THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IS A WORLDWIDE COMMUNION OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES.
Our outlook is global versus national. But aren’t we a British church? Not at all. There are roughly 80 million Anglicans worldwide, making us the third largest Christian communion in the world after Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.
The Anglican Church is also by far the largest historically Protestant church. It is well established on every continent in the world (with the possible exception of Antarctica) and is made up of people from all races, cultures, and nationalities. Our largest and increasingly most significant churches are found in Africa and Asia.
So, why call us Anglican? The name Anglican means that we trace our roots back to the Protestant Reformation when the Church of England (or formerly of Angle-Land) rejected the authority of the pope and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Later, as the British Empire expanded, the Church of England missionaries planted churches around the world. It was not appropriate to call the non-English churches the Church of England, so they were called Anglican Churches. And so it is today.