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Our History

On Anglican Churches in Europe

Jesus

English churches and congregations have been established on the Continent since before the Reformation. The number of these grew to such an extent that in 1633 congregations of the Church of England in all foreign countries were placed under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London (London then being the chief port of England). Anglican dioceses and then provinces were later formed in all parts of the world outside the United Kingdom.

The Diocese of Gibraltar was founded by Letters Patent on 21st August 1842 and took over the pastoral care of the chaplaincies and congregations in Constantinople, Athens, Florence, Naples, Turin, Madrid, Alicante, Barcelona, Cadiz, Cartagena, Malaga, Ancona, Genoa, Leghorn, Messina, Naples, Nice, Palermo, Rome, Venice, Marseilles, Fiume, Trieste, Patras, Prevesa, The Dardanelles, Salonica, Smyrna, Tripoli, Tangier, Tunis, Sardinia (Cagliari), Corsica, Minorca (Mahon), Crete, Cyprus, Syria and Malta. In 1883 the Bishop of London appointed a suffragan bishop, who later was given the title of Bishop of Fulham, to supervise the chaplaincies in north and central Europe.

From 1970 the Jurisdiction of North and Central Europe, together with the Diocese of Gibraltar, was in the episcopal care of one bishop, the Bishop of Fulham and Gibraltar. In July 1980 a single diocese was formed with the title The Diocese in Europe, and it became the 44th Diocese of the Church of England. The Bishop of the Diocese is assisted by a Suffragan Bishop and Assistant Bishops. The Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) has also established six churches in Europe. They are under the jurisdiction of the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA. Since 1971 they have been placed in the care of the Bishop-in-Charge of the American Convocation in Europe. The Spanish Episcopal Reformed Church and the Lusitanian Church (Portugal) are also full member churches of the Anglican Communion.

The Church of England maintains friendly relations with other Christian churches in mainland Europe and is committed to the quest for the full visible unity of the Church. Other churches "in communion" are the Old Catholic churches of the Union of Utrecht and the Lutheran churches of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania. Special agreements also exist with the Evangelical Church in Germany (The Meissen Agreement) and the Roman Catholic Church in France ("Twinnings and Exchanges").