Anglicanism traces its origins to the teachings of the early Church which was planted in the British Isles some time in the second century. Over the intervening centuries certain features have developed. Anglicanism is Biblically centred. For Anglicans, the Holy Scriptures contain all beliefs necessary for salvation. The Bible is used extensively in the church’s services and is at the hear of Anglican spirituality. The Anglican Church does not possess any uniquely distinctive beliefs but accepts the historic Christian faith as summarized in the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds. Anglicans however, accept and encourage the findings of scholarly debate concerning the Bible.
The Anglican Church is a worshiping community:
The Book of Common Prayer – sometimes called a “mirror of the Bible” – and the Book of Alternative Services – which arose out of the Anglican renewal movement – establish the standard of Anglican worship across Canada. They lay out an approach to both personal and corporate worship and contain services for both daily prayer and the celebration of those significant moments in life such as birth, marriage, and death. Important feasts, festivals, fasts and the commemoration of many saints and Christian leaders are observed throughout the Christian year. Moreover, Anglicans believe in worshiping with all of the senses. Art, architecture and music are prominently used in services and church decoration.
The Anglican Church is Sacramental:
Every moment of life is sacred. Sacraments are channels of God’s grace; they are meeting-places between God and humans. This view is most dramatically witnessed in the Holy Eucharist when Christians re-enact and proclaim the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Anglican Church is one of ministry:
Anglicans accept the historic ministry of bishops, priests and deacons to whom have been allotted the tasks of proclaiming the Gospel, leading worship, and developing spiritually. Lay people, commissioned by their baptism also perform extensive duties in worship, organizations and in the Church’s governing bodies.
The Anglican Church is universal:
Anglicans are members of the world-wide Anglican Communion which is found on every continent. Each national or regional Church has its own presiding primate or archbishop but all are knit together under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury.