This essay examines the Anglican claim for the early church as the normative standard for liturgy, as reiterated throughout our history from the time of Thomas Cranmer through the liturgical revisions of the late twentieth century. A secondary claim of general uniformity through similarity in texts of common prayer is then discussed as a point of historic resonance for Anglican identity. Some very general examples of early church evidence follow, as a means of debunking the notion of a unified and simple structure for primitive liturgy. I will then discuss the notion of ‘early church’, and what we mean by terms like it, and follow this with a consideration of liturgical diversity. The gospel call to privilege Christian unity, I will assert, remains the primary stumbling block to the full embracing of the God-given diversity of the one holy, catholic and apostolic church.