Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church
The Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church or IERE (Spanish: Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal) is the church of the Anglican Communion in Spain. It was founded in 1880 and since 1980 has been an extra-provincial church under the metropolitan authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Its cathedral is the Cathedral of the Redeemer in Madrid.
In keeping with the rest of mainstream Anglicanism, the IERE considers itself to be part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Christ and his apostles. It claims to maintain apostolic succession via the Church of Ireland's bishops and it holds to the threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. It keeps the three creeds of the Primitive Church.
The IERE considers itself to morally be the continuing church of the ancient Hispanic Church by maintaining the sacramental system as handed down through the Mozarabic Rite. Due to its Reformed tradition, some would say this is largely a Church that places itself within the confines of the Evangelical stream of Anglicanism.
The IERE was organised in 1880, by Juan Bautista Cabrera, former Roman Catholic priest, and other former Catholic priests and Reformed[clarification needed] ministers. In 1878 he had requested the Church of England to consecrate a bishop. In 1880 the (Anglican) Episcopal Church in the United States sent a missionary-bishop of Mexico to visit Spain and Portugal and contributed in organizing the congregations into the IERE and the Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church, each with its own synodical government.
At the Synod of 1880, Cabrera was elected the first bishop of the IERE, under the pastoral care of William Plunket, 4th Baron Plunket, then Bishop of Meath and later Archbishop of Dublin. He had been interested in the two Iberian churches and determined to act to consecrate a bishop in Spain. The church remained without a bishop for a time after Cabrera died and was placed under the authority of the Church of Ireland.
The IERE experienced persecution during the regime of General Francisco Franco. In 1954, Santos M. Molina was consecrated as a bishop and the church experienced a resurgence. In 1980 the IERE became an extra-provincial diocese under the metropolitan authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The IERE uses the Mozarabic Rite, also known as the Hispanic Rite, a Latin liturgical rite. It dates principally to the 7th and 8th centuries. St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), who was influential at the Fourth Council of Toledo 633, according to the wishes of that Council, gave the Hispanic rite its final form before Muslim conquest of Hispania. Mozarab is the term for the Christian population living under Muslim rulers in Al-Andalus.
The IERE has a democratic, synodical (parliamentary) polity. The Synod is the highest authority in the Church; the laity and clergy have equal representation in it. The parishes are represented by one cleric and by one lay person. The Synod elects the Standing Committee, which governs the Church between synods. The IERE is not a Church with an episcopal government, like the Roman Catholic Church, but is a synodical Church governed by a bishop in synod. The bishop and the synod are required to work together in close co-operation. The current diocesan bishop is the Rt Revd Carlos Lopez Lozano.
The Church is divided for administrative purposes into three zones: Catalonia, Levant, and Balearic Islands; Andalusia and Canary Islands; Centre and Northern Spain. As of 2001, the IERE had one diocese and 22 licensed priests (one woman) serving 20 parishes, in Salamanca, Valencia, Valladolid, Seville, Oviedo, Tarragona, Murcia, Alicante, and Madrid.
The IERE is the representative of the Anglican Communion in Spain. It belongs to the Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain (FEREDE) and is member of the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches. It is in full communion with the Old Catholic Churches as well as being part of the Porvoo Communion with the Scandinavian Lutheran churches.
- Church Reform in Spain and Portugal: A Short History of the Reformed Episcopal Churches of Spain and Portugal, from 1868 to the Present Time, by H. E. Noyes (1897)
- Liturgia de la Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal (1954)
- Reformation Movements in Foreign Churches (with Special Reference to Spain and Portugal), by William Conyngham Plunket (1885)