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Church of Nortend

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Church of Nortend
Ecclesia Erbonica
St. Peter's Cathedral in Lendert-with-Cadell is the seat of the Bishop of Lendert.
TheologyCatholic and Reformed
GovernourKing Alexander II
PrimateCardinal Sebastian Williams,
Lord Archbishop of Sulthey
LiturgyNortish Rite
Separated fromRoman Church
in 1614
Members29 million
Part of a series on the
Church of Nortend
LiturgyNortish Rite
Art and Music
Part of a series on the
Government of Great Nortend
The CrownAlexander II
  • Exchequery
  • Clerk's Office
  • Trade Office

The Church of Nortend, in Latin the Ecclesia Erbonica, is the state church of Great Nortend. It is established under the Proclamation of Manfarham, the Statute of Limmes and the Statute of Supremacy. The Sovereign of Great Nortend is the supreme temporal head of the Church, being Governour of the Church Mundane. For spiritual authority, the Church of Nortend maintains the historic episcopate and apostolic succession. Ecclesiastical power is vested in the Archbishop of Sulthey who is Primate of Erbonia, as well as the Archbishops of Limmes and Rhise, fourteen bishops suffragan and three abbots territorial.


Early Christianity

An abbot, later canonised as Saint Laurence of Sulthey, is widely credited for the founding of the establishment of the modern-day Christian church in Great Nortend in the 8th century. The native Ethlorekoz and the later influx of Arlethians, the Nords, Sexers and Cardes, practised heathen religions. Laurence, arrived on the shores of the then Kingdom of Nortenland in AD 744 during the reign of Egbert, on a mission ordered by Pope Zachary I. He founded a church on the Isle of Sulthey in 749, the year which is now generally considered the start of the Church in Great Nortend, on a site which is now the Church of Saint le Cross.[1] He also founded the first monastery, which became Sulthey Abbey, two years afterwards in 751. Laurence served for over thirty years as the first Bishop of Sulthey.

After Egbert died in 753 after being mortally wounded by an arrow during battle with the Hambrians, the young Murish prince Hartmold de Mure took the Nortish throne in 756. He had earlier converted in 750, at the age of 30. During his reign, and the subsequent reigns of Æthelfrey, Erwin and Edmund the Good, the people across the Kingdom were converted and the Church and Christianity became the dominant framework for political and religious discourse.

Middle Ages

A typical late 12th century manor church. St Renwick's, in Culton, Southannering.

The Church flourished in the Middle Ages, in a frenzy of religious piety. Gothic architecture was introduced during the late 12th century, supplanting the existing Nortish style which was dominated by wooden construction in the densely forested North above Golder's Line and stone construction below. By the 13th century, nearly every manor had at least one church and across the country numerous religious houses, chantries and chapels were founded. Within Lendert-with-Cadell alone, 52 churches had been built by the time the rebuilt Saint Peter's Abbey was completed in 1272.

Declaration of Sulthey

Through the 16th century, the Church faced increasing conflict with the King over the exercise of temporal power by the Pope. Thomas Akeep, who was Provost of Sulthey, railed against „ultramontanism” and stridently avowed the temporal primacy of the King. He, along with the major (secular) Chapter of Sulthey Cathedral, published the „Declaration of Sulthey” in 1530, consisting of four articles :—

  1. The Church only has Power over Matters spiritual, and the King therefore is not subordinate to the Church in Matters temporal and cannot be deposed by the Church nor can his Vassals be freed from their Oaths.
  2. The Judgment of the Holy Father is not absolute in Matters spiritual without the Consent of the Councils and Bishops.
  3. The Powers of the Church are only exercised when in accordance with divine Law established through the received Customs and Traditions.
  4. The King has the right to call Councils and with their Consent make laws concerning Matters spiriual and the Pope's Bulls and Letters may not be promulgated without their consent and that of the King.

Though the Declaration did not necessarily amount to heresy, the anti-Papal articles offended Clement VII than in 1534 he refused to permit the appointment of Thomas de Akeep to the See of Chepingstow, to hold political office as the Lord High Chancellour. Clement's refusal resulted in the wide promulgation of the „Declaration” in print, despite it being thitherto a relatively obscure pamphlet, leading to the growth of stronger tensions throughout the Kingdom and calls for reform of the Church.

Small Schism

The prior and friars of Staithway Priory captured and hanged the Duke of Cardenbridge in 1668.

From 1545 to 1563, Erbonian prelates attended the Council of Trent but there was no effective changes which satisfied the growing opposition to the Papacy. Over the next fifty years, various reformist sects developed advocating for more and more extreme reformation along Protestant lines. Spurred on by his ministers, in 1614, the Proclamation of Manfarham was issued by Alexander I, followed by the Statute of Limmes later that year and the Statute of Supremacy in 1615, which rejected the authority of the Bishop of Rome, and de facto established the Church of Nortend as fully independent from the See of Rome. The States were passed with the consent of the Privy Council and later ratified by the Parliament in 1632.

