Papers of the Church Union

Scope and Content

Records of the Bristol Church Union, 1848-1867 (minutes). Records of the English Church Union, 1866-1934 (minutes of general meetings, council, special committees; correspondence on amalgamation with the Anglo-Catholic Congress) Register of members of the Catholic Union for Prayer, 1867-78. Records of the Anglo-Catholic Congress, 1919-1954 (registers of members; minutes of council, executive committee, anniversary meetings, other committees; scrapbooks including the Fiery Cross Association; photograph albums) Records of the Church Union, 1934-1987 (chiefly minutes of executive committee, general council, annual general meeting, local branches, other committees and other bodies including Society of SS Peter and Paul 1960-75, Church of England Protection Society 1859-60, Council for the Defence of Church Principles, 1943-1954).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Church of England Protection Society was formed in 1859, and was renamed the English Church Union in 1860, when it incorporated several local Church societies. Its object was to defend and propagate High Church principles. In 1934 the English Church Union was united with the Anglo-Catholic Congress to form the Church Union. The organisation continues to be administered from Faith House, Westminster, and to publish books, tracts and magazines.The Anglo-Catholic Congress was first held in London in 1920 and continued to meet in different locations around England until the 1950s. It incorporated a number of smaller organisations, including the Fiery Cross Association (1920s-1930s), Catholic Literature Association (1890s-1920s) and Pilgrimage Association (1920s-1930s).


Arranged within two accessions by body, then chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

A full readers ticket is required. See


Church of England Yearbooks.

Other Finding Aids

Typescript lists.

Conditions Governing Use

Custodial History

Deposited by the Church Union: 99 volumes in 1968. 109 volumes plus loose papers in 1999.



Related Material

Archbishops' Papers; manuscripts (especially MS. 3103; see publication note)


W.J. Fong, The ritualist crisis: Anglo-Catholics and authority with special reference to the English church union, Doctoral Thesis, University of Toronto, 1977 (copy at MS. 3103).

Geographical Names