England, like the other autonomous member churches of the Anglican Communion, has its own system of Canon law. An ecclesiastical court (also called "Court Christian" or "Court Spiritual" is any of certain Courts having Jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or Such courts have powers especially in relation to the care of churches and churchyards and the discipline of the clergy.
Like many other Anglican churches, the Church of England has entered into full communion with the Old Catholics. Full communion is a term used in Christian Ecclesiology to describe the relationship of communion, with mutually recognized sharing of the same essential The Old Catholic Church is a Christian denomination originating with churches (many of them German -speaking that split from the Roman Catholic Church in In the late 20th century it also became a founding member of the new Porvoo Communion. The Porvoo Communion is the community formed through an agreement between twelve European churches none of which are in communion with the Roman Catholic Church or The Church of England is also a full member of the Conference of European Churches. The Conference of European Churches (CEC was founded in 1959 to promote reconciliation dialogue and friendship between the churches of Europe at a time of growing Cold War
The Church of England's sister church in Ireland, the Church of Ireland, also went through the reformation in the sixteenth century. See also Anglicanism The Anglican Communion is an international association of national Anglican churches The Church of Ireland (Eaglais na hÉireann is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion, operating across the island of Ireland. Unlike in England, the majority of the populace did not go along with this, preferring continued adherence to the Roman Catholic Church, but the Church of Ireland retained official established church status in Ireland until 1871. Under the Act of Union (Ireland) 1800, the Church of Ireland was united with the Church of England. The phrase Act of Union 1800 (or sometimes Act of Union 1801) (Acht an Aontais 1800 is used to describe two complementary Acts whose official United Kingdom titles are This union was dissolved and the Irish church disestablished in 1871. To this day the Church of Ireland remains organised on an all-Ireland basis.
The Scottish Episcopal Church is the sister church in Scotland and is in full communion with it. The Scottish Episcopal Church (Eaglais Easbaigeach na h-Alba is a Christian denomination in Scotland and a member of the Anglican Communion, although it It is much smaller than the Church of Scotland, which is recognised in law as the "national church" and has a Presbyterian system of government. The Church of Scotland (Eaglais na h-Alba known informally by its Scots language name The Kirk, is the National church of Scotland. The term national church is usually a reference to a church organization in Christianity that claims pastoral jurisdiction over a Nation. Presbyterianism is a family of Christian denominations within the Reformed branch of Protestant Western Christianity The history of the Episcopal Church is complicated, involving alternating periods of official promotion and persecution: for a time, because of its association with Jacobitism, it had to operate sub rosa. Jacobitism was (and to a limited extent remains the political movement dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland The Latin phrase sub rosa means "under the rose" and is used in English to denote Secrecy or Confidentiality.
When the Episcopal Church in the U.S. became independent of the Church of England after the American War of Independence, the leadership of the Church of England did not believe itself legally able to consecrate new bishops without requiring of them the standard oath of loyalty to the crown. The Episcopal Church is the official name of the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States. In this article the inhabitants of the thirteen colonies that supported the American Revolution are primarily referred to as "Americans" with occasional references to "Patriots" Consequently it was the non-juring bishops of the non-established Scottish Episcopal Church who consecrated the first American bishop, until new legislation allowed the Church of England to relax its policy.
The Church in Wales, previously a part of the Church of England, was disestablished in 1920 and at the same time became an independent member of the Anglican Communion. The Church in Wales (Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru is a member Church of the Anglican Communion, consisting of six Dioceses in Wales.
The Church of England, although an established church, does not receive any direct government support. An established church is a church officially sanctioned and supported by the government of a country e Donations comprise its largest source of income, though it also relies heavily on the income from its various historic endowments. As of 2005, the Church of England had estimated total outgoings of around £900 million. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. 