A legend surrounding the proclamation relates that the then-Archbishop of Sulthey, Richard Cainmaring, received a massage from the Holy Ghost in a dream commanding that, „Mine house shall be cloven and I shall make thy Lord my Governour over my flock”. The King and Archbishop of Sulthey, after public assent to the Statute, were excommunicated by the Pope . The Statutes referred to the „Declaration of Sulthey” and upheld them. Though loyalists were not initially legally persecuted for their support of the Roman church, the controversy was, in the early and mid 17th century, increasingly manifested through violence between both sides.

This so-called Small Schism (distinguished from the Great Schism from the Eastern Church) was generally popular amongst the common people and nobility, although it was opposed by most parish clergy and monastics who were mainly fearful for their positions. In 1618, Alexander I offered to reinstate the title of „cardinal” for those clergy who recognised his supremacy, provided that they could prove their right to the use of the title by custom prior to the 1567 decree of Pius V which restricted its use to the cardinals of Rome. This had been seen as an offensive assertion of Papal and Roman supremacy by the Nortish Church, which had used the title for various priests holding certain benefices.

Though loyalists were not initially legally persecuted for their support of the Roman Catholic church, the controversy was, in the early and mid 17th century, increasingly manifested through violence between both sides. Simmering violence came to a head when the Count of Cardenbridge was captured and hanged by the Loyalist prior and black friars of Staithway in 1668. His heir introduced a Bill after the death of Alexander I who had opposed criminalisation later that year, to criminalise allegiance to the Pope, leading to the use of the term „Cardican” to refer to the Church of Nortend. Under the Act, many clergymen were executed for refusing to renounce against the Pope and escalated with the trial and execution of the Six Heretics, six clergymen who plotted with the Pope to invade Great Nortend and restore the Church in 1670 during the first few years of King William I's reign. Meanwhile, the Acts of Cleaving forming the combined Kingdom of Nortend, Cardoby and Hambria had passed in 1642 and established the Church of Nortend as the established church of Hambria as well.

Lutheran influence

The [Albish Magnanimous Revolution] in 1665 led to the flight of Edmund III, the then [Albish] King of the House of Oln to Great Nortend. He was recognised and received by Alexander I and created the Earl of Scode, and granted the important Castle of Scode in Barminstershire. He gained influence at Court and introduced a true Lutheranism to the Nortish Church already receptive to Protestantism.

Under William's reign, the young Lutheran-leaning Cardinal Henry Frympell was consecrated Archbishop of Sulthey in 1679, after John Bull, mysteriously died during a banquet. Though he had a moderate theology, Cardinal Frympell advocated strongly for a translation of the Bible into English. The „Douay-Rheims Bible” and „King James's Bible” had been published in English a few years prior to the Proclamation of Manfarham, and were seen as strong bases. After several draught versions, Frympell's translation of the Old and New Testments (including the Apocrypha) was approved by William I in 1699. It drew heavily from the King James's Bible and the older Great Bible and Douay-Rheims for the Apocrypha and Psalms. The University of Aldesey was authorised to print the new edition and copies were disseminated to every church and school, leading to its widespread adoption. Its wording and style was praised by men of all churchmenship, although theological concerns abounded.

Cardinal Frympell also instigated the first major reform of the church itself in his second year in office, abolishing the minor orders and the subdiaconate as sacramental orders on account of their non-existence in scripture, and instead combined the subdeacon's duties with that of the holy-water porter, later known as the parish clerk.

Edmundian Reforms

The Bible translated into the „understanded tongue”, the Lutherans turned to the offices and mass for translation and reform. After Cardinal Frympell's death in 1702, the even more strongly Lutheran Cardinal George Miers was appointed Archbishop of Sulthey. Before he could be installed, William I unexpectedly died at the age of 44 and the young 22-year-old Edmund VI acceded to the throne, crowned by the Archbishop of Rhise, Cardinal August Lewencort. Cardinal Miers finally was installed in 1704, as one of the first acts of Edmund's reign. However, with the powerful „broad-church” influences of William and especially Frympell gone, Edmund needed to satisfy both ends of his church.

A „Commission for the Translation of the Divine Service”, headed by Sir Charles de Henfott, 7th Bart., presented its draughts for a new Breviary and Missal in English to Edmund the next year in 1705. However, it immediately proved much more controversial than Frympell's well-received Bible transltion. It satisfied neither party—the so-called Frympellites argued that it remained too monastic and unsuited for Lutheran-style public prayer and worship. On the other hand, the so-called Akeepians, who now also rejected the Bishop of Rome's spiritual jurisdiction over anywhere but his own see, were in favour of only very minor simplification and the retention of Latin wheresoever possible.

