We Are Anglican
The Anglican Church is a branch of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church instituted by Jesus Christ. The word ‘Anglican’ refers to our spiritual heritage and roots in the Church of England.
Anglicans treasure their “Catholic” identity, shared by the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Old Catholic Churches, they also demand that Catholicity be continually tested by the fidelity of ‘particular’ Churches to “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
Traders, merchants and soldiers brought the Christian Faith to Britain shortly after it became part of the Roman Empire in the middle of the First Century AD. Sixteen hundred years later, during what we call the Reformation, the Church of England emerged as a unique institution. It retained its ‘Catholic’ heritage enshrined in the Creeds, the decisions of the General Councils, its liturgy and sacraments, and in the threefold ministry of bishops, priest and deacons in Apostolic Succession. It ‘reformed’ itself by eliminating some nonessential accretions of the later medieval Church, by restoring much of the practice of the earliest Christians, and by insisting upon the authority of Holy Scripture as the rule and guide of faith.
Members of the Church of England came to America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In many of the original colonies, the Church of England was the established or official Church. After the Revolution, American Anglicans established an autonomous branch of the Church, which became known as the Episcopal Church. 31 signers of the Declaration of Independance were Anglican.
What Faith have we sought to preserve?
Anglican faith is thoroughly grounded in Holy Scriptures. Anglicans believe “the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the authentic record of God’s revelation of himself, his saving activity, and moral demands – a revelation valid for all men and for all times” (The Affirmation of St. Louis). The ‘Apocryphal Books,’ found in some, but not all Bibles are used also in our worship, being read for instruction, but they are not used to establish doctrine.
We hold that the ancient creeds – the ‘Apostles’, ‘Nicene’, and ‘Athanasian’ – express the faith of the Church and are to be understood as they are written. The Anglican Church is a creedal church, not a confessional one. The creeds, which come from the earliest years of Christianity, summarize the “faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). By them we are taught that God is one God in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; that God the Son became man, born of a virgin as our Lord Jesus Christ; that by our Lord’s sinless life, death and resurrection He gained access for us to God the Father and opened the way for us to be children of God and to live with Him for all eternity.
On Christian morality, we believe that “every Christian is obligated to form his conscience by the divine Moral Law of the Mind of Christ as revealed in Holy Scriptures, and by the teachings and Tradition of the Church” (The Affirmation of St. Louis). Such teaching is especially seen in the Sermon on the Mount (St. Matthew 5,6,7) and in our Lord’s Summary of the Law, which states that we must first love God with our heart, soul and mind, and also love our neighbors as ourselves, as well as in His teaching on the sanctity of all human life, and of marriage and the family.
Current Events – Anglican Reformation
Recently, during the last thirty-five or so years, the Episcopal Church in North America abandoned most of the tradition of historic Anglican Faith and Practice. It is this ancient tradition that many Episcopalians, Evangelicals, Wesleyans, Charismatics and other faithful are seeking to preserve and proclaim.
Globally, regionally and locally, Anglicanism is in the process of reformation. Over time and most recently, The Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada have increasingly accommodated and incorporated un-Biblical, un-Anglican practices and teaching.
In the context of this widening theological gap, the existing geography-based organizational model of the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada became problematic for orthodox Anglicans. Orthodox parishes, clergy and dioceses that upheld Biblical authority and historic Anglican practice became isolated within their existing structures. In addition, groups of Protestant background believers have found and are finding a path back to the Ancient Faith of the historic Anglican Church.
New groups, distressed churches and entire dioceses began to seek episcopal oversight and spiritual care from Anglican Provinces and leaders in other parts of the world, including the primates and churches of Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda. Today, a fresh breeze of historic Anglian Faith is being felt in the America’s! You too can catch this refreshing wind of restoration of the historic Anglican Church!
” O Gracious Father, we humbly beseech thee for thy holy Catholic Church; That thou wouldest be pleased to fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, establish it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever liveth to make intercession for us, Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord. Amen.” ( The Book of Common Prayer, page 37)