There are three major figures, patron saints if you like, who stand behind me as inspiration for the creation of this Customary. Aelfric is the obvious one of course, and you can read more about him here. He represents a reforming strand of thought: correcting malpractices, tightening the morality of the monasteries, translating things into English (Anglo-Saxon), and writing many sermons to refresh the theological tradition in his land.
The second is Saint Augustine of Canterbury, who represents a catholicizing strand of movement. The old British church had gotten stuck – the Anglo-Saxon invaders weren’t converting to Christianity very quickly, and their relationship with the rest of the western church was getting frayed – they even celebrated Easter on a different day, throwing most of the liturgical calendar off from one another! Saint Augustine and his team began the missionary movement that rekindled the church in Britain and eventually brought them into closer union with Rome and the universal church (East and West had not yet parted ways at that point).
The third figure is King Charles the martyr, who died for the causes of Crown and Church at the hands of a Puritan Parliament. He represents the particularly Anglican Way of Christianity: neither Roman in its catholicism nor Puritan in its reformation.
Yesterday, May 26th, was the feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, so I thought it a good opportunity to share a video about the catholic side of Anglicanism.