Owing to his young age, a compromise was brokered by Edmund between the two camps with assistance from the 13th Duke of Cardenbridge who was seen, despite his opposition to the papacy, to be otherwise theologically neutral. Under the proposal, the offices would be only conservatively simplified and reordered to make them more practical for public and private worship. In a concession to the Frympellites, and an increasingly large faction of the Akeepians, the use of Latin in the liturgy was suppressed except in private chapels in favour of a translation into English. However, the authoritative and official documents and texts of the Church remained in Latin. The canon Quia solliciti, issued by Edmund in 1711, formally authorised and prescribed inter alia the new Book of Masses and Book of Offices for all public and corporate worship.

Exponential influence

The „Olnish Matter” was a controversy over the marriage of Queen Mary to the Earl of Scode.

The dominant „small-l” Lutheranism in the Church of Nortend in the early 18th century soon began to be threatened by the increasing trade and improved diplomatic relations with the Exponential Empire and its Occidentes Province (now the Aurora Confederacy) which begat a small but growing „Catholic” renaissance at Court and throughout high society.

In 1731, Augustus I of Aquitayne arrived in Great Nortend seeking support for Aquitaynian independence from the Exponential Empire. He quickly arranged a marriage with Anne-Louise, 28, the youngest daughter of William I with the blessing of Edmund VI, who was desirous of counteracting the growing popish influence with support from another Lutheran realm.

After the death of Edmund VI in 1736, however, relations with the Exponential Empire improved dramatically. Immediately after his passing, Cardinal Archibald Lofthouse, then Lord Bishop of Rockingham, sensationally declared his allegiance to the Roman Church, revealing a underground network of papism hidden, albeit scattered under the pretence of Lutheranism. Mary's accession to the throne was seen as untimely by the notionally dominant Frympellites, who were highly concerned she would lack the authority to counteract this growing Catholic feeling. Thus, she was pressured by her Parliament into declaring the suspension of the initiation of any novices to religious establishments in 1737 and appointing more Frympellite bishops and clergy by passing the Abjuration Act in 1738.

The Olnish Matter

Unfortunately for the Frympellites, Mary announced in 1740 her intention to marry Charles de Oln, the 5th Earl of Scode, of the House of Oln in Albeinland. Charles was of an Akeepian and Catholic leaning churchmanship. The marriage was vigorously opposed by the Frympellites. In Parliament, two factions developed known as the „Scodeliers” and the „Droughers”, which supported and wished to „draw asunder” (whence „drougher”) the marriage respectively. In the end, the Droughers were unable to stop the marriage, and Mary wed the Earl of Scode in 1742 at the age of 27.

This apparent act of alliance with the Roman Catholic Exponential Empire, along with the almost next-day restoration of friendly ties with the Exponential Empire immediately drew costernation around the region. Notably, Mary disowned her aunt Anna-Louise after the latter condemned the marriage as a betrayal of Mary's late father, Edmund VI. Nonetheless, nothing could repair the damage wrought to the Frympellites, especially after the islands of St. Parth and Hastica were returned to Great Nortend. Thenceforth, following this ,,Akeepian Settlement”, the Akeepian faction grew to dominate the Church.

Nationalist conservatism

The friendly relationship with the Roman Catholic Exponential Empire slowly cooled throughout the late 19th century as the nationalist movement grew.


The Sovereign is recognised as the „Governour of the Church Mundane”, being the „highest power under God in his Dominion” with „authority over all persons in all matters temporal”. As such, he is the „Vicar of Christ” in matters temporal. It is necessary for the heir to be a confirmed member of the Church of Nortend, and in practice, all members of the Royal Family are members of the Church.


The Church of Nortend distinguishes between five orders of clerks, that of the bishop, priest, deacon and clerk. Of the five, only the first three are conferred by the sacrament of holy orders and are known as clerks in holy orders. Bishops may only be consecrated by at least one other consecrated bishops (but in practice three), whereas a priest or deacon may be ordained by any single bishop. Once ordained, it is not possible to relinquish the clerical state. Clerks in holy orders are not permitted to be married or to marry.

The clerk (and knave) subsumes the historical minor orders. The senior-most clerk is the subdeacon, which merged with the former order of subdeacon in 1672. The subdeacon is a layman and is usually also the parish clerk. Lesser clerks include the acollets, crucifers, thurifers, cerofers and taperers, as well as the quiristers. Organists are also usually admitted as clerks. University undergraduates and graduates rank as academical clerks, a status which is normally conferred during matriculation. As a clerk is not in holy orders, he can relinquish this status by abandonment or by deed. Clerks are entitled to wear cassocks, surplices and square caps in the quire. Boys who serve as clerks are known as knaves (e.g. most commonly in the terms altar knave, ship knave or quire knave who are boys who act as acollets, carry the incense boat, and sing in quire).

