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History

Apostel der Katholisch-Apostolischen Gemeinde
The photo – a collage made subsequently – shows the Apostles of the Catholic Apostolic Church. From left to right: Henry Drummond, John Tudor, Henry King Church, Henry Dalton, Francis Sitwell, William Dow, Thomas Carlyle, Francis Woodhouse (behind), John Cardale (in front), Spencer Perceval and Nicolas Armstrong. Duncan Mackenzie is not shown.

Starting from the 18th century, increasing numbers of individual theologians and believing Christians came to the conviction that in comparison with the times of primeval Christianity the Christian churches had come to lack the gifts and living and active presence of the Holy Spirit. Awakening movements came into being in England and Scotland around the year 1830, accompanied by prophecies and miraculous healings. These prayed for a second outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  

Out of these prayer groups and biblical groups there developed, in the course of the years, an ‘apostolic’ movement, later rechristened as the Catholic Apostolic Church. It was characterised by the fact that from 1832 on it was led by Apostles who had previously been appointed by prophets, and by its placing the effective action of the Holy Spirit at the centre of church life. The Catholic Apostolic Church sought to unite the whole of Christendom under the spiritual leadership of the newly appointed Apostles. To this end, in 1837 the Apostles addressed a document entitled ‘Testimony’ to the spiritual and worldly leaders of the day. But their efforts met with little positive response overall; as a result, the Catholic Apostolic Church found itself compelled, in parallel to its ecumenical endeavours, to develop an ecclesiastical structure of its own, with its own understanding of religious office and its own liturgy. 

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