What does it mean to be Anglican?
Anglicanism shapes our beliefs, lives and worship today as a global, Spirit-filled Christian church committed to the authority of Scripture and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As Anglicans, we are part of a global community of churches established by the Church of England. Anglicanism is a Christian tradition born out of the Protestant Reformation in England in the 16th century. The word “Anglican” literally means “of England.” As British Anglicans took their faith around the world, churches were established on every continent that shared the faith and traditions of the Church of England. Their services preserve the ancient early church worship while also incorporating the sound doctrines that emerged from the Protestant Reformation.
Anglicans have always sought to worship God faithfully with living forms of worship. This means our worship is centered around active participation and responding to God’s word through a variety of ways. Anglican worship typically mirrors the worship of the ancient apostolic church while also incorporating the common language and culture. Anglicans have traditionally sought to worship God with living forms of worship, including a balance of traditional and informal liturgy and Holy Communion. Anglicans also incorporate visual symbols that celebrate the certainty of our faith and the mysteries of God.
To remain true to the teachings of Christ and the Apostles, Anglicans uphold the Holy Scriptures as God’s Word, the evangelical beliefs known as the Thirty-Nine Articles of Faith and the three great Christian creeds (the Apostles’, the Nicene and the Athanasian) as the fundamental statements of the Christian faith. We also celebrate the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as commanded by Jesus. Our leadership portrays the traditional order of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons in the administration of the church’s life and mission.
Today, this community of churches consists of 38 self-governing provinces, in 164 countries, with more than 80 million members. There has recently been a renewal of Anglicanism around the world, which comes from the massive growth of the gospel through Anglican churches and missions in many locations. Anglicans still hold much in common with other orthodox and evangelical Christian practices – our ultimate desire is to follow Christ and pursue the mission of his Church. Anglicans are known for their strong faith in God and the way they take their love for the Lord into their communities.