Apart from orders, the Church of Nortend also confers dignities to persons within its hierarchy. These include the dignities of cardinal, archbishop, bishop suffragan, bishop coadjutor, archdeacon, dean and rector. The cardinalate is a personal dignity conferred upon either a bishop or a priest who is particularly distinguished by royal favour. Every cardinal has a titular church in Lendert-with-Cadell to which he is incardinated to.


Map of the dioceses of the Church of Nortend.

The Church of Nortend consists of a single province headed by the Lord Archbishop of Sulthey. This should not be confused with civil provinces of which there are three. The Province of Sulthey is divided into thirteen dioceses or sees, headed by a bishop, including the See of Sulthey. A diocese may have additional titular bishops with nominal sees. These bishops perform auxiliary roles where a diocese is particular large or populous, or for historical reasons when the diocese otherwise cannot be served by a single bishop.

See Cathedral Founded Ordinary Coadjutor
Sulthey Sulthey Abbey 749 Lord Archbishop of Sulthey, Cardinal Dr. Sebastian Williams Bishop of Frews, Cardinal Dr. Alfred Harris
Chepingstow Chepingstow Cathedral 801 Lord Bishop of Chepingstow, Cardinal Dr. William Laseby, Lord High Chancellour Bishop of Aldesey, Dr. Lochlan Riddel
Mast Mast Cathedral 823 Lord Bishop of Mast, Cardinal Dr. Edmund Widow-Goddering
Keys Keys Cathedral 830 Lord Bishop of Keys, Dr. Joseph Everard
Staithway Staithway Abbey 832 Lord Bishop of Staithway, Dr. James Hotham
Rhise Rhise Cathedral 932 Lord Bishop of Rhise, Cardinal Dr. Nigel Molstham Bishop of Hoole, Dr Stannon Hacker
Echester Echester Abbey 976 Lord Bishop of Echester, Cardinal Dr. David Coke
Lanchester Lanchester Cathedral 1001 Lord Bishop of Lanchester, Dr. Phillip Michael Bishop of Laveshot, Dr. Quentin Rhoming-Cecils
Tow Tow Cathedral 1045 Lord Bishop of Tow, Cardinal Dr. Peter Wylde, Lord High Almoner Bishop of Saint Cleaves, Dr. Charles Franfield-Hamilton
Rhighton Rhighton Cathedral 1077 Lord Bishop of Rhighton, Cardinal Dr. Crispin de Asper
Corring Rockleham Cathedral 1122[2] Lord Bishop of Corring, Dr. Simon Bickersleigh
Lendert and Cadell St. Peter's Cathedral 1284[3] Lord Bishop of Lendert, Cardinal Dr. Alan Gough Bishop of Cadell, Dr. Walter Fitzcolling
Scode Scode Abbey 1298 Lord Bishop of Scode, Dr. Luke Mainthompson

Each diocese is split further into archdeaconries, deaneries and parishes, administered by an archdeacon, a dean and a rector respectively. A parish is usually conterminous with a feudal manor, which are not to be confused with baronies, whilst a deanery is coterminous with a hundred.


Each parish benefice is held by a rector appointed by the bishop on nomination by the parish patron, usually the yeoman lord of the manor. The rector is charged with the cure of souls in the parish, and is entitled to the parochial tithes. The benefice can also be appropriated by religious foundations in which case a vicar is appointed to hold the cure of souls. The corporation as rector is entitled to the tithes, but a portion thereof is given to the vicar.

Every parish has a vestry, which has duties both ecclesiastial and civil. The vestry, comprising all parishioners on the rolls, is run day-to-day by the select vestry. Two or more lay churchwardens are elected by the vestry annually. Many parishes, in addition to the parson, have a deacon. Many wealthy parishes have private chapels within the parish church with their own chaplain, usually established to say prayers for the dead and their families. Larger parishes may also have chapels-of-ease with their own chaplain, deacon, chapelry clerk and other officers.

The other officers of a parish are the parish clerk (acts as subdeacon and responsible for the parish registers and administration), the verger (responsible for keeping the sacred vessels, moveable furnishings and vestments and keeping order in the church) and the sexton (responsible for the keys to the church building, ringing the bells, and the physical upkeep of the church’s fixed furnishings and of the churchyard).


According to the Telling Poll of 2020, 94·9 per cent of the population are members of the Church of Nortend, amounting to around 9·5 million people. A member is required to attend divine service in the parish in which he lives except with the permission of his parson. Members of the church are frequently excommunicated by General Commination in simple form. However, excommunications in solemn form are very rare, and only occur as a sentence in the ecclesiastical courts.

