An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Churchman, Churchmanship

Before the sixteenth-century Reformation, when there was only one Christian church in England, the word “churchman” designated an ecclesiastic or clergyman. After the establishment of religious toleration in England by the Act of Toleration in 1689, it came to designate any person, whether cleric or lay, who is a member of the established church-the Church of England in England or the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland in Scotland. A churchman is the opposite of a dissenter. In imitation of English usage, Episcopalians in the United States and members of other Anglican churches sometimes refer to themselves as churchmen. With the development of parties in the Church of England, the manner of thought and especially the style of worship of a churchman was called churchmanship. Varieties of churchmanship include broad church, low church, and high church. In an increasingly secular society, the word “churchman” is occasionally used to denote one who attends any church as opposed to a non-churchgoer.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.