The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St Augustine of Canterbury in AD 597. As a result of Augustine's mission, the church in England came under the authority of the Pope. Initially prompted by a dispute over the annulment of the marriage of Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon, the Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534 and became the established church by an Act of Parliament in the Act of Supremacy, beginning a series of events known as the English Reformation. During the reign of Queen Mary I, the Church was fully restored under Rome in 1555. Papal authority was again explicitly rejected after the accession of Queen Elizabeth I when the Act of Supremacy of 1558 was passed.
Contributions by Dabbler, TSP, and BozMo.