The Church of England does not really define membership very well. It's easy to know if you are a Beaker Person - you can see the direct debit going out of your account once a month. When I was a Methodist, we used to get a little blue card. And once a Catholic, always one. Unless you really upset the Pope.
But with baptism, electoral rolls, parish boundaries, Mothers' Unions and extra-parochial places all overlapping, the C of E is so complicated. How can you tell if you are an English Anglican? Well,
here is the definitive guide.
|Probably a C of E Church|
- Were baptised in the Church of England
- Or another Anglican Church (but live in England)
- Or you're on an Electoral Roll
- Or you worship in an English Church that doesn't need its denomination on the notice board
- Or always intend to go along at Christmas
- Or you would like a church wedding
- Or you are confirmed.
- Or like sitting in old buildings
- Or you have watched Songs of Praise
- Or your granny insists you "get the baby 'done'"
- Or you can listen to Giles Fraser without switching off Thought for the Day
- Or you want to get your kid into a good school
- Or you are the Bishop of Salisbury
- Or you switch off Thought for the Day whenever Giles Fraser comes on
- Or think the Anglican Communion is either vital or irrelevant
- Or you regularly drink wine in cold buildings at 8am
- Or you quite like Wodehouse, Lewis or Betjeman
- Or your church minister plays a guitar or wears a chasuble or both, but preferably not at the same time
- Or you enjoy lighting candles in quiet places
- Or you are a party leader who wants a fighting chance of actually winning a General Election
- Or you don't like ticking "No religion" on surveys
- Or you have a sense of vague dissatisfaction that people don't listen to you any more
- Or you are in favour or against same-sex marriages (or don't know)
- Or never know what title to give to ordained ministers
- Or think deep down God is a reasonable bloke, his Son would have made a decent cricketer and the Spirit does his best work quietly
- Or like the sound of bells
...then you can reasonably claim to be C of E.
Though you can be sure that another Anglican thinks you don't qualify.