Diversity of Christianity

The Christian Church is split into a number of different denominations. They include:

  • Catholic Church
  • Anglican Church
  • Church in Wales
  • Non-conformist churches and chapels
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Denominations can be thought of as different branches of Christianity.

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church is led by the Pope, with around half of all Christians belonging to this denomination. Catholics believe that the Pope has a unique authority which has come directly from Jesus. Catholics tend to hold on to more traditional views, eg the Catholic leaders, known as priests, can only be male and are forbidden from marrying.

Anglican Church

The Anglican Church is run by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Unlike Catholics, the Anglican Church does not believe the Pope has any authority. The Anglican Church is made up of concepts developed by the Church of England. The Anglican Church allows more freedom than the Catholic Church and the leaders, known as vicars, can be male or female. They are also allowed to marry.

The Church in Wales

The Church in Wales is the name given to the Anglican Church in Wales. It has the same beliefs, teachings and practices as all Anglican churches, and is led by the Archbishop of Wales.

Non-conformist churches and chapels

The Methodist Church is traditionally known as non-conformist because it does not conform to the rules and authority of the established Church of England. Non-conformist churches were established in the 17th and 18th centuries, when Welsh Anglicans felt unhappy about the lack of Welsh bishops and ministers.

There are three main non-conformist groups in Wales:

  • Union of Welsh Independents (known as the Annibynwyr)
  • Baptist churches
  • Calvinistic Methodist Church (known as the Presbyterian Church of Wales)

Both men and women can be ministers and they are allowed to marry.

Diagram showing how the Christian Church in Wales is split into a number of different denominations, including Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Church in Wales and Non-conformist churches.