Continuing church

Continuing Church

Continuing church

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Continuing Churches are often numerically small denominations that formed from disputes within a larger parent organization. The ‘continuing’ organizations may be old or the split between the parent Church and the Continuing Church may be recent.


The term Continuing Church has been used by a number of Christian denominations formed in response to a variety of doctrinal disagreements between members. The use of this term is meant to suggest that no new doctrines were being promoted by the dissenters, but rather that the historic faith allegedly abandoned by the parent body was being preserved—or continued—in these newly-founded churches.

Examples of Continuing Churches

Examples of Continuing Churches include the Free Church of England (1844), Presbyterian Church in America (1973), Continuing Anglican Movement (1977), Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly (1991), the Episcopal Missionary Church (1992), and the Free Church of Scotland (2000). In the USA, the ordination of women beginning in the 1970s played a major part in the formation of a number of Continuing Churches.

In Australia, both Fellowship of Congregational Churches and the Presbyterian Church of Australia continued after the Uniting Church in Australia formed in 1977.

Apostolic succession

Continuing Churches with a Catholic or Anglican tradition have sometimes found it difficult to manage the initial separation in that there are a limited number of Anglicans or Roman Catholics...
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