Is “Protestant” and “Church of England” the same thing?

Is “Protestant” and “Church of England” the same thing?
This may seem like a silly question, but I thought it was, and someone has just told me they aren’t. Whats the difference?

Best answer:

Answer by Jedi Panda Cub
The Church of England understands itself to be both Catholic and Reformed:[3]

Catholic in that it views itself as a part of the universal church of Jesus Christ in unbroken continuity with the early apostolic and later medieval church. This is expressed in its strong emphasis on the teachings of the early Church Fathers, in particular as formalised in the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds.[4]

Reformed to the extent that it has been shaped by some of the doctrinal and institutional principles of the 16th century Protestant Reformation. The more Reformed character finds expression in the Thirty-Nine Articles of religion, established as part of the settlement of religion under Queen Elizabeth I. The customs and liturgy of the Church of England, as expressed in the Book of Common Prayer, are based on pre-Reformation traditions but have been influenced by Reformation liturgical and doctrinal principles.[4]

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11 Responses to “Is “Protestant” and “Church of England” the same thing?”

  • MtoR signing up is easy says:

    Yes exactly, England was pretty much the original protestant country after Henry Viii rejected catholicism so he could divorce


    Some individuals consider it separate from protestantism but generally, the Anglican Church is considered to be a branch of protestantism.

  • Bodhidharma says:

    The Church of England is the English offshoot of the Lutheran Protestant reformations, the Protestant movement was hijacked by King Henry VIII so he could overrule the Pope and get a divorce. It became the C of E here, originally a state-religion controlled by the head of state (monarch), though many decentralized variations of Protestant Christianity developed overseas thanks mostly to the rise and fall of the British Empire.

  • masharocks91 says:


    Cake or Death?

  • nancyjo says:

    King Henry the 8th started the Church of England so he could re-marry (again). The Roman Catholic Church would not give him permission.

    Protestants (generally speaking) were started by Martin Luther.

  • Clare says:

    Protestant is an umbrella term for all non-Catholic western Christians. It includes not only the Church of England, but also Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and the Uniting Church. Basically anyone who took part in the reformation (started by Martin Luther in the 16th century).

    So “Protestant” is larger than CoE.

    Although, I’ve just looked at wiki to confirm, and apparently some people consider Anglicanism separately. Go figure. I don’t, but I was raised Catholic. I don’t think most people do, I’ve never heard it used that way. CoE is a kind of Protestantism (CoE = Anglicanism btw)

  • easy way is always mined says:

    church of england was founded on protestant principles, yet generally was just off shoot from the catholic church, replacing the pope with the Britains sovereign in the top of hierarchy.

    meanwhile, protestant churches are generally founded on teachings of Martin Luther and his followers (and- in some cases- his succesors)

    one of “protestant”churches in my country factically dates base into the 15th century.

  • stantng says:

    I believe the Church of England might’ve broken off from the Catholic Church. I don’t know for sure.

  • Bolide ⌡Self Appointed Pastor⌠ says:

    It can be, and is, defined both ways;

    If by Protestant is meant a Christian denomination founded after Luther posted his 99 Theses then yes, The Anglican Church is Protestant.

    If by Protestant is meant a Christian denomination based on principles of Reformation espoused by Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and other reformers then it is not.

    Within the Anglican Church, however, there are subsects which do espouse the Protestant reforms.

  • Prison officer says:

    The Church of England was founded by King Henry V111. He broke away from Rome because he wanted a divorce and the Pope would not give him permission. He killed off the Bishops, and appointed Bishops of his choosing who sanctioned his divorces and marriages. He was protesting which made him a protestant. Therefore the Church of England is a Protestant church.

  • jnclet says:

    No. The two are somewhat different, and the terms certainly cannot be used interchangeably. ‘Protestant’ is a much broader term, and includes any of the many denominations stemming from the Protestant Reformation.
    The Church of England, on the other hand, is the established Anglican church in England. It is part of the larger, international Anglican Communion, but does not itself extend outside of Britain.
    Even Anglicanism as a whole can no longer be considered a truly Protestant church. It considers itself to share both Protestant and Catholic heritage, and describes itself as the ‘via media’ or ‘middle way’ between the two.

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