Church attendance is high, and more than two thirds of parishioners attend church at least once a week, although not all attend the same services. Double attendance on Sundays is common. Baptism is routinely conferred on newborns. Almost all members of the Church are confirmed by the age of 21, as it is considered a rite of passage and along with taking the Oath of Liegance is necessary to become a full Nortish subject.

Beliefs and Practices

The doctrine of the Church of Nortend was and is based on the traditional doctrines of the Roman Church and the Eastern Church, with some influence from Luther. The official doctrines of the Church was declared in 1801 by Catherine of Hall in the 42 articles of the Catechism promulgated by Erbonia Ecclesiastica to settle for once and all the disputes between the Akeepians and Frympellites. Inter alia, it confirms the authority of the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed, the belief in the virgin birth, the two natures of Christ, the Holy Trinity, the two sacraments of the Gospel and five sacraments of the Church, the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament, the continuous rightening by grace through faith with works, predestination, the effiacy of prayer for the dead and the bidding of saints, and the temporal supremacy of the Crown. The Catechism is read through daily at Mattins and Vespers when there are no proper middle lessons of the temporal or sanctoral cycle.

A summary of the general beliefs and practices are that :—

  • Members are baptised members of the Church of Christ.
  • The Scriptures are the Word of God, and are faithfully set forth in Cardinal Frympell’s translation.
  • Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation, although not always easily understood.
  • The three Creeds—the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian—are true and authoritative.
  • There are two sacraments of the Gospel—Baptism and Eucharist—and five other sacraments—Confirmation, Absolution, Unction, Matrimony and Orders—ordained by the Church of Christ.
  • In the Eucharist, Christ is really and substantially present such that the substances of bread and wine occur while being the substance of Body and Blood of Christ in ghostly form.
  • The Eucharist is a sacrifice of our bodies, praise and thanksgiving to God, and a shewing forth of and entrance into the one true oblation and sacrifice of Christ once offered on the Cross.
  • Rightening or justification is by grace through faith with works.
  • Apostolic succession and orders are necessary in the Church, and for good order churchmen must remain chaste and unmarried.
  • No foreign prince or power has jurisdiction over the Church of Nortend.
  • The Books of Hours, Masses and Offices form the practical rule as to belief and worship.


The Church of Nortend recognises the seven traditional sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Absolution, Unction, Matrimony and Orders, although Baptism and Eucharist are deemed to be sacraments of the Gospel. It also recognises the Coronation of the Sovereign as a quasi-sacrament.

Holy Baptism, also known as „christening”, is the sacrament of faith, generally necessary unto salvation. It is the token whereby the inward graces of the washing away of sins and rebirth to everlasting life are conferred through the triple immersion or pouring with water by a minister whilst reciting the Trinitarian baptismal formula, „I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” Infant baptism is predominantly practised. Baptism is not performed by laymen.

Holy Communion is the sacrament of bread and wine consecrated into the body and blood of Christ. The Church of Nortend believes in the real and substantial presence of Christ within the elements but rejects a fleshy or carnal presence or any transubstantiation. The nature as to how this occurs is considered a mystery.[4]

Holy Confirmation, commonly known as „bishopping”, is the sacrament of receiving the seal of the Holy Ghost. It is conferred to establish one in the faith, either by a bishop, or more usually, the dean as the bishop’s deputy.

Holy Penance is the sacrament of reconciliation to God, and the forgiveness of sins and loosing of fetters. Both non-sacramental and sacramental absolutions are used in the Church, the former through the Indulgentiam expressed as a prayer of absolution, and the latter though private or public confession, where a priest directly shrives a penitent.

Holy Unction is a sacrament of cure by anoiling (anointing) the sick to strengthen the spirit against suffering, illness, death, temptation and the Devil, and to strengthen his body from infirmities and illness, if conducive to salvation.

Holy Matrimony is a sacrament of union between a man and woman. Marriages may be dissolved only by God through the Church in certain cases such as adultery. Remarriage after a canonical divorce is not prohibited, except that the priest may not solemnise a marriage between an adulterer and his mistress.

Holy Orders is the sacrament of apostolic succession whereby a layman may be ordained successively to the deaconhood, priesthood or bishophood.


Fasting is a discipline of the Church practised on all Fridays, vigils and the fasten tides of Lent, and to a lesser extent, Advent, which serve as preparation for the high tides of Christmastide and Eastertide respectively. Fasting is formally described as the eating of only one meal after Vespers, with smaller collations allowed during the day. In practice, this is only a trivial matter of renaming “breakfast” to “collation”. Instead, fasting in its modern form principally involves the observance of meagre days, or so-called “fish days”, by abstaining from the eating of flesh meat and animal-derived foods (fish is not considered meat). This includes eggs and dairy products during Lent only. Fasts are not observed on Sundays and festivals, except on the Fridays of Lent and Advent.