Historically, individual parishes both raised and spent the vast majority of the Church's funding, meaning that clergy pay depended on the wealth of the parish, and parish advowsons (the right to appoint clergy to particular parishes) could become extremely valuable gifts. For the process for appointing a parish priest in the Church of England see Parish. Individual dioceses also held considerable assets: the Diocese of Durham possessed such vast wealth and temporal power that its Bishop became known as the 'Prince-Bishop'. A Prince-Bishop is a Bishop who is a territorial Prince of the Church on account of one or more Secular principalities usually pre-existent titles of nobility Since the mid-19th century, however, the Church has made various moves to 'equalise' the situation, and clergy within each diocese now receive standard stipends paid from diocesan funds. Meanwhile, the Church moved the majority of its income-generating assets (which in the past included a great deal of land, but today mostly take the form of financial stocks and bonds) out of the hands of individual clergy and bishops to the care of a body called the Church Commissioners, which uses these funds to pay a range of non-parish expenses, including clergy pensions, and the expenses of cathedrals and bishops' houses. The Church Commissioners is a body managing the historic property assets of the Church of England. These funds amount to around £3. 9 billion, and generate income of around £164 million each year (as of 2003), around a fifth of the Church's overall income. Year 2003 ( MMIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. 
The Church Commissioners give some of this money as 'grants' to local parishes; but the majority of the financial burden of church upkeep and the work of local parishes still rests with individual parish and diocese, which meet their requirements from donations. Direct donations to the church (not including legacies) come to around £460 million per year, while parish and diocese reserve funds generate another £100 million. Funds raised in individual parishes account for almost all of this money, and the majority of it remains in the parish which raises it, meaning that the resources available to parishes still vary enormously, according to the level of donations they can raise.
Most parishes give a portion of their money, however, to the diocese as a 'quota'. While this is not a compulsory payment, dioceses strongly encourage and rely on it being paid; it is usually only withheld by parishes either if they are unable to find the funds or as a specific act of protest. As well as paying central diocesan expenses such as the running of diocesan offices, these diocesan funds also provide clergy pay and housing expenses (which total around £260 million per year across all dioceses), meaning that clergy living conditions no longer depend on parish-specific fundraising.
Although asset-rich, the Church of England has to look after and maintain its thousands of churches nationwide — the lion's share of England's built heritage.  As current congregation numbers stand at relatively low levels and as maintenance bills increase as the buildings grow older, many of these churches cannot maintain economic self-sufficiency; but their historical and architectural importance make it difficult to sell them. In recent years, cathedrals and other famous churches have met some of their maintenance costs with grants from organisations such as English Heritage; but the church congregation and local fundraisers must foot the bill entirely in the case of most small parish churches. English Heritage is a Non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom government ( Department for Culture Media and Sport) with a broad remit of  (The government, however, does provide some assistance in the form of tax breaks, for example a 100% VAT refund for renovations to religious buildings. Value added tax ( VAT) or goods and services tax ( GST) is a consumption Tax levied on value added. )
In addition to consecrated buildings, the Church also controls numerous ancillary buildings attached to or associated with churches, including a good deal of clergy housing. As well as vicarages and rectories, this housing includes residences (called 'palaces') for each of the Church's 114 bishops. In some cases, this name seems entirely apt; buildings such as Archbishop of Canterbury's Lambeth Palace in London and Old Palace at Canterbury have truly palatial dimensions, while the Bishop of Durham's Auckland Castle has 50 rooms, a banqueting hall and 30 acres (120,000 m²) of parkland. Lambeth Palace is the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Canterbury ( ˈkæntəbɹ̩i is a City in eastern Kent in the South East region of England. Auckland Castle is a castle within Bishop Auckland in County Durham, England. However, many bishops have found the older palaces inappropriate for today's lifestyles, and some bishops' 'palaces' are ordinary four bedroomed houses. Many dioceses which have retained large palaces now employ part of the space as administrative offices, while the bishops and their families live in a small apartment within the palace; and in recent years some dioceses have managed to put their palaces' excess space and grandeur to profitable use as conference centres. All three of the more grand bishop's palaces mentioned above — Lambeth Palace, Canterbury Old Palace and Auckland Castle — serve as offices for church administration, conference venues, and only in a lesser degree the personal residence of a bishop. The size of the bishops' households has shrunk dramatically and their budgets for entertaining and staff form a tiny fraction of their pre-twentieth-century levels.