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Anglican Communion

It is not possible to give an exact date at which the [[Anglican Communion]] came into being. The Anglican churches of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales certainly formed the original provinces, to which was added in 1789 the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA. Thereafter, chiefly through the pioneering work of the [[Church of England]]'s missionary societies and their later counterparts in North America and Australasia, the structure developed until in 1971 there were some 365 dioceses. These are mainly to be found in countries which were, and in many cases still are, parts of the British Commonwealth, though China, Japan, and Brazil are notable exceptions.