Difference Between Anglican and Episcopal

Anglican Communion was founded in 1867 in London by Charles Longley, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury. Church of Anglican Community believes in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

Episcopal Church is the American counterpart of the Anglican Church. It also traces its origins from the Church of England in the colonies of America.

Comparison Table Between Anglican and Episcopal

Parameters of ComparisonAnglicanEpiscopal
OriginAnglican Church originated in 1867 in London. Episcopal Church originated in 1785 under the Church of England.
MembersIt has 110 million members all over the world.It has 2 to 3 lakh members worldwide.
TerritoriesIt has its territory majorly in the UK. But also in African countries as well as in Australia.It has its territory majorly in the USA. But also in Micronesia, Taiwan, Central and South America etc.
HeadArchbishop of Canterbury is the head of Anglicans. Bishop of America is the head of the Episcopal Church.
ParishesIt has 40 independent churches and lakhs of parishes.It has almost 6,897 parishes.

What is Anglican?

Anglicanism is the third largest community of Christian both in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church.

Anglican Church as such doesn't have any legal rights, but it works under the compliance of the Archbishop of Canterbury in London.

The term 'Anglican' emerges in a phrase of Magna Carta in the year 1215. Anglican is used as an adjective to describe institutions, the people, and churches and the theological concepts and liturgical traditions developed by the Church of England.

Anglicanism has never been ruled by a theologian or a magisterium. It has always followed the Book of Common prayers for its beliefs and practices.

With the expansion of the British empire, Anglicanism also grew, and all the churches under colonial power came under its jurisdiction.

What is Episcopal? 

The United States of America is considered to be the origin of the Episcopal Church. It is a sub-branch of Anglicanism or Anglican Church. It can also be said as an American version of Anglicanism.

Followers of Episcopal are called Episcopalians. The Church of Episcopal used to be a part of the Church of England, but after American Revolution, it got separated.

Episcopal has played the role of leadership in American contexts such as in science, the arts, politics, business, and education. It was also active in the 19th and the 20th century in the Social Gospel Movement.

Main Differences Between Anglicans and Episcopal

  1. Archbishop of Canterbury is the head of Anglicans. The Bishop of America is the head of the Episcopal Church.
  2. Anglican Church has 40 independent churches and lakhs of parishes. Episcopal Church has almost 6,897 parishes.
Difference Between Anglican and Episcopal


Both Anglican and Episcopal are derived from the branch of Protestantism. Both are often confused with the Church of England. Although roots are connected via England.

But both have different beliefs and ideologies. Both Anglican and Episcopal has more similarities than differences. Episcopal is considered as a subset of Anglican.

Anglicanism is a mixture of Catholicism and Protestantism, while Episcopal beliefs to be more Protestants in nature. Both follow the same 'Book of Prayers'. Episcopal is often called Anglican Episcopal.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=9Fyce9FgrPgC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=Anglicans+and+Episcopal&ots=2Hth4mjijL&sig=zOZjP8jfxuEdNsZyDMHsBwoUO5E
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=_iK5VggudLkC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=Anglicans+and+Episcopal&ots=M8U3lPHZ8X&sig=ttkZa6yrci0eZ6ac6RPfdRsu6Wo
AskAnyDifference HomeClick here
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 0]
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments