This week in Christian history: RC Sproul dies, Russian Patriarch exiled, Canterbury Archbishop appointed

Matthew Parker becomes Archbishop of Canterbury – Dec. 17, 1559

Matthew Parker (1504-1575), the former Archbishop of Canterbury and chaplain to Anne Boleyn.
Matthew Parker (1504-1575), the former Archbishop of Canterbury and chaplain to Anne Boleyn. | Wikimedia Commons

This week marks the anniversary of when Matthew Parker, the former chaplain to Anne Boleyn, who helped draft the influential Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, was made Archbishop of Canterbury by Queen Elizabeth I.

Parker had reportedly been unwilling to accept the post, but eventually agreed to the appointment due to a promise that he had made to Elizabeth’s mother, Boleyn, shortly before she was executed.

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“Parker had been offered the post in 1558, but had stalled in accepting it. Parker believed that he was not right for the post and, having recently fallen off a horse, also not fit enough. But, Elizabeth I wanted him in that post and Parker felt that he had no choice,” explained the Tudor Society.

“Parker served as Elizabeth I’s Archbishop of Canterbury until his death on 17th May 1575. He is known for being one of the men responsible for the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, which were established in 1563 and which are seen as ‘the historic defining statements of Anglican doctrine in relation to the controversies of the English Reformation.’”  

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