Canon law also requires that people wishing to receive holy Communion fast from waking before Mattins in the morning. No food may be taken except for a „mass collation” which is a collation eaten at least one hour before receiving. A traditional mass collation consists of bread with mushrumps, as well as stewed fruit.

Social teachings

The Church of Nortend has a close relationship with the Crown and State thanks to its privileged position as the established state church. This results in both state control of the Church, as well as Church influence on the State, for the mutual good and salvation of the people. The relationship since the 19th century has emphasised the national element of the Church of Nortend as being the only church and part of the universal Church Catholick especially suitable for Nortchmen. The Church’s domains lie mainly in the moral and to an extent, social, order of the nation, and since the 1950s, its social teachings have been required to be taught in all schools.

In 1956, the Bishops approved four new homilies, authorised to be read in Church which form the basis of the modern understanding of the Church’s teachings.

On Abortion and Eugenics

In the Homily on Abortion and Eugenics, the Church reiterated its teaching on abortion, contraception, eugenics, suicide and euthanasia. In short, the Church condemns most abortions; however, it draws the traditional distinction between a „quickened” foetus, a „formed” foetus and an „unformed” foetus, classifying the destruction of the first to be a felonious homicide and grave sin and the destruction of the second to be a misdemeanour, whilst the destruction of the latter is only a trespass and less blameworthy, as stated in Bothage’s Case. It also sets out circumstances wherein abortion is not necessarily sinful, which are generally limited to situations where the abortion is a side effect of medical treatment for the mother or when the foetus is known to be monstrous or so deformed as to be presumed abortive. The Church also condemns contraception, especially outside of marriage.

The Church has a generally positive view on eugenics which have been praised as „worthy means” to promote public health. However, this is limited to pre-conception forms of eugenics, where incentives are offered to those who have a heightened risk of bearing children afflicted by genetic diseases, either owing to hereditary transmission or by environmental factors such as age, radiation exposure or cancers, to abstain from procreation. The Church approves in the homily the voluntary sterilisation of such persons, and if married, allowing for their continued marital relations. Post-conception eugenics is straitly condemned, except in the limited case of a known monstrous foetus, saying that „for every formed human body, whether malformed or well formed, hath a human soul capable of the salvation won by the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus”.

Voluntary euthanasia and suicide are straitly condemned by the Church as being contrary to natural divine law and damaging to social consciences, while noting that suicides commited by those non compos mentis are not at all to be condemned.

On Carnal Relations and Whoredom

In the Homily on Carnal Relations and Whoredom, the Church discussed the „moral contraventions of the decadent order”, being sodomy, adultery, fornication, prostitution, and bestiality. The Church opposes the legalisation of the aforementioned practices and in short, all of them are condemned in the strongest terms, and only heterosexual vaginal carnal relations between a married wife and husband are allowed and countenanced by the Church.

The Church upholds the faithful marriage between man and woman to be the only basis for carnal relationships. However, in relation to homosexuality, it states that owing to „the damage wrought by popular misunderstanding”, it is necessarily to clarify that „loyal friendships” between men after the example of David and Jonathan are not to be condemned.

On Family and the Commonship

In the Homily on Family and the Commonship, the Church discusses the nature of the family and the social order of the community. It emphasises the importance of the links of affinity and consanguinity, the the necessity of ensuring that the natural family is preserved with its natural hierarchy. Furthermore, the Church teaches against divorce, stating that marriage cannot be put asunder by any man, albeit that the Church is able to dissolve the bonds and vows of matrimony in limited cases.

The Church also enjoins the state of the wider commonship, and obedience to the social order therein as befitting a member of society. Obedience to lawful authority is enjoined, and wilful rebellion against lawful orders condemned. The social classes are implicitly referred to as being necessary for an ordered society. Anti-social or asocial activity is thus condemned, such as hiding away or lack of neighbourliness or comradeship between equals. Here, charity and almsgiving to the poor is also promoted, as against selfishness and niggardliness, symptoms of social disorder.

On Right and Punishment

In the Homily on Right and Punishment, the Church mainly discusses the importance of natural „divine right” as the foundation of the natural law as well as supporting the use of capital punishment by lawful authority. The Church teaches that by divine grace, the monarch is set over his people to rule as the vicar of God, to dispense justice and to ordain laws for the benefit of the people and the world. Thus, capital punishment is acceptable for the punishment of heinous and wicked crimes.

