The Anglican Free Communion International is a group of worldwide Christians committed to carrying the vision and anointing of our founders. We have pushed forward through many difficulties and we will continue to bring forth God’s promise to many who have been forgotten, through our ministries.
The Anglican Free Communion International– The Episcopal Free Church, formerly know as the Free Protestant Episcopal Church, is a worldwide group of Anglicans of the many varieties of Churchmanship, From Anglo-Catholic (High Church), Evangelical (Low Church), Latitudinarian (Broad Church), Charismatic and Liberal.
All of the Provinces within the Communion are autonomous, comprised of self-governing churches and families of churches around the world.
The Anglican Free Communion International was established in England on 02 November 1897 by a union of several small British episcopates established in the 1870s, independent of the Church of England: The Ancient British Church, founded in 1866, by The Most Rev’d Charles Isaac Stevens; The Nazarene Episcopal Ecclesia, founded in 1873, by The Most Rev’d James Martin; The Free Protestant Church of England, founded in 1889, by The Most Rev’d Leon Checkemian; The Most Rev’d Leon Checkemian (1848 – 1920), an Armenian Uniate bishop had moved to Britain and became an Anglican and served as the first primate of the new Church.
The mission of the Anglican Free Communion International was to act as a reunion church among the various Protestant bodies, possessing valid Catholic sacraments and thus avoiding the objections raised by the Holy See to the Holy Orders of the Church of England. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer was the normative liturgy, while the 1878 Constitution and Canons of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Great Britain were adopted.
Checkemian was elected the first Primus as Mar Leon, and the Pro-Cathedral of the church was St Stephen’s Church, East Ham. In 1900, Checkemian retired from the Primacy in favour of Stevens, also passing to him the headship of the United Armenian Catholic Church of the British Isles, a body for Armenian expatriates that he had founded in 1889. In 1917 the Anglican Free Communion was legally recognized by the English courts when one of its clergymen was declared exempt from military service by virtue of his ordination.
Currently The Anglican Free Communion International is a communion of free Anglican churches around the world, living an Anglican reconciliation and unity.
The following Mission statement was approved, in General Synod 2012, in Bolivia, with an initial theme statement: