Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that evolved out of the practices, liturgy and identity of the Church of England following the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.
Adherents of Anglicanism are called "Anglicans". The majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international Anglican Communion, which forms the third-largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They are in full communion with the See of Canterbury, and thus the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom the communion refers to as its primus inter pares. He calls the decennial Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates, and the Anglican Consultative Council. Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion also consider themselves Anglican, including those that are part of the Continuing Anglican movement.
Anglicans base their Christian faith on the Bible, traditions of the apostolic Church, apostolic succession ("historic episcopate"), and writings of the Church Fathers. Anglicanism forms one of the branches of Western Christianity; having definitively declared its independence from the Holy See at the time of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century corresponded closely to those of contemporary Protestantism. These reforms in the Church of England were understood by one of those most responsible for them, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism. By the end of the century, the retention in Anglicanism of many traditional liturgical forms and of the episcopate was already seen as unacceptable by those promoting the most developed Protestant principles....LESS