The Homily also somewhat discusses natural right in the context of man’s duties to himself, others and the environment, enjoining diligent and steady work, and consideration of the needs of others and for God’s creation. This section of the Homily has been said to lend support to environmental movements in Great Nortend, and perhaps sparked some of the provisions in law against uncontrolled development and mechanisation.


Churchmanship is broadly split between the „High Church” and the „Low Church”, also known in historical terms as the „Akeepians” and the „Frympellites”.

Divine Service

The Church of Nortend is a liturgical church with a liturgy, or divine service, according to the Nortish Rite which replaced the former Roman uses of Sulthey, Chepingstow and Limmes. This mainly consists of the mass and four daily hours or offices, which are set out in the Nortish books of divine service. The use of these books was commanded by Edward VI in 1711 by the canon Quia solliciti. The service books are used with the Holy Bible translated by Cardinal Frympell. In their full form, they consist of the following separate books — the Ordinal, the Psalter, the Antiphoner, the Hymner, the Collectar, the Kyrial, the Gradual, the Troper, the Lectionary, the Processional, the Manual and the Pontifical. Usually these are bound together in a Book of Hours and a Book of Offices.


The daily cycle of hours is the basis of the divine service, reflecting the ancient custom of prayer and worship throughout the day. The hours of Mattins and Vespers are chaunted daily in the morning and evening in every parish church. The hours each include psalms, a hymn, a reading or lessons, and various prayers.


A high mass celebrated in Great Nortend.

The mass is the main service at the which the Holy Eucharist is confected and distributed to the people. It is divided into the antecommunion, in which scripture is read, and the communion proper, when the elements are consecrated.

At least one mass must be celebrated monthly in all parish churches, and in many churches they are celebrated daily or even multiple times a day. Nonetheless, the common custom is for the people to receive communion only four times a year, at Michaelmas, Christmas, Easter and Whitsun. At other times, only the celebrating priest receives communion.


One of the changes sought by Cardinal Frympell was to replace Latin in divine service with an „understanded” tongue, i. e. English. Since to the introduction of Henfott’s reformed liturgy in 1711, services are normally chaunted through in a semi-archaic poetic form of English. However, the English texts of the Book of Masses and Book of Masses are only authorised translations of authoritative Latin texts approved by the Crown and Parliament. The Latin liturgy may be used freely at the discretion of the Minister or according to local custom or rule.

The Pater noster
Father our, which art in Heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done, in Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us to Day our daily Bread,
and forgive us our Trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us;
and lead us not into Temptation,
but deliver us from Evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory,
world without end. Amen.

The Ave Maria

Hail Mary, that art much graced,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst Women,
and blessed is the Fruit of thy Womb, Jesus. Amen.

The Credo in Deum

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of Heaven and Earth,
and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
which was conceived through the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into Hell;
The third Day he rose again from the Dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
and sitteth on the right Hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the Quick and the Dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
the Holy Catholick Church,
the Commonship of Saints,
the Forgiveness of Sins,
the Resurrection of the Body,
and the Life everlasting. Amen.


The Church of Nortend follows the Gregorian calendar, having been introduced in 1582 prior to the Great Schism in 1614. The liturgy is structured around the ecclesiastical Calendar, which is an interlaced set of cycles of varying lengths. The fixed cycle begins on Michaelmas every year and specifies the dates of the immovable feasts such as Christmas, Epiphany, Candlemas, St. John’s Day, and Martinmas. The moveable Paschal cycle changes annually based on the computation of Easter, setting the dates for Lent, Good Friday, Easter Day, Whitsunday, Ascension, Trinity &c. Liturgical days are parted into double festivals, semidouble festivals, simple festivals, fairs and fasts through the calendar cycles. The weekly cycle also affects the calendar, as the propers change depending on what day of the week it is.



The title page of the first edition of the Book of Chaunts.

Both choral and congregational music play a large part in Nortish divine service. Most public offices and all high masses are sung, or “chaunted” , usually accompanied by a pipe or reed organ. Texts are chaunted in monophonic plainsong, often harmonised by the choir, or in polyphonic figured song by the choir. In the office, psalms are communally chaunted antiphonally. Furthermore, hymns are sung after the psalmody and after the final responsory. In addition to traditional Gregorian hymns translated into English and sometimes harmonised, there are a large number of “new” hymns which are published in various hymnals. These are from various sources, including international Roman, Lutheran and Anglican sources.

The prescribed plainsong melodies are provided in the Book of Chaunts. Plainsong in the Nortish tradition is performed in a mensural style, in contrast to the equal style promoted by the Roman Solesmes school. It is only rarely sung without accompaniment. The organ and choral harmony provided in a typical Nortish service means that plainsong melodies tend to take on a “fuller” sound, more reminiscent of four-part hymns than Gregorian plainsong.


