The word saint derives from the Latin sanctus, meaning holy, and has long been used in Christianity to refer to a person who was recognized as having lived a holy life and as being an exemplar and model for other Christians. Beginning in the 10th century, the Catholic Church began to centralise and formalise the process of recognising saints; the process whereby an individual was added to the canon (list) of recognised saints became known as canonisation.
Since the split with Rome, the Church of England sometimes uses the word hero or heroine to recognise those holy people whom the church synod or an individual church praises as having had special benevolence. It considers such muted terms a reversion to a more simple and cautious doctrine which emphasises empowerment (subsidiarity) to all members and components of the church.
English and local saints are often emphasised, and there are differences between the provinces' calendars. King Charles I of England is the only person to have been treated as a new saint by some Anglicans following the English Reformation, after which he was referred to as a martyr and included briefly in a calendar of the Book of Common Prayer. This canonisation is, however, considered neither universal nor official in the Anglican Communion worldwide, and many national Churches list him as a martyr and not a Saint, or as neither.
There are several persons commemorated in the modern Anglican calendars who were opposed to the Roman Catholic Church. Of particular note are John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, for beginning the full translation of the Bible into English (a project which led to the Geneva Bible), and for writings against the Catholic Church.
In the 19th century, 23 Anglican and 22 Roman Catholic converts were martyred together in Uganda. The Church of England commemorates the Ugandan martyrs on 3 June together with Archbishop Janani Luwum, who was murdered in 1977 on the orders of Idi Amin. On 18 October 1964, Pope Paul VI canonised the 22 Ugandan martyrs who were Roman Catholics.
The following have been identified as heroes of the Christian Church in the Anglican Communion (post-Reformation individuals commemorated in the Church of England Calendar, excluding those primarily venerated by the Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches):