The Anglican Church began as the state church of England. During the 16th century the church took on the theology of the Reformation, reclaiming the ancient truths of the Bible and salvation by grace through faith.
As England colonized the world, she took her church with her. Upon decolonization, the state church was no longer present, but the theology and the heritage of the church remained. This brought about the creation of the Anglican Communion, which now is represented in 164 countries, with a total of about 80 million members worldwide, organized into 38 autonomous Provinces.
Our Anglican beliefs can be summarized by the following four basic tenets:
- The Bible as a basis of our faith
- The Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds as basic statements of Christian belief
- A recognition of the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion
- The historic episcopate locally adapted. In other words, the belief that Christian church has historically been organized with a polity system that includes bishops as overseers.
We are a liturgical tradition (our liturgy is based on the Book of Common Prayer written in 1662) that seeks to combine the rich sacramental history and tradition of the ancient church with a strong Reformational faith and a keen awareness of the continuing activity of the Holy Spirit.
(Adapted from Holy Cross Cathedral’s “What Is Anglican?”)