There is a strong tradition of hand engrossed liturgical manuscripts in the Church of Nortend. After the advent of the printing press, the mediaeval tradition of scribing manuscripts on parchment or paper declined for ordinary use. However, expensive illuminated manuscripts, of liturgical books, continued to be created for the use of the nobility and Royal courts as a mark of prestige. Similarly, hand engrossed parchment, sometimes illuminated, is still used for deeds, statutes, charters, writs and other formal legal documents. All of these documents, as well as fully noted Books of Masses and Offices, used on solemn feasts and special occasions, continue to be produced by monastic houses around the country.


Erbonian church architecture is predominantly Gothic, although many churches have an older Arlethic origin. An important difference with Roman church architecture is the focus on division of the church interior. Generally, there is a strict division between the nave and the chancel, the former being the preserve of the laity and the latter the preserve of the clergy.

In parochial churches, the nave and chancel are separated by a rood screen, its name deriving from the large rood hung over the screen. This screen has a single central doorway, and is usually of light open tracery. On the other hand, in collegiate churches, including cathedral, monastic and religious churches, the pulpit screen is constructed with two transverse walls supporting the pulpit platform overhead. The pulpit screen is usually constructed of stone.

Clerical dress

A deacon in his clerical dress.

Ordained ministres in the Church of Nortend are required to wear the prescribed clerical dress at most times outside of the liturgy (the vestments for which are prescribed in the liturgical books). This is very strictly enforced, and clergymen are often brought before the ecclesiastical courts for this trangression. Per the canon In nova tempora, non-liturgical clerical dress is divided into house dress, undress and full dress.

House dress

House dress is worn in informal or casual situations, such as at home or in the country or when doing menial labour. It consists of a suit or coat and trousers of dark, sombre colour worn a matching dark neck-height waistcoast. A starched clerical collar is still worn, but without bands. The coat is similar to a short frock coat and is usually designed to button up to the neck, and has a V-shaped collar cutout.

No gown is worn, and secular hats are worn. When impractical, the clerical collar, jacket and even waistcoat may be dispensed with in favour of a shirt with soft open collar. The trousers may also be replaced with knees or short trousers where appropriate, such as when in the country or in hot climates.


Undress is worn at semi-formal or formal non-liturgical situations. It is the ordinary „on duty” street dress of ordained ministres. It consists of the short frock, trousers, the gown and a hat. The short frock, or apron cassock, is a knee-length single-breasted frock worn with the cincture. A frock coat may also be worn over the short frock when thought wise.

Starched standing collars with starched bands are always worn. The gown is only worn when in and around the church and when academic dress is worn. The gown worn is the undress gown, which is normally black. The traditional hat worn is the liturgical soft cap. When the gown is not worn, however, a brimmed round hat or top hat is more often worn. A cape may also be worn in such cases. Some archdeacons, cardinals and bishops wear wigs daily, but this is nowadays very uncommon.

Evening undress is much the same, but silk is used for piping, buttons, the cincture, lining and cuffs rather than wool. Silk stockings and evening shoes are also usually worn, although patent leather is forbidden. A silken cape may also be worn, unless the gown is worn.

Full dress

Full dress is worn at non-liturgical state, ecclesiastical and legal occasions. It consists of the short frock worn with breeches. The gown worn is the full dress gown with hood. Most doctors wear scarlet gowns with coloured facings. Certain dignitaries wear a long train on their gowns. The soft cap is worn. Wigs are always worn by those entitled to them.


There are several popular devotions practised in by members of the Church of Nortend. The most common perhaps is the bidding of beads. Beads are often used in Great Nortend for the purpose of personal prayer in lieu of praying the hours. A typical strand of beads consists of ten small beads with a cross attached at one end and a large bead at the other. To bid one’s beads, one begins on the cross, saying In nomine with the Signum crucis, followed by the Pater noster, Ave Maria, Domine labia mea (or Converte nos), Deus adjutorium meum, and then the Gloria Patri and Alleluia or Laus tibi. Then on each of the small beads one says the Pater noster, followed by the Ave Maria and then the Gloria Patri. On the final large bead, one says the Kyrie eleison, the Pater noster, the Apostle’s Creed, the Dignare Domine, the Confiteor, and then the Litany. The bidding is completed with a Blessing and the Signum crucis again.

  1. In Latin, Sanctæ illius Crucis.
  2. Renamed from Rockleham in 1740.
  3. Diocese of Lendert; in 1302 merged with the Diocese of Cadell, est. 989.
  4. This is generally taken to mean, however, that the substance of Christ's body and blood is present in ghostly form, but not that the carnal substances of flesh and blood are „disguised” under the appearance of bread and wine, nor that the substance of bread and wine are changed (transubstantiated) into the substance of Christ’s body and blood.