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According to medieval traditions, Christianity arrived in Britain in the 1st or 2nd century, although stories involving Joseph of Arimathea, King Lucius, and Fagan are now usually accounted as pious forgeries.
The earliest historical evidence of Christianity among the native Britons is found in the writings of such early Christian Fathers as Tertullian and Origen in the first years of the 3rd century, although the first Christian communities probably were established some decades earlier.
Christianity developed roots in Sub-Roman Britain and later Ireland, Scotland and Pictland.
The Anglo-Saxons (Germanic pagans who progressively seized British territory) during the 5th, 6th and 7th centuries, established a small number of kingdoms and evangelisation of the Anglo-Saxons was carried out by the successors of the Gregorian mission and by Celtic missionaries from Scotland.
As a result of Augustine's mission, Christianity in England came under the authority of the Pope.
However, in 1534 King Henry VIII declared himself to be head of the Church of England. As a result of this schism, many non-Anglicans consider that the Church of England should only be considered to exist from the 16th century.
Three Romano-British bishops, including Restitutus, metropolitan bishop of London, are known to have been present at the Council of Arles in 314.
Catholic and Reformed factions vied for determining the doctrines and worship of the church.This ended with the 1558 Elizabethan Settlement, which developed the understanding that the church was to be both Catholic and Reformed.During the reign of Queen Mary I and King Philip, the church was fully restored under Rome in 1555.The pope's authority was again explicitly rejected after the accession of Queen Elizabeth I when the Act of Supremacy 1558 was passed.
The church in Wales remained isolated and was only brought within the jurisdiction of English bishops several centuries later.
The Church of England became the established church by an Act of Parliament in the Act of Supremacy, beginning a series of events known as the English Reformation.