We welcome all people to our church, wherever you are on your journey of faith. We encourage reflection, question and discussion to help us explore and deepen our Christian faith. We strive to reach the needs of our congregation, the local community and beyond.

Church of England

Saint Mary Magdalene is a Church of England Parish in the Diocese of Southwark.  The Church of England is part of the worldwide network of national churches known as the Anglican Communion.

The Diocese of Southwark

The Diocese of Southwark  is one of the 44 dioceses of the Church of England.  The Diocese was founded in 1905.  It covers 317 square miles across South London and East Surrey and contains 294 parishes and 365 churches.  The Bishop of Southwark is the Right Reverend Christopher Chessun and Southwark Cathedral, on the River Thames near London Bridge and the Globe Theatre, is the diocese’s cathedral church.  The Diocese is divided into three Episcopal Areas, each with its own Area Bishop.  Saint Mary Magdalene is in the Kingston Episcopal Area and our Area Bishop is the Right Reverend Dr Richard Cheetham.

The Church of England

The roots of the Church of England go back to the time of the Roman Empire when Christianity entered the Roman province of Britain.  The Church acknowledged the authority of the Pope until the Reformation in the 16th century.

The religious settlement that eventually emerged in the reign of Elizabeth I gave the Church of England the distinctive identity that it has retained to this day.  It is a church that maintains catholic creeds, its pattern of ministry, its buildings and aspects of its liturgy, but which also embodies protestant insights in its theology and in the overall shape of its liturgical practice. The way that this is often expressed is by saying that the Church of England is both ‘catholic and reformed’.

The Church of England is divided into two provinces (the southern province of Canterbury and the northern province of York) and each province has an Archbishop.  The Archbishop of Canterbury is also the spokesman and focus of unity for the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Communion

The Anglican Communion comprises 38 self-governing Member Churches or Provinces that share several things in common including doctrine, ways of worshipping, mission, and a focus of unity in the Archbishop of Canterbury. Formal mechanisms for meeting include the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates’ Meeting, together known as the Instruments of Communion.

Most Communion life, however, is found in the relationships between Anglicans at all levels of church life and work around the globe; dioceses linked with dioceses, parishes with parishes, people with people, all working to further God’s mission. There are around 85 million people on six continents who call themselves Anglican (or Episcopalian), in more than 165 countries. These Christian brothers and sisters share prayer, resources, support and knowledge across geographical and cultural boundaries.

As with any family, the Anglican Communion’s members have a range of differing opinions. This means that the Anglican Christian tradition has always valued its diversity, and has never been afraid to publicly tackle the hard questions of life and faith.