“The 1930 Lambeth Conference described the Anglican Communion as a ‘fellowship, within the one holy catholic and apostolic church, of those duly constituted dioceses, provinces or regional churches in communion with the see of Canterbury.’” — Colin Buchanan, Historical Dictionary of Anglicanism
What is Anglicanism?
Christianity, the world’s largest religion, maintains upwards of 2.3 billion followers from every continent. The Christian Religion bases its teachings on Jesus Christ who lived 2,000 years ago.
Anglicanism is one tradition of the Christian faith. Other Christian traditions include Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Protestant Churches, which include Baptist, Lutheran, and Pentecostal Churches. Today, over 100 million parishioners in 165 countries call themselves Anglican (or Episcopal in some areas). Collectively, all of the members became known as the Anglican Communion.
Anglicans and Episcopalians the world-over share aspects of their history, tradition, and ways of worshiping. However, no two churches are exactly alike even within a diocese, let alone a province or country. This unity in diversity is one of the things that make the Anglican Communion so special. Diversity encompasses rich ground from which worship and the practice of Christianity become formulated.
The heritage of the Anglican Church goes back — not just to the reign of King Henry VIII — but to the earliest day of the Faith in what we now know as Great Britain. (The first Christian martyr to be remembered was an English/Roman soldier named Alban, who died around 305 AD. Additionally, the ancient Celtic Church enjoyed a long and distinguished history in that region, even before the Pope sent missionaries from Rome.)
The Church of England
The beliefs of the Church of England represent a remarkable mixture of Catholicism and Reformation theology. Furthermore, the Nicene Creed is an authoritative declaration of belief for the Anglican Church and typically recited in worship services.
As in the Catholic tradition, the celebration of Holy Eucharist remains prominent in every main worship service.
The Anglican Communion today
Today the Anglican Communion comprises 39 autonomous national and regional Churches plus six Extra-Provincial Churches and dioceses, and therefore, all join in a reciprocal relationship — with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the Communion’s spiritual head.
There is no Anglican central authority such as a pope. Therefore, each Church makes its own decisions in its own ways, guided by recommendations from clergy and laypeople attending conferences, counsels, and meetings… along with input from bishops (regionally and internationally) and the titular head, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In conclusion, it has always been a strength of the Anglican Communion that cooperation continues and flourishes despite diverse (or even conflicting) views on difficult issues. Other Christian traditions look to the Anglican Communion to learn from its ability to have disagreements; yet to overcome conflicts and in many cases agree to disagree.
Finally, IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AN ANGLICAN CHURCH, PLEASE VISIT OR CALL the Church of The Apostles AND PERSONALLY MEET Father Tim Cherry. We are family-oriented and are eager to meet you and your family.