Procession down Cordova St 1908 – Philip Timms
Anglo-Catholic parishes emphasise the catholicity of Anglicanism. ‘Anglo’ simply refers to the understanding that this is an English expression of Catholicism. Now, however, you will find Anglo-Catholic parishes throughout the world, the result of the missionary work of thousands of faithful Anglo-Catholic priests and laity. High Mass in an Anglican Church in Africa is more likely to be accompanied by drums than an organ.
The Church of England from its inception understood itself as part of the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church”, but over time, the catholicity of the church had weakened, with a resulting lack of reverence and beauty in worship, indifferent preaching, and failure to evangelise and serve the poor. Evangelical Anglicans shared similar concerns, though their approach was quite different.
The Nineteenth Century saw the beginning of a sea change, starting with a series of sermons and tracts given at Oxford University. These attracted great interest, and led to what became known as the Oxford Movement. Priests and laity involved in this movement built new churches, schools, and hospitals, and together with evangelical Anglicans were primarily responsible for spreading the Anglican expression of Christianity around the world. Now, the vast majority of Anglicans live in the southern hemisphere.
St James’ is part of, and an expression of that Nineteenth-Century Catholic revival, which found its first visible expression on the shores of Burrard Inlet in 1881.