On May 12th 1859 the Church of England Protection Society was formed to protect the rights of priests and worshippers and to defend the Faith against a claim of secular courts to determine what a Churchman was permitted to believe on the subject of Baptism. This resulted in the riots at St George’s in the East. In May 1860 the organisation was renamed The English Church Union and under that designation it accomplished a task of incalculable value defending the Church’s faith, laws and practice with singular zeal and wisdom for more than half a century. In 1933 the Anglo-Catholic Congress and the English Church Union coalesced under the new title of The Church Union, as it still is today.
Under its present day leadership, and working with other Catholic Societies such as Forward in Faith, and all the members of the Council of Catholic Societies the Church Union still works to those same aims and objectives. In its mission statement issued in April 1996, the Church Union pledged to work for the visible unity of the Church and believes the Church of England to be called to repentance and renewal in the Catholic Faith.
The transformation of society, which depends on lives which glorify the Father in true worship and holy living; to build up the body of Christ by means of effective Christian formation and education; to evangelise and proclaim the Gospel; to support clergy in their distinctive ministry and to encourage all the baptised in faithful witness and joyful service of the Lord.
Through its Publishing House, Tufton Books, and its magazine, The Church Observer, the Church Union works to promote study especially of Holy Scripture; to commission, publish and distribute literature to further that work; to encourage religious education, including the training of clergy and laity in their vocation and ministry and to give counsel, protection and assistance to all people, suffering hindrance, deprivation or persecution because of their Faith.
In 1878 a resolution passed by the English Church Union and moved by Fr MacKonochie, said; “the peace and well being of the Church demanded the frank recognition on the part of the State, of the Church’s inherent right to interpret her own formularies in all matters concerning the Faith and the conduct of divine worship”. The Church Union at the time appealed for the prayers, the adhesion and the enthusiastic support which it has at its heart. Today the Church Union still appeals for the prayers and support of those people who support its aims and objectives.
The Church Union is a Registered Charity – No. 243535