As Anglicans, we are part of a global communion of churches established over the centuries by the Church of England. As British Anglicans took their faith around the world, churches were established on every continent that shared the faith and practices of the Church of England – a tradition which preserves the very best of ancient early church worship while incorporating the sound doctrines that emerged from the Protestant Reformation.
Anglicans have always sought to worship God faithfully with living forms of worship. Therefore, our services and liturgies mirror the worship of the ancient apostolic church while incorporating the common language and culture of the communities in which they are practiced. Furthermore, Anglicans incorporate both ancient sacramental practices as well as visual symbols to celebrate the certainty of our faith and the mysteries of God. Together, sacrament, symbol and word, enlivened by the Holy Spirit, connect our senses with our minds and hearts. Anglican worship is a unique milieu for capturing the imagination of a culture that has been immersed in the images of the media and internet.
In order to remain true to the teachings of Christ and the Apostles, Anglicans have historically upheld the Holy Scriptures as God’s Word, have held to the summary of evangelical beliefs known as the Thirty-Nine Articles of Faith and have accepted the three great Christian creeds, the Apostles’, the Nicene and the Athanasian, as the fundamental statements of the Christian faith. We celebrate the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as commanded by Jesus and we uphold the historic order of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons in the administration of the church’s life and mission.
Today the worldwide Anglican Communion is experiencing both tremendous stress and tremendous renewal. The stress comes as some provinces depart from historic Anglican faith and practices and from the orthodox understanding of the Holy Scriptures. On the other hand, the renewal comes from the explosive growth of the gospel through Anglican churches and missions in many locations, particularly the “2/3 world.” (For example, there are more than 15 million Anglicans in Nigeria — more than all Anglicans in the United States!)