One of the jokes when I was a member of the Church of England was that “C of E” stood for: “Church of Everybody”. It was an ambiguous joke–on the one hand poking the C of E for being such a rubbery kind of institution that it stood for nothing and therefore fell for anything. On the other hand, there was a sense of respect to the joke as well. The idea that the Anglican vicar was there to minister to the whole population of his parish was a nice idea–one which began in a time when everyone was baptized and at least Christian in name–but growing to a modern understanding that the vicar was still “the spiritual person” for everyone in his parish–no matter what their creed, color or culture.The idea that the Church of England was the “Church of Everybody” was maintained because the C of E remains the established Church of England. The head of the Church of England is officially the monarch. The whole country is divided geographically into dioceses and parishes. Church of England schools are dotted throughout the land. Religion is still taught to every school child and (unless it has been changed) believe it or not there is meant to be “an act of Christian worship” in every school every day–and not just Church of England schools.
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